Virginia school division refuses to accept FOIA request

Buckingham School Division, in Central Virginia, refused yesterday to take my contact information over the phone for a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request from the public body. The reason given was that the Buckingham County School Board has a policy that states in what form requests will be accepted.

I had asked the school board office on Monday of this week for information concerning the rate which is charged by the school administration for printing materials requested under the FOIA law.

I was told by a member of the administration that the price for photocopies of items was $0.35 per page.  I asked her if there was a record of the calculation used to determine that figure. She replied there wasn’t.

I then asked for FOIA-related information on how that price was calculated. This information is not covered under any of the sections of information prohibited from being released.

Since she had no answer, I informed her of my telephone number. The call ended at that time.

On Tuesday she called to tell me that the school board policy was that the request be written. I informed her that was not in accordance with the law. She refused any other contact information from me and told me she was referring me to the Superintendent, Cecil Snead.

Yesterday I called and left Superintendent Snead a voice mail. Your turn, Sir.

Watch this space.


Published by

Mark Brooks

Independent Journalist/Photographer --- Retired Land Surveyor originally from Colorado. USN Veteran. Involved as a citizen and journalist in politics and open government locally and sometimes statewide. Interests: photography, music, justice and equality for everyone.

2 thoughts on “Virginia school division refuses to accept FOIA request”

  1. Greetings.

    I have a FOIA form drafted in blank you might want to consider using.

    Keep up the good work. Open government is the only hope to root out backroom dealing and incompetence, or at least it is the best avenue we have. Jefferson was right. Trust the press more than the courts for justice. Unfortunately nowadays it is up to the citizen directly to do this job, what with lap dog feel good local press attitudes prevailing in small newspapers who don’t want to upset anybody locally.

    John Lane


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