HISD abandons absurd legal position on baseball stats
The Chronicle's Ericka Mellon reports that HISD has now backed away from its absurd legal contention that baseball stats are private, protected data under federal law:
The Houston Independent School District agreed Monday to release high school baseball players' statistics to a parent after a federal official confirmed the information can be made public.
HISD's attorney, Chris Gilbert, informed Scott Rothenberg that the district will give him the statistics for last year's Bellaire High School baseball team "as quickly as possible."
Rothenberg, whose two sons played on the team, requested the data in April and again in June under the Texas Public Information Act.
Gilbert informed Rothenberg last week that the district believed that statistics about individual players — such as their batting averages — were private under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The federal law protects student records such as grades and discipline history.
LeRoy Rooker, whose office oversees the law for the U.S. Department of Education, told Gilbert on Monday that the district can share the statistics if it wants to, Gilbert said.
"It was never the district's desire to keep this stuff private," Gilbert said. "This was just something we thought we had to do."
Well, you were wrong. But at least that conclusion was reached before a federal court smackdown of HISD's legal position was required.