La. Supt. John White Loses Lawsuit He Filed Against Citizens
On May 03, 2016, Louisiana state superintendent John White (“on behalf of the Louisiana Department of Education”) sued two private citizens, Michael Deshotels and James Finney, in order to get Louisiana’s 19th Judicial District Court (Baton Rouge) to tell Deshotels and Finney that the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) has the right to issue suppressed data (not actual counts) for certain variables if the actual counts fall below 10 “and any percentage of 0 or 100.”
The language of the suit is clear; White/LDOE sought the right to deliver suppressed data instead of actual counts:
Wherefore, your Plaintiff prays that the Defendants be cited and served with a copy of this petition, and that, after due proceedings had, there be judgment in favor of the Plaintiff, the Louisiana Department of Education, and against the Defendants, Michael R. Deshotels and James C. Finney, declaring that the Department’s suppression of the data in the Economically Disadvantaged and English Proficiency subgroups is compliant with state and federal law and not a violation of Louisiana Public Records Law (La. R.S. 44:1 et seq), for attorney’s fees and cost of these proceedings, and for all relief that is just and equitable.
The suit included no language to the effect of not being sure what to do. On the contrary, White/LDOE petitioned the Court to declare that LDOE was within its rights to suppress the data in question.
By filing for a declaratory judgment, LDOE agreed that the Court’s judgment would be the final word on the matter and that there would be no appeal. However, the language of the LDOE suit shows that LDOE sought (expected) a judgment in its favor. In other words, the goal of White/LDOE in filing for declaratory judgment La. Supt. John White Loses Lawsuit He Filed Against Citizens | deutsch29: