Privacy Rights of Students

Privacy Rights of Students

Document Number: HR--138 Revision #: 1.0
Document Owner: Executive VP Date Last Updated: 08/17/2012
Primary Author: Director of Human Resources Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 01/17/2012
General Description
Description: Information about privacy rights of students relative to HR policy.

Purpose: Delineation of policy.

Scope: All faculty, staff, students, and administrators

Responsibility: Executive VP
Human Resources
Relevant Knowledge: In order to comply with this policy you should know:
Federal statutes
Current University policy
Terms and Definitions: Additional training

Corrective Action

Loss of privilege, general


Policy Provisions
1. Privacy Rights of Students

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits a school from disclosing
personally identifiable information from students’ education records without the consent of a parent or eligible student, unless an exception to FERPA’s general consent rule applies. In some emergency situations, schools may only need to disclose properly designated “directory information” on students that provide general contact information. In other scenarios, school officials may believe that a health or safety emergency exists and more specific information on students should be disclosed to appropriate parties. Understanding the options available under FERPA empowers school officials to act quickly and decisively when concerns arise. FERPA is not intended to be an obstacle in addressing emergencies and protecting the safety of students.

FERPA (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all educational agencies and institutions that receive funds under any program administered by the Department of Education (“Department”). In this guidance, when we refer to “school districts,” “schools,” or “postsecondary institutions” we mean “educational agencies and institutions” subject to FERPA. Private schools at the elementary and secondary school levels generally do not receive funds from the Department and are, therefore, not subject to FERPA. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records at elementary
and secondary schools that are subject to FERPA’s requirements. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a postsecondary institution at any age (“eligible student”). Under FERPA, a parent or eligible student must provide a signed and dated written consent before a school discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records. 34 CFR § 99.30. See 34 CFR § 99.3 for the definition of “personally identifiable information.” Exceptions to the general consent requirement are set forth in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. The term “education records” is defined as those records that are: (1) directly related to a student; and (2) maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a party acting for the agency or institution. See 34 CFR § 99.3 for the definition 2 of “education records” and a list of records that are not included in the definition. Accordingly, all records, including immunization and other health records, as well as records on services provided to
students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and records on services and accommodations provided to students under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, that are directly related to a student and maintained by a school are “education records” under FERPA.

The University provides guidance to school officials on how FERPA applies to
disclosures of students’ personally identifiable information that relate to natural or man-made disasters that affect students and their families. This guidance explains the various provisions in FERPA that might relate to and permit such disclosures, and addresses how FERPA applies to schools working with other agencies in emergency preparedness activities.

Performance Evaluation
Performance Metrics: Compliance with standard policy and procedure
Compliance with federal mandate

Consequences: Further training
Job Termination
Loss of privileges
Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Director of Human Resources

Executive VP