The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act applies to every school operating under funds from the U.S Education Department program. It is a law that ensures the privacy of students academic records. This law requires that institutions respect the students rights regarding release of their educational records. According to the acts guidelines, students education records are not to be released without the personal consent. The Florida State University, annually puts out information regarding education records protection rights. (Stuart, Susan, 361) Educational records are kept by a learning institutions for use in identifying students personally.
They include any information a student offers to the college, for education purposes such as enrollment records, grades, internship records, disciplinary records, personal information among others. These records may be in the form of a class list, a computer printout and lecture notes. They do not include, firstly, sole possessed records kept to aid owners personal memory. Secondly, records relating to an individual employee of the institution.
Finally, records of an eligible college student that is disclosed for aid in his treatment. (Weeks, Kent M, 42)FERPA Act protects all students enrolled formerly or currently irrespective of their dependence on parents or age. The law nonetheless, does not offer security to students who despite applying to Florida State University, failed to attend any class .Neither does the law protect deceased students. All college students, over the age of eighteen have rights under FERPA. These rights include firstly, students have the right to view information held by the institution. Secondly, students have the right to pursue records modification. Thirdly, right to give consent for his records disclosure. Last but not least, the students have the right to file any complaint with the Washington, D.C FERPA office.
Schools may however disclose education records without the eligible studentsв or parentsв consent. This information may be disclosed to schools to which the student is transferring to, specified audit officials, appropriate health officials in case of an emergency as well as legal parties within the juvenile judicial system. However, directory information could be disclosed without the consent of an eligible student. This information may include, but not limited to, students name, telephone number, and birth date among others. The school, nonetheless must inform the parent or eligible student and allow them enough time to reject the disclosure of such information.Violation of the FERPA act may lead to serious penalties.
These may include, first and foremost, if an individual is charged with disclosure of the student information without their consent the violator may be dismissed or terminated from the institution. Secondly, individuals who violate the said act may be temporarily suspended from accessing student information. In addition, the institution could suffer prosecution under set criminal codes. Further still, an institution that is proven to have violated the laws may also lose federal funding. (Schulze Jr, Louis N, 215).In conclusion, several ways in which an institution may avoid violation of the FERPA act exist.
These include not using social security numbers in any public posting such as posting of grades and confidential academic information. Secondly, a students name should never be publicly associated with his social security number. Students graded texts should not be left in stacks that allow other students to sort through them. Institution employees should also not discuss a students progress with anyone without his consent. Last but not least, only university officials should be provided with leading information to locate a student.
- Stuart, Susan P. “A local distinction: State education privacy laws for public school children.” W. Va. L. Rev. 108 (2005): 361.
- Schulze Jr, Louis N. “Balancing Law Student Privacy Interests and Progressive Pedagogy: Dispelling the Myth that FERPA Prohibits Cutting-Edge Academic Support Methodologies.”В Widener LJВ 19 (2009): 215.
- Weeks, Kent M. “Family Friendly FERPA Policies: Affirming Parental Partnerships.” New directions for student services 2001.94 (2001): 39-50.