The Daily Tar Heel files appeal for public records ruling

Update (12:03 p.m.): The University has commented on the appeal. “We believe Judge Baddour already ruled correctly in this case by affirming the University’s responsibility to protect the privacy rights and educational records of all students. We look forward to presenting the University’s arguments and evidence during the appeal process and bringing this case to a fair conclusion," Vice Chancellor of Communications Joel Curran said in a statement.

The Daily Tar Heel filed an appeal of the Superior Court judge’s ruling on May 3 that UNC is not required to provide public records for students or employees found responsible for rape or sexual assault through the University's procedures.

Allen Baddour, a Wake and Orange County judge, had ruled on the State Human Resources Act that employees are protected from having their information released to the public, and that federal law overrides state law in protecting student’s records.

The appeal was filed alongside The Capital Broadcasting Company, the Charlotte Observer Publishing Company and The Durham Herald Company.

Betsy O’Donovan, the executive director at The Daily Tar Heel, said in a statement that North Carolina students and parents have the right to know who is responsible in cases of sexual assault or rape.

“We are appealing this decision because the question of whether and which records are available for public scrutiny is not the privilege of university employees,” O’Donovan said. “Our democratically elected legislators are responsible for public safety. They wrote North Carolina's open records laws, and they have already answered this question."

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