Bechtel files suit, alleges Dallemand invaded son's privacy
A Bibb County school board member has filed a lawsuit against Superintendent Dr. Romain Dallemand.
Court documents filed Monday in Bibb Superior Court reveal Bechtel alleges that Dr. Dallemand invaded student privacy rights by releasing information about Bechtel's son's education records. According to court documents, Bechtel accuses Dallemand of releasing private and confidential education records to the public on the district's website.
"What we're complaining about is just his son's information. There is information in the document that was disclosed that were linked to other students. But again, we're filing this on Mr. Bechtel's son's behalf as the parents and not in Mr. Bechtel's capacity as a board member. He is trying to protect the privacy of his child. Other parents may come forward who are interested in protecting the rights of their child as well," Bechtel's attorney Jerry Lumley told NewsCentral.
According to court documents, the Bechtel family also wants Dallemand to pay for damages for "injuries they have sustained to their peace, happiness and feelings."
Due to Georgia law, they're suing Dallemand personally, not professionally.
"Georgia law recognizes immunity for school officials in suits in their official capacity. Georgia law requires you to sue individuals in their personal capacity in cases like this," said Lumley.
A hearing has been scheduled for August 1st at 2:00. Bechtel's attorney is going to ask the court to enter a temporary restraining order to prevent doctor Dallemand from continuing to publish the information on the district's website.
A voicemail left at Dallemand's office requesting an interview has not been returned. Calls and emails to Gary Bechtel have also not been returned.
"Mr. Bechtel is obviously very disappointed and upset with Dr. Dallemand's decision to allow educational information about Mr. Bechtel's son to be published on the district's website. Dr. Dallemand as the superintendent of schools has the primary responsibility of all people to safe guard education records. It's really very disappointing that he chose not to," said Lumley.
NewsCentral will have more updates when information becomes available.