Other (indicate in message) Submitted: February 15, 2019 | Updated: February 26, 2019

(Follow Up) New request – Haywood County Schools

I previously made a request for the name for two teachers hired at North Canton Elementary and the hire dates. Your response was that I had to give a name in order for you to process this request. That information is false and no statute or name must be given for a public records request. In fact, a person does not even need to be a resident of North Carolina to initiate a public records request. Can your custodian of records provide a statute stating where a name must be given and a reason for denial of a State Law?
Haywood County Schools is a public school in North Carolina and is funded by tax money. Even the department of education releases names, certification areas, and dates of certification right on their website with absolutely no information given from the person inquiring. Your own district, through each school’s website, posts the names of faculty members.
I would now like to add to the list for my public records request. I would like the name and position of every employee hired at North Canton Elementary school since August 2018. I would also like to request the name of the science teacher hired in February 2019 at Canton Middle School. In addition, can you please provide the policy for not interviewing a certified and highly qualified teacher for positions they have applied to and that are currently still available. All of this information is in the public’s interest as it relates to equal employment opportunity.

Editor’s Note: Please note that related to the previous requests for Haywood County, Pisgah, and Tuscola schools info referenced, we sent numerous emails asking for clarification from Patrick Smathers about any part of NC Public Records Law, or specific school policy, that requires a person’s name to be given with the request. We have yet to receive a satisfactory clarification.

[Denied] https://www.sunshinerequest.com/records_request/haywood-county-schools-certification/
[Denied] https://www.sunshinerequest.com/records_request/pisgah-high-school/
[Denied] https://www.sunshinerequest.com/records_request/tuscola-high-school/

It is possible we will get a similar response to this new request, but we will send it in, and post any results we receive. Once Mr. Smathers can clarify whether it’s necessary to provide a name, we’ll be happy to provide one of ours if that will help fulfill the request.

Please note that on the Haywood County request, in our last email to Patrick we stated that, “For future reference – When we do inevitably receive requests on our site for info. related to Haywood County, Canton, or Waynesville as relates to your office, we will be asking for the same clarification about policy or statute, and from there we will be happy to provide a name to associate with the request, once we’ve received clarification.”

Editor’s Note: Sunshine Request makes no claim as to the veracity of any statements or information contained in any of the requests, or public records, we receive.

Status: Clarification Requested

Activity:

  • February 26, 2019 5:29 pm

    2 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <records@sunshinerequest.com>
    to: Patrick Smathers <pat@smatherslaw.com> cc: Bill Nolte <nolte@haywood.k12.nc.us>
    date: Feb 26, 2019, 5:29 PM
    subject: Re: Records Request: (Follow Up) New request – Haywood County Schools

     

    Hi Patrick,

     

    Our reply here is the same as it has been –

     

    Respectfully, we are aware of your previous emails and the response that you gave. We’ve asked several times for what we feel strongly is a reasonable request for clarification, specifically about your comment that you “… will be pleased to respond to this “person’s” request upon identification, or upon further documentation that a computer application is a “person” as defined by the statute.”

     

    The answer you have repeatedly provided is not satisfactory, as it does not answer what is being requested. This has caused duplication of our team’s efforts, as well as yours, to have to send and respond to emails requesting the same information more than once, but with no different end result. We received no additional clarification from you that answers where this info. comes from. And, I imagine this is likely the reason the user submitted another new request to our site, asking us to get that clarification on their behalf as well.

     

    We are not aware of any NC Public Records Laws, statutes, policies, or otherwise, that say a name must be provided in order to fulfill requests, or one that defines a “person”, or that someone submitting a request must identify themselves as a “real person”. And yet, you say that such policy or statute exists and there is someplace in public records law that we should refer to. We will be happy to provide a name in order to have the request fullfilled, once it is clear that this is necessary.

     

    Kindly let us know exactly where that information comes from, and we will be happy to post this on our website so the sender is clear as to why their current, or future, requests to HC Schools have been / or may not be answered.

     

    We will almost certainly receive more requests related to HC Schools in the future, and it would be greatly appreciated if we can point to the statute or policy which would require us to provide a name to get the requests fulfilled.

     

    Thank You,
    Sunshine Request


    Status: Clarification Requested
  • February 26, 2019 4:48 pm

    2 months ago

    from: Patrick Smathers <pat@smatherslaw.com> to: Sunshine Request <records@sunshinerequest.com>
    cc: Bill Nolte <nolte@haywood.k12.nc.us>
    date: Feb 26, 2019, 4:48 PM
    subject: Re: Records Request: (Follow Up) New request – Haywood County Schools

     

    Please refer to my previous responses, and the Public records law. thank you


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • February 26, 2019 4:26 pm

    2 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <records@sunshinerequest.com>
    to: Bill Nolte <nolte@haywood.k12.nc.us>
    cc: Patrick Smathers <pat@smatherslaw.com> date: Feb 26, 2019, 4:26 PM
    subject: Records Request: (Follow Up) New request – Haywood County Schools

     

    Good Afternoon Haywood County Schools,

     

    We received another request to our website for info that may be available in your office (message details further below).

     

    Sunshine Request (www.sunshinerequest.com) is a website we built (we’re in Asheville, NC) to promote government transparency by making it easier for Citizens to make public records requests, as well as learn about the records process. We do not ask for identifying info to be provided by site users in order for us to send their request. We’re happy to provide our name on their behalf, when it’s clear there is a policy that requires this information. We serve as a proxy between the sender and the government by sending the requests / follow ups on the sender’s behalf, and posting the results publicly on our site for anyone to see.

     

    In our previous emails related to 3 requests involving Haywood County Schools (Listed here: Haywood County Schools certification, Pisgah High School, and Tuscola High School) we asked Patrick Smathers for further clarification on the policy or statute referenced that would require us to provide a name in order for HCS to fulfill a public request––specifically, this request related to his comment that “We will be pleased to respond to this “person’s” request upon identification, or upon further documentation that a computer application is a “person” as defined by the statute.” We did not receive that clarification for users on our site to reference, and are still wondering what policy or statute is it that defines a “person”, or requires a person to provide their name / proof they’re “real.” Without that clarification, those requests have been “Closed”.

     

    We’d like to make sure we have the most accurate info possible for users on our site that makes clear how we should address requests specifically related to Haywood County Schools in the future. Not only does this save our team and users of our site time asking questions, but also we’re sure this can save staff time for HCS and Patrick Smathers when answering requests. To our knowledge, NC Public Records law does not require a person’s name or info be given to fulfill a request, but if this is incorrect, please let us know! We’d greatly appreciate if you please cite exact school policy or records law statute that requires this info, and we’ll be happy to provide one at time. As we continue to receive requests related to HC School system, we’ll continue to ask for clarification on these policies, until that info. Is received.

     

    We appreciate your time and assistance with the request!
    Sunshine Request

     

    The purpose of this email is to pass along the new request. Here are the details:

     

    Editor’s Note: Sunshine Request makes no claim as to the veracity of any statements or information contained in any of the requests we receive.

     

    Subject: “(Follow Up) New request – Haywood County Schools”

     

    Message: “I previously made a request for the name for two teachers hired at North Canton Elementary and the hire dates.
    Your response was that I had to give a name in order for you to process this request. That information is false and no statute or
    name must be given for a public records request. In fact, a person does not even need to be a resident of North Carolina to
    initiate a public records request. Can your custodian of records provide a statute stating where a name must be given and a
    reason for denial of a State Law?

     

    Haywood County Schools is a public school in North Carolina and is funded by tax money. Even the department of education releases names, certification areas, and dates of certification right on their website with absolutely no information given from the person inquiring. Your own district, through each school’s website, posts the names of faculty members. I would now like to add to the list for my public records request:

     

    – I would like the name and position of every employee hired at North Canton Elementary school since August 2018.
    – I would also like to request the name of the science teacher hired in February 2019 at Canton Middle School.
    – In addition, can you please provide the policy for not interviewing a certified and highly qualified teacher for positions they have applied to and that are currently still available?

     

    All of this information is in the public’s interest as it relates to equal employment opportunity.”

     

    Thank you for your help!

     

    Have a good evening,
    Sunshine Request


    Status: Sent to Government
  • February 15, 2019 6:38 pm

    3 months ago

    Submitted to Sunshine Request
    Status: Pending