Michigan School Hits Parents With $400,000 Bill Over Freedom of Information Act Inquiry
A group of parents was shocked to learn that their request for information from a local school district would cost them about $400,000.
Parents in the Forest Hills Public School system made the request in May, under the Freedom of Information Act. The inquiry asked for "any and all writings" that contained the words diversity, equity, or inclusion, according to Yahoo News.
When the parent group was told the request for information could take up to a year and come at a cost that would be in the $400,000 range, the inquiry was scaled back. The new request was worded: "Any and all writings since March 1, 2020 through the date of this Request that reference the words or phrase ‘critical race theory.’”
As the scope of the inquiry was narrowed and the request was altered to include only documents created by staff and school board members, the parent group was then told the cost would be approximately $2,200.
The parents have established a GoFundMe page in order to cover the cost of the request.
So Why the Inquiry?
Yahoo reports that the conflict between the parents and the school board began when a video production about Martin Luther King Jr. was shown to students. The video was partially produced by students but the nature of the content is not available.
Michelle Schellenberg is a parent who took issue with the contents of the video.
“It was really outrageous,” Schellenberg said. "There was no balance, no counterpoint. It was all social justice propaganda. There’s no way students did that on their own.”
She went on to say that while the video was shown to students, it was not made available for parents to view. Some teachers opted not to show it to their students.