BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A college student from Baton Rouge who has clashed with the education department over its voucher program filed a public records lawsuit against Superintendent of Education John White.
Zack Kopplin, who attends Rice University, said White and the Department of Education have refused to provide documents he's sought about the voucher program and a law that allows public school science teachers to use supplemental materials in their classrooms.
Kopplin has criticized both the voucher program and the Louisiana Science Education Act as fostering the teaching of creationism to Louisiana students.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in state district court in Baton Rouge. It claims White and the Department of Education have repeatedly delayed responses to Kopplin's public records requests and deliberately slowed efforts to track down the records sought.
"The actions of the defendant were part of a custom, policy and practice to deny civil rights to similarly situated plaintiffs, specifically to deny persons seeking public information," the lawsuit says.
The education department suggested that the documents were ready for Kopplin to collect before the lawsuit was filed.
"We have the public records Mr. Kopplin has requested, and they are available for him to pick up at our office. To date, he has not responded to our invitation to do so," department spokesman Barry Landry said in a statement.
The lawsuit was assigned to state District Judge Wilson Fields.