• Dennis McCaslin

Huntsville school district attorney files Answer to compliant, admits to violations of FOIA rules

The Huntsville School District and Board of Education has filed an Answer in response to an Amended FOIA Complaint filed by Joey McCutchen on behalf of Huntsville resident Ben Rightsell.

You can read the school district's Answer to the Amended Complaint by clicking this link:

Answer to Amended Complaint
Download PDF • 2.89MB

You can read the oriiginal Amended Complaint by clicking this link:

Amended Complaint
Download PDF • 18.70MB

The FOIA lawsuit partly arose from the Huntsville School Board's consideration of disciplinary action against male basketball players who repeatedly "baptized" other students in the locker room.

The term "baptism" refers to basketball players restraining other students while other players placed their genitals on or in the faces of the restrained students.

The Amended Complaint alleges at least nine FOIA violations in which the Board held meetings without notifying the press or recording the meetings.

In its Answer, the District admits that it held special meetings (in violation of FOIA) by either failing to give notice of the meetings to the media and failing to properly keep copies of the recordings.

A Motion to Strike was concurrently filed by the District seeking to remove portions of the Complaint that provide details about the sexual offenses committed against children in the District and the District's subsequent investigation.

McCutchen also recently filed a Title IX Complaint against the District alleging that the District knew about the sexual assaults and failed to promptly and properly conduct an investigation and stop the abuse.

"The Motion to Strike filed by the School District is nothing more than ink in the water. The District is simply trying to divert attention away from their multiple admitted Freedom of Information Act violations," said McCutchen. "The exhibits attached to the Amended Complaint do not provide any detailed information regarding children and identify any child by name. The report attached to the Amended Complaint was provided by the Huntsville School District to a large number of parents of potential victims."

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