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Moberly School District responds to attorney general complaint about recordings


The Moberly School District responded Wednesday to the Missouri attorney general's assertion that the district is breaking a new law that allows parents to record some private meetings with educators.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt sent a letter last week to the district telling officials that a form the schools required parents to sign before recording meetings about their children's individual education plans violated the new law, which took effect Aug. 28. Individual education plans lay out special accommodations to help some students learn.

"The form is used to help a parent provide notice to the district of their intent to record and is not a 'consent' form as indicated in the letter," the district said in the note posted on its website. "The form is consistent with a Missouri law that was recently enacted that allows parents to record certain meetings."

The district said it is working to balance state and federal prohibitions on recording in schools with the new state law allowing recording during the education plan meetings.

"The district recognizes and appreciates the Attorney General’s advocacy for parents. We look forward to engaging in an open dialogue with him to help him better understand the operations of a public school system and the rationale behind our efforts to balance multiple interests and comply with both state and federal law," the district wrote in its message.

One Moberly parent said she was disappointed in the district's defense of the forms. Nikki Soendker said she holds IEP meetings with school leaders with her son, Peyton. She said she felt the district was trying to "intimidate" parents into not recording the meetings by making them sign the forms.

"We have so much in this world that we already have to fight for," Soendker said. "Why is the district choosing to make one more obstacle for parents?"

The law's passage came after a long battle between some Columbia Public Schools' parents and the district over the right to record the meetings.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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