Sunshine Week puts spotlight on what N.C. government tries to hide


If a Florida parent wants to see the personnel file for their child’s public school teacher, the school would hand it over.

In North Carolina, that parent probably would be turned away, said media lawyer John Bussian, who represents Carolina Journal and other media outlets. 

That’s one reason North Carolinians should care about Sunshine Week — an annual initiative (running this year starting Monday) designed to raise awareness about the public’s right to know what happens behind government doors. Governments at all levels — federal, state, and local — owe taxpayers accountability and transparency. Guidelines intended to reinforce the First Amendment’s protections for free speech, freedom of the press, and the right to petition the government are enshrined in state open records and public meetings laws.

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