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Police chief:slap case is closed The Rider files second open records request

The Rider has filed a second open records request for the offense report of the case in which a professor allegedly slapped a student on the Edinburg On Feb. 10, The Rider filed an open records requesting a copy of the report.

The request was submitted to UTRGV Chief Legal Officer Karen Adams.

Adams sent a letter Feb. 25 in response to The Rider’s public information request. In the letter, she wrote that UTRGV has information responsive to the request but it must be withheld to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g.

The newspaper disagreed and stated in its second request that FERPA does not apply based on the 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(4) and 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(4)(B)(ii) sections of the law.

Adams wrote that “FERPA does not permit local or educational authorities to disclose any un-redacted, personally identifiable information contained in educational records without parental or student consent.”

However, the newspaper filed the second request because FERPA also states that education records do not include records “of the law enforcement unit of an educational agency or institution, subject to the provisions of §99.8.” The act neither requires nor prohibits the disclosure by an educational agency or institution, such as UTRGV, of its law enforcement unit records.

On Jan. 21, a student on the Edinburg campus reported that her philosophy class was having a discussion about right
and wrong and while the discussion was taking place, the professor slapped her on her left cheek. The student told University Police she was shocked because the slap was unexpected.

UTRGV Police Chief Raul Munguia said his department closed the case on Thursday.

“Basically, there’s no more investigation,” Munguia said. “The investigation is closed unless we get some new information that makes us take another look at it. We can always reopen the case.”

As of press time, the chief said no charges had been filed.

Calls to Provost Havidán Rodríguez, Faculty Affairs and Diversity Vice Provost Ala Qubbaj and Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez on Thursday were not returned.

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