An Arizona school has been rebuffed in its efforts to obtain a court ruling that it doesn’t have to provide access to public records to district residents and has been ordered to pay attorneys’ fees to those it sued.

The case came out of arguments in the Congress Elementary School District in Arizona, where officials objected to the number of public records requests – several dozen – submitted by various parents and community members.

The district sued the parents to obtain a court ruling that officials would not have to provide access to records but was turned backed by the Arizona Court of Appeals. The court not only said the request really didn’t make much sense but that the school must pay attorneys’ fees and costs to the defendants.

The Goldwater Institute, which represented the parents, said the appellate decision matched the conclusion reached earlier by a district court.

“Hopefully, district officials will stop trying to silence these women and instead will start following the law,” said Clint Bolick, the litigation director for the organization.

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