Motion to Stay Granted by Court of Appeals in Woodland Park School District’s Efforts to Preserve the Privacy and Security of Students and Teachers

As previously reported, Woodland Park School District (WPSD) appealed the ruling by Teller County District Judge Scott Sells to release passive video surveillance in response to a request made under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). The district appealed the ruling because the privacy and safety of students and teachers are paramount concerns. On April 13th, 2023, the Court of Appeals granted the Motion to Stay in this case. As a result, the case proceedings are paused until further notice.

The decision by the Court of Appeals to grant the Motion to Stay serves as a reminder of the crucial role in ensuring CORA requests are restricted. It is important to note that while CORA requests are intended to provide access to public information, security and privacy concerns fall outside of that classification. If passive video surveillance were ruled to fall under CORA, it could lead to an increase in public requests for access to passive video surveillance footage. We want to safeguard our students, staff, and visitors from the clear potential abuse of such material to harass or harm.

Additionally, the district is entrusted to maintain security measures throughout our facilities. Video surveillance is a crucial tool for ensuring the security of our buildings and the safety of students and teachers. If the footage is released to the public, it would undermine the effectiveness of the security measures in place and lead to potential security breaches.

WPSD remains committed to protecting the privacy and safety of its students and teachers, and the decision to grant the Motion to Stay serves as an added reminder of the importance of ensuring that requests made under CORA are carefully scrutinized and limited to protect the rights of individuals and security protocols.

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