OKLAHOMA CITY – The ACLU of Oklahoma filed today an open records request seeking information on the Oklahoma City Public School proposal to close six district schools.
The following is attributable to Brady Henderson, ACLU of Oklahoma Legal Director: “These proposed closures appear to disproportionately impact schools in neighborhoods predominantly of color as well as schools that are major centers for students with disabilities and special needs. Before Oklahoma City’s School Board is asked to vote on the proposal on April 6, we must be certain that these closures are not targeting or unnecessarily impacting some of our most vulnerable students. Free and fair access to public education is one of our most cherished privileges as Oklahomans, as equal protection is one of our most important civil rights. We must ensure that the public can continue to trust in OKCPS’s commitment to these principles, and the key to that trust is transparency.”
The following is attributable to Allie Shinn, ACLU of Oklahoma Director of External Affairs: “The speed with which these closures are being proposed is troubling. Today’s record’s request is simply a declaration that not enough information is known. If we, in a democracy that places such emphasis on local control, are expected to make decisions about how our government behaves, we at the very least must have access to enough information to make such determinations. It is essential that the citizens of Oklahoma City know more before such a drastic and abrupt decision is made by their elected representatives. Clarity and transparency are an invaluable component of the democratic process--one our students, parents, and communities must be afforded.”
Due to the extremely time sensitive nature of this information, the ACLU of Oklahoma has requested the records be made accessible for viewing no later than March 31, 2017.