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News & Press: Montana News

Government, agencies must give specifics for closing meetings, court rules

Tuesday, April 3, 2018  
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Montana's government bodies and agencies must give some details about whose privacy rights they are protecting when justifying closing a meeting that would otherwise be open to the public, the state Supreme Court ruled.

Justices in a 5-0 decision Tuesday said that the Wolf Point School District Board of Trustees' explanation for closing a four-hour meeting to the public before firing a schoolteacher in 2015 was insufficient, the Associated Press reports.

Teacher Kristine Raap had waived her right to privacy to keep the meeting open, but the board closed it anyway and prohibited her from recording it. The board cited the privacy rights of unnamed individuals who were not in attendance as justification for the closure.