Neither side has made an on-the-record motion for what is known as a protective order, but an email string between Pater’s magistrate Ronald James and the attorneys indicates they wanted to have something in place that would allow them to file matters under seal.
“To clarify, neither party imminently intends to make a sealed filing,” one of the parents’ attorneys, James Miller, wrote. “We are negotiating a stipulated (proposed) protective order to facilitate discovery of confidential information.”
The school district maintains that information about the gun policy is confidential information that if released “would compromise the safety of students, staff and others on the property of Madison Local School District and compromise the school emergency management plan.”
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The attorneys were seemingly trying to come up with a proposed blanket order that would allow automatic sealing if they mark documents confidential or highly confidential. James sent Alex Ewing, counsel for the school district, an email Dec. 7 saying the court would take motions to seal on a case-by-case basis. Ewing sent the “executed protective order” to the court Dec. 11, which apparently prompted Pater’s order.
Pater wrote that “the court communicated that it would not ‘sign off’ on any agreed protective order simply because the parties agreed to it.”
Neither side would comment on the judge’s ruling.
Pater has yet to rule on the parents’ motion to pause the gun program while the lawsuit is pending.