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Curtis E. Sorrells v. Fort Smith School District and Fort Smith Public Schools Board of Education

School Board Meeting Notification form

Letter to Fort Smith School Board from Julie Llewellyn Ketcham

Newspaper Articles

October 18, 2015—School Board Needs To Hear Us

October 17, 2015—School Leaders Are Not Listening

September 22, 2015—Mascot Search Kicks Off

September 15, 2015—School Action Should Raise Flag

September 14, 2015—Longest-Serving School Board Member Challenged

September 9, 2015—Southside High School Mascot Panel Assembled

August 25, 2015—SHS Rebel Feud Fires Up Anew

August 25, 2015—Southside High mascot advocate urges district leaders to resign

August 22, 2015—SHS Grads Rebel Against Name Change

August 5, 2015—Lawyer: Mascot redo cost is $265,000

August 5, 2015—Attorney Questions SHS Mascot Costs

July 30, 2015—Fort Smith schools chief testifies in records case

July 30, 2015—Extension Granted In Mascot Suit

July 28, 2015—Rebel Yells Silenced

July 28, 2015—Rebel mascot, ‘Dixie’ ousted by Fort Smith School Board

July 27, 2015—Attorney Cries Foul Over SHS Mascot Vote

July 26, 2015—Fort Smith School Board to consider Southside mascot change Monday

July 26, 2015—150 rally to save Rebel mascot

July 25, 2015—Attorney Rallies Rebel Support

July 24, 2015—Fort Smith board accused of open-records law lapse

July 24, 2015—Principal To Head Mascot Panel

July 13, 2015—All Aboard With SHS Fight Song

Internet Articles

November 25, 2015—Fort Smith School Leader Calls FOIA Requests ‘A Witch Hunt’

November 24, 2015—Fort Smith School Millage Election Set For September

November 4, 2015—Southside Logo Confusion Addressed

October 27, 2015—Fort Smith School Board Backs New Mascot In 5-2 Vote

October 25, 2015—Fort Smith School Board To Consider Mascot Endorsement

October 22, 2015—Fort Smith School Board Member Wants Meetings Streamed Online

October 13, 2015—School-mascot panel picks Mavericks

October 13, 2015—‘Mavericks’ To Replace Southside Rebel Mascot

October 8, 2015—Letter: Stay Civil, Respectful Despite Disagreements

October 6, 2015—Mavericks Lead As Southside Mascot Replacement

September 30, 2015—Charter school gets Fort Smith board approval

September 29, 2015—Southside High School Rebel Nickname Rebuffed

September 21, 2015—Group meets to begin selection of new Southside High School mascot

September 21, 2015—Fort Smith School Committee ‘Successful,’ Leader Says

September 20, 2015—Board members ousted, but Southside mascot change proceeds

September 18, 2015—Southside Mascot Panel To Convene Monday

September 17, 2015—Newly elected school board members talk mascot change, charter school

September 16, 2015—Hanesworth, Gilkey defeat incumbents in Fort Smith School Board election

August 25, 2015—Fort Smith Rebel Wrangle Sparks New, Familiar Voices

August 21, 2015—Opponents of Fort Smith mascot change hold press conference

August 21, 2015—RAW: “Save Our Rebels” press conference

August 5, 2015—Attorney Questions Cost For Fort Smith School Mascot Conversion

August 5, 2015—Fort Smith District puts mascot redo costs at about $265K minimum

August 4, 2015—Attorney Attacks Transparency Of School Board In Southside High School Decision

August 4, 2015—Attorney says costs to change rebel mascot higher than officials estimated

July 28, 2015—Fort Smith schools consider ending Rebel mascot, ‘Dixie’

July 28, 2015—Southside High’s Dixie And Rebel Mascot Ban Impacts Local Businesses

July 27, 2015—Attorney Cries Foul Over Fort Smith School Mascot Vote

July 27, 2015—Arkansas board votes to end Rebel mascot, ‘Dixie’ song

July 24, 2015—Fort Smith Attorney Rallies Rebel Support

July 24, 2015—‘Rally for the Rebels’ draws emotional pleas, criticism of Rebel flag use

July 23, 2015—Fort Smith Attorney Plans ‘Rebel’ Rally Before Mascot Vote

Court Filings

Third Amended Complaint—September 2, 2015

Order Denying Plaintiff Motion for Extension of Discovery Deadline—September 1, 2015

Reply to Response in Opposition to Motion for Extension of Discovery Deadline—August 26, 2015

Response In Opposition To Plaintiff’s Motion For Extension of Discovery Deadline—August 21, 2015

Motion for Extension of Time—August 18, 2015

Seconded Amended AFOIA Compaint and Request for Hearing—July 23, 2015

AFOIA Complaint and Request for Hearing—July 23, 2015

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request #1 – Documents Released by the Fort Smith School District on July 7, 2015

1. Minutes from the Regular School Board Meeting June 22, 2015.

FSSD – These documents are working papers only and have not been approved as a record of the meeting.

2. Agenda for the June 22,2015 Regular School Board meeting.

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3. Any and all notices sent out regarding the Regular School board Meeting on June 22,2015.

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4. Any and all notices sent out of any meeting of the Fort Smith School Board that occurred on June 22, 2015 before the Regular School Board meeting.

FSSD – See No. 3 above

5. Any and all minutes of any meeting that occurred on June 22,2015 of the Fort Smith School Board before the Regular School Board meeting.

FSSD – See No. 1 above

6. Any and all notices that were sent out to the public regarding the evaluation of Dr. Benny Gooden, which occurred on June 23, 2015.

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7. Any and all notices that were sent out to the public regarding a Committee of the Whole of the Fort Smith School Board on June 23, 2015 to discuss the song “Dixie” as the Southside High School fight song and to discuss the Southside High School mascot.

FSSD – See No. 6 above

8. Any and all minutes from the June 23, 2015 meeting in which the Fort Smith School Board convened as a Committee of the Whole and passed a motion to stop using “Dixie” as the Southside High School fight song in the 2015-2016 school year and to change the Southside mascot from the Rebel in the 2016-2017 school year.

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9. Any and all emails documents, letters, or other correspondence between Forth Smith School Board members and Staff of the Fort Smith Public Schools, which mentions or otherwise discusses the song “Dixie” as the Southside High School fight song and/or the Southside High School mascot.

FSSD – No such documents exist to the best of my knowledge and belief.

10. Any and all notices sent out to the public regarding the Committee as a Whole meeting that was held on June 15, 2015.

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11. Minutes of the Committee as a Whole on June 15, 2015.

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FOIA Request #2 – Documents Released by the Fort Smith School District on July 30, 2015

1. Any and all copyright requests or related items for adopting a new fight song or school mascot and all arrangement fees any other documents relating to the fight song at Southside High School. This request includes all costs related to items.

FSSD – Enclosed are invoices reflecting costs associated with selecting a possible fight song, securing appropriate arrangements and checking copyright status of the work.

2. Any and all bills, payments, invoices and summations or any other documentation for uniforms at Southside High School paid for by any part taxpayers dollars in the 2013/2014, 2014/2015 and 2015/2016. This includes, but is not limited to, uniforms for cheerleaders, Dixie Belles, band, all athletic teams and all extracurricular activities at Southside High School; this request relates to such uniforms which will have to be changed as a result of the School Board votes regarding the changing of the mascot and
fight song.

FSSD – Enclosed are purchase orders and invoices for uniform apparel which may need to be replaced as part of the transition to a new mascot. Some invoices may include items which are annual purchases and will not be affected by a mascot change.

Our office received over 500 pages of documents.

3. The cost in the past and the current and/or future estimated cost and any and all supporting documentation relating to the football field at Southside High School, including but not limited to the end zone, mid-field turf, the tunnel entrance to the football field and any other costs related to the football field at Southside High School. These requests, including any and all summaries prepared by the Fort Smith Public School District since the 2013/2014 school year to present. The request includes such costs for concession stands, press boxes, ticket booths and associated structures.

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4. The cost in the past and the current and/or future estimated cost and any and all supporting documentation relating to changing the field house floor, other gyms at Southside High School, practice facilities, weight rooms and other facilities.

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5. The cost in past and in the current and/or future estimated cost of parking passes distributed to teachers, staff members and students.

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6. All correspondence sent to teachers, staff members and any other person or organization relating to the change of school mascot, relating to cost of replacing such items and related issues and the replies of said individuals or organizations.

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7. Any compilation of information related to costs of changing the Southside mascot.

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8. Any correspondence with private donors, Fort Smith Board of Directors or other community members related to the change of the mascot and/or cost of the change.

FSSD – To the best of our knowledge and belief there is no correspondence in this category.

9. Any correspondence whatsoever, including but not limited to emails, letters, texts or social media to any person or entity relating the process which will be followed when implementing changes relating to the mascot and fight song at Southside High School.

FSSD – We do not believe that any process correspondence is available.

10. Any costs and or estimated costs or compilations and supporting documentation provided by SHS Principal Wayne Haver on or after June 23, 2015 relating to changing the SHS mascot or fight song.

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11. Any cost in past and the current and/or future estimate costs and all supporting documentation to replace banners at SHS relating to the change of the mascot and fight song.

FSSD – No documents exist…Estimated cost $500 per team banner.

12. Any and all documentation relating to changing the Southside mascot or fight song whether sent or received by the Fort Smith School District.

FSSD – See pages 001 thru 005

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13. Any and all documentation whatsoever of where the money will come from related to the change of the SHS mascot and fight song.

FSSD – No documentation exists in this category.

14. Also, please update the response to the FOIA request which you initially responded to on July 7, 2015, including but not limited to the final minutes of the June 23, 2015 school board meeting.

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FOIA Request #3 – Documents Released by the Fort Smith School District on August 7, 2015

1. All Fort Smith School District Policies and Procedures that confirm, address or mention “Committee of the Whole” or similar concept of suing all school board members as an independent committee.

FSSD – References to Board of Education committees are contained in section BDE of Policies of the Board of Education. A copy of this section which was previously provided in a previous response to your FOIA request is enclosed. Multiple committees/committee members acting together comprise a “Committee of the Whole.”

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2. All legal opinions, legal memorandum. legal letters or other documents from legal counsel of the Fort Smith Public School district to the Fort Smith School District or Fort Smith School Board that confirm, mention, address or discuss the “Committee as a Whole” or a similar concept of using all school board members as an independent committee.

FSSD – To the best of my knowledge and belief, no such opinions, memorandums, legal letter or other such documents exist.

FOIA Request #4 – Documents Released by the Fort Smith School District on August 10, 2015

Statement of Record, August 10, 2015, School District Lawyer Refusing to Produce Dr. Benny Gooden for Deposition.

1. All Policies and procedures of the Fort Smith Public Schools Board of Education excluding the student behavior policies and procedures sections.

FSSD – We have enclosed policies and procedures on regular board meetings and special board meetings. Please refer to FortSmithSchools.org for additional policies.

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2. Any and all billing, invoices or other documentation of billing submitted by Mitch Llewellyn or the law office of Thompson & Llewellyn, P.A. from January 2015 to August 6, 2015.

FSSD – These invoices are enclosed. Personally identifiable information relative to students have been redacted in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

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FOIA Request #5 – Documents Released by the Fort Smith School District on August 14, 2015

1. Any and all billing, invoices, or other documentation of billing submitted by Mitch Llewellyn or the law office of Thompson & Llewellyn, P.A. that has not been provided from the early request on August 6, 2015.

FSSD – No additional invoices have been submitted subsequent to the response provided on August 10, 2015 in response to your request of August 6, 2015. The District is billed monthly.

2. Any and all billing, invoices, or other documentation of services, including letters, phone calls, or otherwise provided by Mitch Llewellyn or the law office of Thompson & Llewellyn, P.A. on behalf of the Fort Smith Public School District on July 28,2015, whether such services were billed or not relating to Sorrells vs. Deanie Mehl, et al. or the Southside High School mascot/fight song change. If there was not a billing submitted please indicate the amount of time that was spent on said services.

FSSD – To the best of my knowledge and belief, there are no documents in my possession which contain the information requested.

September 2015 billing from Mitch Llewellyn of the law office of Thompson & Llewellyn, P.A. on behalf of the Fort Smith Public School District for services billed related to the Sorrells v. Fort Smith Public School District

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(McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm will post additional billings as they are received.)

FOIA Request #6 – Documents Released by the Fort Smith School District on August 17, 2015

1. The preliminary draft minutes, working minutes, and official minutes from the July 27, 2015 School Board meeting.

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