July 26, 1996

In re: Allen G. Breed/Pike County School System


This matter comes to the Attorney General on appeal from the Pike County School System's denial of Mr. Allen G. Breed's open records request for a list of the students taking part in the school system's Summer Youth Educational Training Program, a federally funded summer work program.

Mr. Bruce Hopkins, Director of Communications, Pike County School System, by letter, denied Mr. Breed's request, stating in relevant part:

Under KRS 61.878(1)(a), we are not permitted to disclose income levels of students or any other such information that would be considered an invasion of privacy under this statute.

In his letter of appeal, Mr. Breed states that he did not request a list of the students' income levels or specific financial information. He indicates that he requested a list of the students taking part in the summer work program, in which the students are being paid with public dollars to perform work for a public agency.

For the reasons which follow, it is the conclusion of this office that the System improperly denied the request for a list of the students participating in the summer work program. In OAG 88-50, this office, in addressing, in part, a request for the names of all students currently enrolled in an elementary school, stated:

This office has dealt with the privacy exception to the public inspection of documents on many occasions. While we have recognized that many things about public employees may be withheld, we have consistently said that names of public employees are matters of public record. Probably the least private thing about any particular person is his name. Thus we believe that the names of persons attending a public elementary school are matters of public record. This would also apply to those schools receiving federal funds as we find nothing in 20 USCA Sec. 1232g (Family educational and privacy rights) which prevents the disclosure of such information.

We believe that OAG 88-50, and the authorities cited therein, are controlling. A copy of OAG 88-50 is attached hereto and incorporated by reference. Accordingly, it is the decision of this office that the System incorrectly denied Mr. Breed's request for a list of the students participating in the summer work program. A list of the names of the students should be provided, if available, or the System should either prepare such a list or let Mr. Breed prepare his own list from System records in which excepted materials have been masked or separated. KRS 61.878(4); OAG 88-50.

A party aggrieved by this decision may appeal it by initiating action in the appropriate circuit court pursuant to KRS 61.880(5) and KRS 61.882. Pursuant to KRS 61.880(3), the Attorney General should be notified of any action in circuit court, but should not be named as a party in that action or in any subsequent proceeding.


A. B. Chandler III

Attorney General

James M. Ringo

Assistant Attorney General


Distributed to:

Allen G. Breed

Associated Press

P. O. Box 131

Pikeville, Kentucky 41501

Bruce Hopkins

Director of Communications

Pike County School System

P. O. Box 3097

Pikeville, Kentucky 41502