Non-discrimination policies

Grace Raih filed this request with the Department of Education of Maine.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Grace Raih

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Maine Freedom of Access Act ("FOAA"), I hereby request the following records:

Any and all written documents that include, but are not limited to, policies, procedures, training manuals, talking points and slideshows that include the topic of non-discrimination or anti-bullying policies regarding LGBT identified students. This includes, but is not limited to, policies on the use of restroom and locker room facilities. Please limit this request to documents that were generated over the past two years as well as documents, such as policies, that are in effect now.

Any and all communications or questions requested from education institutions regarding the Department of Justice’ 2016 Joint Guidance on Transgender Students (“Dear Colleague Letter”) or Trump’s 2017 “Dear Colleague Letter”. For reference, these letters are available at the following URLs respectively: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201605-title-ix-transgender.pdf https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/941551/download

Any and all records, reports or documents sent to districts that regard student sexual health education.

Finally, I request any and all memos, letters, policies and guidelines sent to schools in the last five years that outline policies regarding transgender or gender non-conforming students. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of restroom and locker room facilities.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by 1 M.R.S.A. § 408(6). The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Grace Raih

From: Ford-Taylor, Pamela

Dear M. Raih,

Thank you for your email we received on April 11, 2017, in which you request certain documents under 1 M.R.S.A. § 408-A, Maine’s Freedom of Access Act (“FOAA”). This letter constitutes official acknowledgement and response to your request.

You request a copy of the following documents:

· Any and all written documents in effect now and/or generated over the last two years that include, but are not limited to, policies, procedures, training manuals, talking points and slideshows that include the topic of non-discrimination or anti-bullying policies regarding LGBT identified students, including but not limited to policies on the use of restroom and locker room facilities.

· Any and all communications or questions requested from education institutions regarding the Department of Justice’ 2016 Joint Guidance on Transgender Students (“Dear Colleague Letter”) or Trump’s 2017 “Dear Colleague Letter,” referenced at: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201605-title-ix-transgender.pdf and https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/941551/download.

· Any and all records, reports or documents sent to districts that regard student sexual health education.

· All memos, letters, policies and guidelines sent to schools in the last five years that outline policies regarding transgender or gender non-conforming students, including but not limited to the use of restroom and locker room facilities.

We will begin reviewing our files for records that are responsive to your request. We will withhold any records that are not subject to FOAA, including but not limited to personnel matters, student privacy, other confidential matters, and records unrelated to the transaction of state business. We will provide statutory references as a basis for any redactions or denials of records when a final decision is made.

We do require a reasonable period to go through our records to determine when we may be able to provide any responsive documents. Once we make this determination, we will provide you with a good faith, non-binding estimate of the time and cost of complying with your request. Please note that with the current legislative session the normal operation of our office will require significant time dedicated to legislative and policy matters. Your request will be processed in the ordinary course of business.

Pamela Ford-Taylor, M.S.
School Enrollment Specialist
FOAA Contact
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023
207-624-6617
Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov
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From: Ford-Taylor, Pamela

Dear M. Raih,

We have begun compiling documents responsive to your request for certain documents under 1 M.R.S.A. § 408-A, Maine’s Freedom of Access Act (“FOAA”). Per your request, we are limiting our search for documents in the first paragraph of your request to two years.

We are seeking clarification about the time frames requested for your request in the third and fourth paragraphs: “Any and all records, reports or documents sent to districts that regard student sexual health education” and “any and all memos, letters, policies and guidelines sent to schools in the last five years that outline policies regarding transgender or gender non-conforming students.” If not limited to two years, these will be very time-consuming and voluminous searches, taking 3 months or more to complete. We charge $15.00 per hour of staff time necessary to respond to your request beyond the first hour as permitted by law. If you would like copies of the documents, we will charge $0.10 per page. If you would like the electronic copies of the records mailed, we will require payment of the actual cost of mailing only but the electronic records contained on CD will be free of charge pursuant to FOAA law. As long as the file size is not too large we can send you the records via email.

Please let me know if you would like to alter the scope of your request, and how you would like to proceed.

Regards,

Pamela Ford-Taylor, M.S.
School Enrollment Specialist
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023
207-624-6617
Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov
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From: Grace Raih

Good morning,

Thank you for this information, I really appreciate it. In order to narrow the scope and not burden your agency I would like to limit my response. For the third and fourth bullet, please limit the request to the past two years. I hope this is helpful.

Thank you,

Grace Raih

From: Ford-Taylor, Pamela

Dear M. Raih,

We have begun compiling records responsive to your FOAA request. Our good-faith, non-binding time estimate is June 19.

In regards to cost, we charge $15.00 per hour of staff time necessary to respond to your request beyond the first hour as permitted by law. If you would like copies of the documents, we will charge $0.10 per page. If you would like electronic copies of the records mailed, we will require payment of the actual cost of mailing only but the electronic records contained on CD will be free of charge pursuant to FOAA law. As long as the file size is not too large we can send you the records via email. Our non-binding cost estimate for this request is $90 for staff time only.

Once the records are compiled, I will contact you to schedule an agreeable time for you to review them. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.

Regards,

Pamela Ford-Taylor, M.S.
School Enrollment Specialist
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023
207-624-6617
Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov
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From: Ford-Taylor, Pamela

Dear Ms. Raih,

This email is to notify you that we have completed compiling and reviewing the FOAA documents requested per your revised email on April 21, 2017. The cost for the compilation and review is $90. The documentation and invoice are attached/relayed with this email. If you would like paper copies of the documents, we will charge $0.10 per page. If you would like the electronic copies of the records mailed, we will require payment of the actual cost of mailing only but the electronic records contained on CD will be free of charge pursuant to FOAA law. Please let me know if you would like to receive the documents in a different format.

There are several parts to our response:

First, a pdf file is attached (Muckrock 6-7-2017) which contains communications between the Department of Education and schools/districts responsive to your request. Two items were redacted from these communications: on page 46 we removed a personal email and phone number, and on page 154 we removed the school and contact identifying information.

Second, attached is a pdf copy of the publication Leading the Way on Controversial issues and its addenda in separate files. This publication is referred to in some of the communications above as attachments.

Finally, some of the documents are available online. Below is a list of linked references related to policies and/or resources currently in place and referenced in the last two years.

http://www.maine.gov/doe/bullying/index.html

http://www.maine.gov/doe/healthed/index.html

http://www.maine.gov/doe/healthed/areas/family.html

https://www.maine.gov/doe/healthed/resources/key-concepts.rtf

https://mainedoenews.net/2016/04/13/feedback-a-valuable-teaching-strategy-for-health-education-and-physical-education-part-2/

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/Statutes/22/title22sec1908.html

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/Statutes/32/title32sec3292.html

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/5/title5sec19203.html

http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/5/title5sec19203-A.html

http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/5/title5sec19203-D.html

http://www.mainefamilyplanning.org/image_upload/abortion%20care%20-%20minors%20rights%20card.pdf

http://www.mainefamilyplanning.org/page/2-1012/bestpracticescurriculum

Please call or email if you have specific questions regarding any of the above.

Pamela Ford-Taylor, M.S.
School Enrollment Specialist
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023
207-624-6617
Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov<mailto:Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov>
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