Media organizations sue a Quad Cities school district
The Associated Press reported that four eastern Iowa media organizations are joining a nonprofit media rights group in filing a lawsuit against the Bettendorf school board and other officials. That’s because the school district blocked journalists from covering a meeting about school violence that was attended by hundreds of people.
The lawsuit asks a state court judge to find the school district in violation of Iowa’s open meetings law and to issue an injunction prohibiting the school board from violating the statute in the future. The lawsuit also asks the court to fine members of the board who took part in the meeting.
AP reported the meeting was held in late May to address violence that has taken place at a middle school in the district. In addition, parents have complained about how school officials responded to reports of rowdy behavior that left some students and their parents fearful.
School employees posted at the doors prevented reporters and photographers from entering the meeting.
Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues. This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, a former teacher in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.