Topic: FERPA

Who is Considered A Parent For Purposes of Accessing School Records?

Under state and federal law, a parent generally has the right to access his/her child’s educational records. The question is, who is considered a “parent” in under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).  As the definition of “family” changes and broadens, it is important for schools to know who has the right to…

Read more

Undocumented Immigrants, The Schools And The Obligations To Cooperate With “ICE”

A lot of heat is emanating from Washington D.C. over enforcement of laws concerning “undocumented” immigrants. Especially controversial is the possibility of greater action by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [“ICE”] bureau, including bureau agents making visits to the schools.  This battle has led to competing visions, with Governor Malloy and Commissioner Wentzell issuing…

Read more

Let’s Go To The Videotape: Can School Security Videos Be Subject To Disclosure Under FOIA?

School districts usually deny requests to view school video recordings, such as security tapes, in light of concerns about the privacy rights of students featured on these recordings. In a recent decision, the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] threw us all a curveball in ordering disclosure of a school video recording. In Lambeck v. Chairman,…

Read more

Recording Special Education Team Meetings: Three Reasons Why Your School District Should Have a Written Policy

The audio recording of special education team meetings [“PPTs”] by parents and advocates has become a relatively accepted and common practice.  Technically, school districts are only obligated to permit the recording of such meetings when doing so would enable the parent to effectively participate in the development of the student’s individualized education plan [“IEP”] or…

Read more

School District’s Refusal to Release Bullying Investigation Report Upheld

While the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] generally seeks to provide access to records created by public agencies, and while anti-bullying laws require that parents be notified by a school district with regard  to the district’s response to bullying complaints, federal laws protecting the privacy rights of students provide a countervailing block to unfettered access…

Read more

What is the Difference Between FERPA and PPRA? Protecting Student Privacy and Confidential Education Records

Two important federal laws protect the privacy rights of all students: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, “FERPA” and Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, 20 U.S.C. §1232h, “PPRA.”  Both of these laws create obligations that should be incorporated into a school district’s operational policies. FERPA makes student educational records…

Read more