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April 22, 2024

(VIDEO) – Lisle CUSD 202 trying to play “Government Censor” –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On January 8, 2017


During its December 19, 2016, school board meeting, the Lisle CUSD 202 school board tried really hard at making school board videos difficult, when it could be as easy as simply placing the video on their website, make it available for download without restrictions, and forget about it.

Instead, this school board thinks they can exercise some type of control on how public records are being used and distributed – as if they can stop anyone from using it in a way they do not appreciate.

Has this school board forgotten who they work for?

The “purpose” of the video is fulfilled by placing it on the website. Trying to decide on whether or not to keep the videos online if other people use it in some way, is ridiculous – online or offline, it is a public record. Blocking video from being directly downloaded will not work, they will simply have to be provided under FOIA, creating more work for school staff.

Lisle CUSD 202 wasted 18 1/2 minutes of conversation – they can never get that time back.

Video is a “public record” (like meeting minutes, etc) and any attempt at keeping the public from downloading the videos will simply result in more time and expense of school district personnel to answer FOIA requests for copies of the video – which must be provided to the requester without restrictions on its use.

The Illinois Department of Transportation tried that with a spreadsheet of red-light cameras – only to be shot down by the Appellate Court, which said: “A fear of manipulation or misuse of the information is not an exemption under section 7 of FOIA upon which IDOT could justify withholding the unlocked version of the Excel spreadsheet. We decline to create such an exemption.” ¶ 35 FAGEL v. Department of Transportation, Ill: Appellate Court, 1st Dist., 1st Div. 2013. The FOIA requester in that case was awarded more than $12,000 and IDOT was ordered to provide the unlocked public record.

LISLE CUSD 202 appears to have a “fear of manipulation or misuse of the information” as is evident in the video clip below from their December school board meeting video. They cannot place any restrictions on the use of any public records, including meeting videos, and anyone can take any snippets from it, and rearrange any of the video parts to produce a completely different video if they like to.

Illinois School Districts cannot make anyone ask for permission to use it or for permission to chop it up and use it in any way they see fit.

A school district’s meeting video cannot use the “creator license” or “limitations on use” or any other restriction whatsoever. There are no limitations and a school district cannot copyright the meeting video for any reason(s).

The copyright notice makes Lisle CUSD 202 look less transparent by claiming that people have to ask them for permission to use this public record how they see fit. It is PUBLIC RECORD (the same as any other public records) where they can take it and edit it as they see fit. Do they copyright any of the paper documents coming out of the district? Now do you see how ridiculous this subject is?

Another video clip from Lisle CUSD 202 school board meeting video used without obtaining their permission:


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  • Dave
    Posted at 13:08h, 08 January

    In my opinion, they more likely fear exposure of their manipulation… just sayin’. Lisle CUSD 202 school images are publicly owned….

  • Dan
    Posted at 18:22h, 08 January

    Do you think they have any idea how stupid they sound?

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 18:30h, 08 January

      probably not

  • Warren J. Le Fever
    Posted at 09:34h, 09 January

    Citizens in that school district should be finding out what they are trying to hide. You would only go to that much effort if there is a reason to keep something away from the public.

  • Mark Kmiecik
    Posted at 10:25h, 09 January

    Don’t these guy read??? I would think they’re high priced legal help would tell them of the law??? What a bunch of fools.

  • Mike
    Posted at 11:19h, 09 January

    On a related note, some school districts and public bodies refuse to provide standard financial documents such as comprehensive annual financial reports, audit reports, annual financial reports, etc. that allow one to electronically search the document and / or utilize the copy and paste function.

    Their excuse is the documents could be altered.

    • Frank Rizzo
      Posted at 16:40h, 09 January

      If the school district or government entity in question has bonds outstanding then documents such as mentioned will probably be found as continuing disclosure here:

      A moderate degree of familiarity with financial terms is required to use the site and to locate and understand the documents posted there. Use of the site and the information posted there (which is required to be posted there to participate in the bond markets) is free subject to terms of use.

      • Frank Rizzo
        Posted at 22:26h, 09 January

        I failed to mention that to my knowledge all documents at the above site are electronically searchable. I have never accessed a document or report there that was not a PDF. They are all electronically searchable.

        For example view this page for

        Click on Financial Disclosures and select the CAFR or whatever else is listed.

        Fail to file the documents on time? There is a standard disclosure form to file for that too.

        Example: Lisle CUSD 202 apparently didn’t file on time in 2010.

        Failure to Provide Annual Financial Information
        Financial Operating Filing for the year ended 06/30/2010 posted 03/22/2011 (8 KB)

  • Stan
    Posted at 14:44h, 09 January

    Is there malpractice against attorneys, like physicians? There are several instances in Illinois Leaks stories recently where lawyers have advised public bodies incorrectly. Are they culpable for these errors?