Oklahoma’s two major public universities will not disclose parking citation records containing student names, claiming they are educational records protected from disclosure by a federal privacy law.
But three open records experts said they believe the records are public under the state’s Open Records Act because committing a parking violation has nothing to do with a student’s education.
A Maryland appellate court used the same reasoning in 1997 when it unanimously ruled that the same records at the University of Maryland were open under that state’s public records law. (Kirwan v. The Diamondback, 721 A.2d 196, 27 Media L. Rep. 1399 (Md. Ct. App. 1998))
According to OSU policies, “Parking rules and regulations are enforced on campus by OSU Police Officers and OSU Parking Cadets.” Students, faculty, staff and campus visitors may appeal their citations.
- Oklahoma universities' parking ticket secrecy stirs questions, by Bryan Dean, The Oklahoman, 5.9.10.
- Are students' parking tickets public records? by Jenna Johnson, Campus Overload Blog, The Washington Post, 5.10.10.
- Common sense needed, Editorial, The Oklahoman, 5.15.10.