Public Records Tip of the Month

Below is the Public Records Tip of the Month, submitted by Diana Crawford, the school district’s Public Disclosure Officer. This month’s blog post focuses on working from home.

Working from home
Many of us need to conduct school-related work while we’re away from our work computers. Best practice would be to conduct that work on your district-issued laptop if you have one. If you need to “bring” documents home to your personal computer, consider using a flash drive to transfer work instead of emailing documents back and forth from work to home.
Gmail tip
Using district Gmail from your home computer, or using a Gmail app downloaded onto a personal cell phone set up with your OSD Gmail account, makes it convenient to send and receive district email in a way that doesn’t compromise personal privacy and is archived and searchable by the district.

Public Records Tip of the Month

Below is the first Public Records Tip of the Month, submitted by Diana Crawford, the school district’s Public Disclosure Officer. This month’s blog post focuses on public records on personal electronic devices and in personal email accounts.

The Washington State Supreme Court has recently ruled in Nissen v. Pierce County, 183 Wn.2d 863 (2015) that any records, including emails and text messages located on personal cell phones, personal computers and other personal devices or in private email accounts are “public records” if the employee created or received the records while acting in an official “Agency” capacity.

This ruling should be considered as an OSD employee, (teacher, para, support staff, coach or administrator) conducts OSD-related business on personal devices and in personal email accounts.

Examples where public records may be found on personal devices or email:

  • Personal cell phones:  Texts, PDF readers & Photos
  • Personal email accounts:  In Box, Sub folders, spam/junk folder, sent folder, deleted/trash folders
  • Personal computer:  desktop, subfolder, download folder
  • Other types of accounts: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
  • Other types of devices:  iPad or tablet, digital cameras

Using district Gmail on a home computer, or using a Gmail app downloaded onto a personal cell phone set up with an district employees’ Gmail could help to make it convenient to send and receive district email in a way that doesn’t compromise personal privacy and is archived and searchable by the district.