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Canfield parent files lawsuit against school board

Published: Wed, November 2, 2011 @ 12:07 a.m.

By christine keeling



A Canfield parent has asked a court to compel the school board to turn over public records.

Melissa Hyde filed a lawsuit Monday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court seeking damages of $100 per day up to $1,000 from the Canfield school board for not fulfilling a public-records request seeking disciplinary and personnel records for a district employee in a timely fashion. Hyde is also requesting an injunction to prevent the destruction of public records by the board, as well as restitution for her costs.

Hyde states in her suit, that she has “good-faith concern for her daughter’s education and well-being because of past mistreatment by a teacher and coach at the school.”

She contends that many other students and parents have complained about the teacher, and the “school board is concealing this pattern” and the requested records, according to court documents.

Dante Zambrini, the district’s superintendent, said he was not aware of the suit but did know about the public records request filed by Hyde.

According to Hyde, her request was sent certified mail to Rich Archer, the school’s business manager Sept. 13 and sought the personnel file including salary and resume, plus all written communications and emails concerning student and family complaints regarding the teacher.

“The scope of the request was such that more time was needed [to fulfill it],” said Zambrini.

The district responded to Hyde in a Sept. 29 letter and stated it needed more time because some of the information being requested dated back to 2005.

Zambrini said every 90 days emails go into archive and must be retrieved by the company that houses the data. He said he received three disks containing some information Monday, but the district is still in the process of gathering everything requested.

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