Can I Prevent My Ex-Husband From Getting Access to School Records?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (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 schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. Any record that contains personally identifiable information that is directly related to the student is an educational record under FERPA.
An educational agency or institution must give full rights under the Act to either parent, unless the agency or institution has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, state statute, or legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation, or custody that specifically revokes these rights. You could petition the court to modify the divorce order if there has been a significant change in circumstances. Otherwise, it may be more a a disciplinary issue.
The following items are not considered educational records under FERPA:
-Private notes of individual staff or faculty; (NOT kept in student advising folders)
-Campus police records;
-Statistical data compilations that contain no mention of personally identifiable information about any specific student.
Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. The student’s signature will authorize the release of grades and standardized test results.
FERPA training is a matter of each school's policy. It has been viewed as a toothless statute, as enforcement actions are rarely pursued. Any sanctions for the violation will most likely be a matter of internal disciplinary procedures based on the policies of the board of education or scool involved. If suggest contacting your teacher's union representative, if available, to determine your rights in a disciplinary action, as policies vary by school.
The following is part of FERPA:
Education records. (a) The term means 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.
(b) The term does not include:
(1) Records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative
personnel and educational personnel ancillary to those persons that are
kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, and are not
accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute
for the maker of the record;
(2) Records of the law enforcement unit of an educational agency or
institution, subject to the provisions of Sec. 99.8.
(3)(i) Records relating to an individual who is employed by an
educational agency or institution, that:
(A) Are made and maintained in the normal course of business;
(B) Relate exclusively to the individual in that individual's
capacity as an employee; and
(C) Are not available for use for any other purpose.
(ii) Records relating to an individual in attendance at the agency
or institution who is employed as a result of his or her status as a
student are education records and not excepted under paragraph (b)(3)(i)
of this definition.
(4) Records on a student who is 18 years of age or older, or is
attending an institution of postsecondary education, that are:
(i) Made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist,
or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in his or
her professional capacity or assisting in a paraprofessional capacity;
(ii) Made, maintained, or used only in connection with treatment of
the student; and
(iii) Disclosed only to individuals providing the treatment. For the
purpose of this definition, ``treatment'' does not include remedial
educational activities or activities that are part of the program of
instruction at the agency or institution; and
(5) Records that only contain information about an individual after
he or she is no longer a student at that agency or institution.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(4))
Eligible student means a student who has reached 18 years of age or
is attending an institution of postsecondary education.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(d))
Institution of postsecondary education means an institution that
provides education to students beyond the secondary school level;
``secondary school level'' means the educational level (not
beyond grade 12) at which secondary education is provided as determined
under State law.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(d))