Ohio AG Yost supports media lawsuit for Dayton shooter’s school records

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost LISA POWELL / STAFF
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost LISA POWELL / STAFF

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a brief in a lawsuit filed by media outlets against Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools to release student records of Dayton shooter Connor Betts.

Yost argues in the amicus brief that federal and state student privacy laws do not apply in this case and the documents should be made public through Ohio’s open records law.

Related: Bellbrook-Sugarcreek schools fight release of shooter's records

The school district’s interpretation of the federal Family Education Right to Privacy Act, also known as FERPA, conflicts with U.S. Department of Education guidance that such privacy protections expire upon a student’s death, Yost argues in the 15-page amicus brief filed in the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Greene County.

Yost also argues that Ohio’s Student Privacy Act doesn’t provide more protection than FERPA.

Betts, who killed nine and injured 27 people in a mass shooting Aug. 4, graduated Bellbrook High School in 2013.

The Dayton Daily News and WHIO-TV, along with CNN, ABC News, The New York Times, WCPO-TV, the Cincinnati Enquirer and other news agencies, have sued the school district and Superintendent Doug Cozad, to compel the district to release Betts’ student records.

The district maintains that it needs consent from the student or parents before releasing education records.

Yost, a Republican, is a former news reporter and former county prosecutor.