Jillian Balow, State Senator Clash Over Request For Salary Info
That's according to Sen. James Facebook page. On the page, James posted an email he says he received from Balow objecting to his request:
On December 10, you indicated that questions, comments,
or concerns related to your November 27th, 2019 records request for school district employee names and salaries should be sent to you in writing. This email is consistent with your request.
Over the last couple of weeks both the Attorney General
and staff in my office have received information from multiple school districts about specific staff whose names should be excluded from this and other similar records requests. I believe the information is credible and that releasing the names of these identified
individuals compromises their personal safety. As you are aware, Wyoming
Statute § 16-4-203(b)(vi) states that the custodian of records may deny access if the "inspection would . . . endanger the life or physical safety of an individual.” Since these employees are hired and managed by locally elected school boards and they are
not State of Wyoming employees, we need more information from districts and a process for withholding those names from our production. Thus,
pursuant to W.S. 16-4-202(c)(iv), I am hereby
requesting an extension to the thirty day deadline to reply. We can gather necessary information from school districts to protect the safety of their employees and provide the requested records to you by January 15, 2020. This would result in an eighteen day
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Wyoming Department of Education''
James, again on his Facebook page, posted the following response:
Waiting until the day before a holiday week is unacceptable. You have had ample, and sufficient time to redact the names of those with legitimate safety issues.
My biggest concern with this is the fact that apparently we have individuals working in our school system, in very close proximity to our children, who are somehow nearly in immediate danger of physical violence being perpetrated against them, protected solely on their names not being on a list that is immediately accessible by the public.
So, let’s say the individual who intends to do a person harm somehow finds out their name regardless of the source... we now have a situation where individuals’ personal lives are putting our children at risk because of their personal past.
Should we be more concerned that there are individuals with this potential of violence being perpetrated on them working in such close proximity to our children on a regular basis? (Which in my mind presents an immediate, clear, and present danger to our children as collateral damage to whatever violence an individual would want to carry out on a person “hiding” in our school system.)
I say we should be more concerned with protecting our children than protecting the Teachers, Staff, or Administrators whose presence alone presents a very real risk of potential violence on our children.
The records request was approved by the Attorney General. If you have any issues with the Attorney General’s clearance of my request, I would suggest that you need to take it up with the Attorney General. As I will still be expecting the records in their entirety, as requested, by Dec 27th.This is why I am denying the request for an extension to the 30 day time frame.
That being said, I would like to know how many employees (a number, no names needed) with a legitimate safety concern have expressed a desire to prevent their names being released? Is there a rational, logical, explanation those names weren't able to be left on the request?
Superintendent, you've had 30 days to comply with the records request, why did you wait until the last minute, the week before a holiday, to send me your request?
Waiting until the last minute is unprofessional, and highly inappropriate. Allow me to remind you, Madam Superintendent, you work for and are to serve the people of Wyoming, not the staff of Wyoming’s schools.
I look forward to your prompt response with the exact number of staff in Wyoming’s Public Schools, who would be in immediate danger if their names, salaries, and positions were released, AND, how many of those work directly with children on a daily basis.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year"