Brechner News

Brechner Center Faculty and Research Associates Represented at National 2021 FOI Virtual Summit

Posted: September 23, 2021

Three University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information faculty and research associates will present at three sessions during the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) 2021 FOI Summit to be held virtually from Sept. 28-30. The virtual FOI Summit will include panel sessions and two hands-on training seminars. Sessions focus on FOI lessons learned from the pandemic along with presentations from the next generation of open government advocates and discussions on how to close the data gap in minority communities. Daniel Delgado, research associate, will participate in the “Data Desserts: How to Close Gaps…

Category: Brechner News
Tagged as: , , , ,

Frank LoMonte Comments on Lack of a Standard for Publishing Higher Ed Vaccination Data

Posted: September 7, 2021

Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, was quoted in “There’s No Standard Among Colleges’ COVID Vaccination Dashboards” published in The Chronicle of Higher Education on Sept. 2. The story focuses on the lack of consistency when publicizing vaccination rates at universities making it difficult to draw comparisons between institutions. According to LoMonte, when it comes to vaccination data, the more granular, the better. “If you are aggregating the data, then you can’t tell whether you need to do more catch-up work in educating the students or the faculty or the staff, and…

Category: College News
Tagged as: , ,

Frank LoMonte to Serve as Moderator for Constitution Day Webinar

Posted: August 30, 2021

Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director and co-chair of the American Bar Association Free Speech and Free Press committee, will serve as panel moderator for “How Free is the Free Press,” a virtual webinar on Constitution Day, Sept. 17 at 12:30 p.m. EDT. The webinar will focus on the First Amendment and current challenges and threats to freedom of the press in the U.S. Other topics include the arrest and harassment of reporters covering demonstrations, concerns raised by now two Supreme Court Justices about the need to reform libel…

Category: Brechner News
Tagged as: , , ,

Brechner Research Paper on School Disruption Laws is Focus of Crime Report Article

Posted: August 26, 2021

A research paper co-authored by Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, is referenced in “Does Criminalizing ‘Disruption’ in Schools Violate Free Speech” published in The Crime Report on Aug. 24. The article focuses on the questionable constitutionality of laws that make it a crime to speak “disruptively” on school premises or at school functions, without defining “disruption,” which leaves kids vulnerable to the whims of school police. In their research paper, LoMonte and UF law student and Brechner research assistant Anne Marie Tamburo, examined Masters v. Kentucky. The appellate…

Category: Brechner News
Tagged as: , , , , ,

Frank LoMonte Comments on Yearbook Censorship and Possible First Amendment Protection for Teaching Critical Race Theory

Posted: August 19, 2021

Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, is quoted in “Bigelow School Committed to ‘Cancel Culture’ by Censoring Yearbook Pages, Says Student Media Advocate” published on arkansasonline.com on Aug. 19. The article focuses on the removal of a 2020-2021 timeline from a high school yearbook featuring world-changing events that occurred during the academic year. According to LoMonte, “When you stifle discussion of current events, you stifle civic education, and there is unanimous national consensus that students are graduating with a deficit of civic knowledge.” “Basing a censorship decision on community…

Category: Brechner News
Tagged as: , , ,

Frank LoMonte Comments on Lawsuits Stemming from Bans on Teaching Critical Race Theory

Posted: August 17, 2021

Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, is quoted in “Taking Critical Race Theory Bans to Court” published in Real Clear Politics on Aug. 11. The article examines the lawsuits stemming from banning the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) in many states. The lawsuits focus on the scope of the First Amendment, whether the bans are too vague, whether racial discrimination played a role in the legislation development and if the bans abridge equal-protection rights. According to LoMonte, the principle of academic freedom guarantees ”some degree of autonomy for…

Category: Brechner News
Tagged as: , ,

Frank LoMonte Comments on Housing Authority Leadership Investigation

Posted: August 11, 2021

Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, is quoted in “Housing Authority Under Federal Investigation Before Top Leaders Removed” published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Aug. 11. The article focuses on the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority which was under federal investigation in the months leading up to the removal of the agency’s top two employees. LoMonte denounced the housing authority’s decision to shroud the reasons behind its leadership shakeup and said their secretiveness is likely to sow distrust among its employees and the public. “It’s a widely recognized…

Category: Brechner News
Tagged as: ,

Frank LoMonte Comments on Lawsuits Over Bans on Teaching Critical Race Theory

Posted: July 30, 2021

Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, is the author of “Lawsuits Over Bans on Teaching Critical Race Theory Are Coming – Here’s What Won’t Work and What Might” published in The Conversation on July 20. LoMonte questions if possible disciplinary action against teachers who include systemic racism in their curriculum is a violation of their First Amendment rights. According to LoMonte, “Whether K-12 educators have any legally protected right to choose how and what to teach is sure to be tested soon, now that the furor over teaching kids…

Category: Brechner News
Tagged as: ,

Frank LoMonte Comments on Restrictions on Health Care Workers Who Report Safety Issues to the Media

Posted: July 12, 2021

Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, is quoted in “Federal Speech Rulings May Embolden Health Care Workers to Call Out Safety Issues” published on the Kaiser Health News site on July 9. The article focuses on Maine Coast Hospital’s decision to fire an employee for giving information to the news media about staffing shortages and patient safety issues without the direct involvement of the hospital’s media office. On May 26, the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision issued last year…

Category: Brechner News
Tagged as: ,

Imani Jackson Authors Article on Florida High School Brain Injury Data Accountability

Posted: July 8, 2021

Imani Jackson, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information legal fellow and CJC doctoral student, is the author of “Who Will Take Ownership of Florida High School Football Concussion Figures” published in the Journal of Civic Information, Vol. 3, No 1 (June 2021). Jackson reviewed documentation of varsity football player concussions and sport-related traumatic brain injuries at dozens of Florida high schools. According to Jackson, “The paper explores the legal creation and deference due the Florida High School Athletic Association as a regulatory body for Florida’s student-athletes, the lived experiences of sport-related brain…

Category: Brechner News
Tagged as: ,

Frank LoMonte Comments on Supreme Court’s Decision to Protect Students’ First Amendment Rights on Social Media

Posted: June 30, 2021

Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, is the author of “The Supreme Court’s Cheerleader Decision Has Something to Frustrate and Disappoint Everyone” published on slate.com on June 25. In the column, LoMonte writes about the Supreme Court’s decision protecting students’ First Amendment rights on social media. He concludes that the decision was surprisingly favorable for student rights, giving some assurance that students can engage in commentary and criticism about their schools when they are off campus on personal time. However, he believes that the decision still leaves enormous questions…

Category: Brechner News
Tagged as: ,

Frank LoMonte Comments on Supreme Court Decision to Side with Cheerleader in Free Speech Case

Posted: June 24, 2021

Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, is quoted in “Supreme Court Sides with High School Cheerleader in Free-Speech Dispute Over Profane Snapchat Rant” published in The Washington Post on June 23. The article focuses on the Supreme Court’s new decision in favor of student First Amendment rights when using social media off campus. According to LoMonte, the decision left many questions unanswered, but he called it “surprisingly good.” “What’s really important about the decision is what the Court did not do,” said LoMonte. “The justices did not say that…

Category: Brechner News
Tagged as: ,