Public Records Litigation
January 5, 2023 - The Mequon-Thiensville School District (MTSD) will appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court the recent Court of Appeals decision ordering MTSD to release parents' and guardians' personal email addresses to a third-party requester, Mequon alderman Mark Gierl.
The appeal is being filed with the support of Liberty Mutual, the school district’s liability insurance carrier in the matter, who has covered the expenses related to this litigation apart from a nominal deductible met early during the proceedings.
MTSD is pursuing this appeal as part of its commitment to safeguard the privacy interests of those individuals who have entrusted the District with their personal, private email address. The Court of Appeals decision expanded the scope of the Wisconsin Public Records Law and impacts every school district in the State of Wisconsin. These factors compelled MTSD to ask the Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear the case as it has great impact on the citizens they serve.
The District plans to file the appeal in advance of the January 6, 2023 deadline and will continue to provide updates via the public website as litigation continues.
An email message and survey were sent to all individuals on the requested "Distribution List" on Friday, November 19, 2021. The purpose of the survey is to gain a better understanding of the stance of those directly impacted by the ruling and ensure their perspectives and interests are heard. The results of that survey, below, were shared with the MTSD Board of Education and the District's legal counsel.
|Survey Question||Total Responses||Yes||No||I have no opinion|
|Question 1: If you had the choice, would you prefer the personal email address you shared with the school district be kept private from a third party requesting that information?||1,054||940 | 89%||75 | 7%||39 | 4%|
|Question 2: Assuming no additional taxpayer expense, should the District appeal the judge’s recent decision ordering the District to release your personal email address to a third party who had requested that information?||1,052||868 | 83%||135 | 13%||
49 | 5%