In an investigative report regarding one Dallas parent’s quest to obtain access to a video showing her 8-year-old son being assaulted by a school aide, CBS Texas featured an interview with Jackson Walker partner Paul C. Watler as he discussed open records laws and the obligations of Texas school districts to provide access to public information.
As a Board Member of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, Paul shared that while Texas schools are required to provide parents prompt access to video when their child is a victim of an alleged crime or abuse, the law does not provide an exact amount of time that schools have, which can open the door to delays.
“It is vague, and it does allow some flexibility, some room for interpretation,” Paul stated. “It does depend on the circumstances.” He added that, “The key for parents is to know their rights and to be persistent about pursuing those rights.”
Paul is a board-certified civil trial lawyer who is widely recognized for First Amendment, media law, “Bet-the-Company” cases, and commercial litigation. He has successfully represented numerous newspapers, television stations, media companies, websites, and journalists in libel, anti-SLAPP (Texas Citizens Participation Act), public information, invasion of privacy, copyright, news gathering, and commercial lawsuits.
Throughout his career, Paul has held leadership positions on the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas Board, the Dallas Bar Association Media Relations Committee, The University of Texas at Austin – Moody College of Communication Advisory Council, and the North Texas Public Broadcasting (KERA) Board.
For the full story, see “What are parents’ rights to school video of an incident with their child?” by CBS Texas. For related insights from Paul regarding access to public information, view the following articles:
- How We Fight Back When Officials Resist Releasing Information You Have a Right to Know — ProPublica
- Contempt of Court Hearing Scheduled for Fort Worth Mayor, Councilman Tied to Dean Trial — NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
- Texas Federal District Judge: Use of Drones for Newsgathering Protected by First Amendment – Jackson Walker
- Student Podcast Captivates While Rehashing Aftermath of Austin Serial Bombings – Jackson Walker
- Dallas Media Shines in Coverage of Amber Guyger Murder Trial – Jackson Walker
- Aligning Open Government Ideals With Law Enforcement Provisions – Jackson Walker