The Wisconsin Supreme Court is to hear arguments in a case that could give school boards and other governmental bodies a way around the open meetings law.
The case up for argument Wednesday focuses on whether meetings of a committee created by employees of the Appleton Area School District to review books for use in a ninth grade class should have been open to the public.
More broadly the court will examine whether committees created in the same way that the one in Appleton was brought together allows them to be exempt from the law.
John Krueger, whose son attends the Appleton district, argued in a lawsuit that the review committee broke the state open meetings law by not posting a public notice of its meetings or allowing the public to attend. But the Waupaca County Circuit Court and state appeals court both sided with the district, setting up Krueger's appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Krueger raised concerns in 2011 about references to suicide and sex in the book "The Body of Christopher Creed" that students in a freshman communications arts class read. Krueger requested that an alternative class be offered that included books that had no profanity, obscenities or sexualized content.
Appleton's superintendent, Lee Allinger, asked two members of the district's department that handles curriculum and instruction to respond to Krueger's concerns. Those employees formed a 17-member committee including district administrators, teachers and staff to evaluate books used in the course.