BELLBROOK, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the decision that school records of former student Connor Betts, who killed nine people and injured 27 more in the 2019 Oregon District shooting are not required to be released.
Court News Ohio reported Thursday in a 6-1 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court said the Ohio Student Privacy Act (OSPA) prohibits the disclosure of student records without the written consent of an adult former student, and makes no exception if the former student died without giving consent. Justice Kennedy dissented from the opinion, saying the law applies only to students who currently attend school.
Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools released a statement Thursday about the ruling:
“We respect the law and the decision made by our courts, which made it clear that Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools should not release the records of a former student, Connor Betts. We have and will continue to take the safety of our students very seriously. As a public school district, our responsibility, first and foremost, is to our students and their families who should have confidence in us to protect all students and know that we will not turn over their confidential records without a court order or other clear legal authority requiring us to do so.”Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools
Media groups including The Associated Press argued the records could provide information on whether authorities properly handled warning signs from gunman Connor Betts. The Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools district said Betts’ records are protected by student privacy laws.