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TO:                 Superintendents of Schools, Private School Administrators, and Principals

FROM:           Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:            October 25, 2006

SUBJECT:     Responding to Requests for Copies of Crisis Management Plans

It has come to my attention that, as a result of recent acts of school violence in other states, the general public and members of the press are increasingly requesting copies of crisis management plans from local school administrative units.

Because portions of crisis management plans may fall within an exception to the definition of "public records" contained in Maine's Freedom of Access Act for "records describing security plans, security procedures, or risk assessments prepared specifically for the purpose of preventing or preparing for acts of terrorism, but only to the extent that release of information contained in the record could reasonably be expected to jeopardize the physical safety of government employees or the public," [1 MRSA, §402 (3)(L)], I urge you to consult with counsel to determine which portions, if any, of your crisis management plans fall under that exception.

If you determine that all, or a portion of, the plan is not a public record, I would encourage you to make available, as a public document, a description of your crisis management planning process, the hazards and emergency events addressed in the plan, and an outline of those portions of the plan the release of which would not jeopardize the physical safety of students, faculty, staff or the public.

Please make these generic plans available, both to the public upon request, and in the general office or building check-in area.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Harvey Boatman at the Department of Education at



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