The Broward County School Board appealed to a Florida judge to hold the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in contempt of court over a recent article about the Parkland shooter, the paper itself reported Monday night.
The school board argued that the Sun Sentinel knowingly published information from a redacted report, defying a judge’s order to keep that information private.
After discovering that publicly published redacted file could be read in its entirety by copying it into another computer file, two Sun Sentinel reporters updated their piece to reflect all the information.
The article revealed details of how Nikolas Cruz, who was responsible for the deadly Parkland shooting, was denied mental health and other services he needed, as well as his history of behavioral issues. It also cited two instances where the school did not follow proper procedures to ensure Mr. Cruz received the necessary and requested special services.
The Sen Sentinel reporters noted that, according to the published report, the school’s actions were partially responsible to Mr. Cruz not receiving counseling or special education in the 14 months prior to the shooting.
The school board argued in court that The Sun Sentinel broke its on-the-record agreement that the information was protected by the law.
The Sun Sentinel’s Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson denied her paper did anything wrong.
Tom Julin, a lawyer experienced with representing newspapers, said the school has no grounds for its complaint.
“The problem is the School Board’s problem and not the Sun Sentinel’s,” Mr. Julin told the Florida paper, “The Sun Sentinel is entitled to publish the information that it lawfully obtained even if that information should have been redacted from the document that was released.
The Sun Sentinel posted the link to the file, which is still working. The Washington Times found it can still be read without redactions if copied into another computer application like TextFile, Notes, or Microsoft Word.
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