Denial of access

Eric Hamber Secondary School administration obstructs student newspaper’s FOI request 

The Vancouver School Board told a journalist from the student newspaper The Griffins’ Nest at Eric Hamber Secondary School in Vancouver that he needed permission from a teacher to submit a freedom of information request on behalf of the newspaper. 

A Griffins’ Nest journalist used a personal email account to submit an FOI request to the VSB. A school board FOI advisor responded to the request, asking whether the journalist was submitting the request as an individual or on behalf of the newspaper, and if they had school permission to make the request, according to emails published by the Griffins’ Nest. 

If the journalist was submitting the request on behalf of the paper, the advisor asked the journalist to confirm that the newspaper’s sponsor teacher had given permission for the request. 

EHSS administration had previously demanded that the newspaper seek permission before filing requests, or publishing or communicating anything on behalf of the newspaper.