Malone v. Douglas County School District

Freedom of Expression & Religion | Government Transparency
ACLU Case No. 2012-21


On August 7, 2012, the Douglas County School District (“DCSD”) ejected journalist Brian Malone from a school board meeting after he placed his camera tripod in a location that allowed him to video the face of the individuals presenting to the board – a location from which DSCD had allowed Mr. Malone to record every meeting during the prior three months. The meeting continued uninterrupted until a DCSD security official and the Castle Rock police demanded that Mr. Malone remove his camera and ultimately ordered him to court to face a criminal charge of “disrupting a lawful assembly.”

While ejecting Mr. Malone, the DCSD security official informed the journalist that he was not permitted to enter any school district property for any purpose. Then, on August 13, 2012, Mr. Malone received a letter from DCSD confirming the prohibition was still in place, except that Mr. Malone may enter the schools at which his two daughters are students. DCSD added a restriction prohibiting Mr. Malone from using any recording device on any DCSD property without prior approval, a limitation not placed on the general public or other journalists.

In a letter sent on August 13, 2012, the ACLU demanded that DCSD immediately withdraw its directives prohibiting Mr. Malone from attending any future school board meetings. The ACLU also demanded that DCSD immediately withdraw its directive that required Mr. Malone, unlike any other member of the public or press, to receive pre-approval from DCSD before audio or video recording public meetings conducted on DCSD grounds. In less than twenty-four hours, DCSD complied with each of the ACLU’s demands.

Learn more about Brian Malone and Malone Media Group.

Read the letter to DCSD.

Read the ACLU Press Release.


Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado Legal Director
Steven D. Zansberg

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