LIU12 to delete video recordings off Facebook this month

Meredith Willse
York Dispatch

This month, Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12 will begin deleting video recordings of their board meetings off Facebook.

Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12, or LIU12, provides educational programs such as ESL classes and special-need instruction countywide. Many districts also follow LIU12's lead in setting their own policies.

In a written statement, LIU12 Executive Director Jeff West said LIU began live steaming videos onto Facebook at the beginning of the pandemic to “enable the public to watch and participate in these meetings" while the board members participated via Zoom. When the board returned to in-person meetings, the LIU12 continued streaming the meetings on Facebook so the public could participate easier. 

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But West said the board did not intend the recordings would serve as public meeting minutes or records. For now, LIU12 will continue to stream the recordings on Facebook — but it will begin to delete those videos after the board approves the minutes at the next meeting.

The Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12 appointed Jeffrey West as its new executive director in January 2019. West is expected to begin in early spring.

In addition to deleting their videos, the LUI12 also encourages the school districts under its wing to do the same, according to West's statement. Any requests for the meeting minutes will result in a copy of the approved minutes in writing.

But disability and transparency advocates say the move toward getting rid of recorded meetings is counterproductive.

“From a public policy perspective, it doesn’t make a lot of sense," said Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, in a previous interview.

She noted that restricting video live streams and removing previous videos limits public access and could lead to more public records request from the public seeking basic information.

— Reach Meredith Willse at mwillse@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @MeredithWillse.

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