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A security vehicle blocks the driveway entrance to Standley Lake High School in Westminster on Sept. 19, 2014. School was canceled that day because of a high number of teacher absences. (Kathryn Scott Osler, Denver Post file)

If teachers decide to call in sick as part of a political protest, do parents have a right to find out who participated in the sick-out?

You bet they do.

The Jefferson County teachers union has been battling to keep such information under wraps ever since several high schools had to close in September 2014 because of an absence of teachers. But now four judges — one district judge last year and a unanimous three-judge appeals panel this week — have said sick-leave records are subject to the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). They are public records that parents can access.

This is excellent news for two reasons.

First, it's the most plausible interpretation of the plain language of CORA.

Second, it prevents teachers who put their political passions ahead of the well-being of children from hiding that fact from the larger community they supposedly serve.

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