5 Excluded from the definition of education records are recordsnotes in the

5 excluded from the definition of education records

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5 Excluded from the definition of education records are records/notes in the sole possession of an individual which serve only as a personal memory aid. Personal observations of a student by school administrators and staff are not considered to be educational records under FERPA. Such information, however, cannot be based on the stu- dent’s educational records as defined by FERPA. For instance, a teacher may observe that a particular student is involved in criminal behavior. This personal observation may be reported to law enforce- ment without violating FERPA. In addition, reporting of child abuse (sexual, physical, neglect) to law enforcement or child protective serv- ices agencies does not violate FERPA and is a state law mandate for educators and school employees. Further, educational records do not include instructional records which are in the sole possession of the 58 Gangs and Law Enforcement 2. 34 C.F.R. § 99.2 3. Under FERPA, parents have a right to inspect their child’s educational records. If a school record contains information on more than one student, parents have only the right to inspect the por- tion of the record relating to their own child. See 20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g(a)(1)(A); Combier v. Biegelson , 2005 WL 477628 (S.D. N.Y. 2005); 34 C.F.R. § 99.32 and § 99.33(b). 4. 34 C.F.R. § 99.3 5. In Owasso Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Falvo , 534 U.S. 426, 122 S. Ct. 934 (2002), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that schools do not violate students’ rights of privacy when teachers ask pupils to grade each other’s tests, papers, and assignments.
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maker and not accessible or revealed to any other person except a sub- stitute. 6 If records include data or information about matters which occurred after the student was no longer in attendance at the school, disclosure or release of this specific information does not require prior permission. 7 FERPA 8 protects the educational records of minor students and eli- gible students. 9 Parents enforce the right of minors under the law, but these rights transfer directly to the eligible student at the age of 18. The rights accorded to a student’s parent, such as annual notification of rights, transfer to an eligible student. However, an educational agency/institution may give an eligible student rights in addition to those given to parents of minor students. Although student privacy rights and personally identifiable data are carefully guarded by FERPA, the constitutional right to privacy extends to the individual’s interest in avoiding the disclosure of personal matters and the individual’s interest in making vital decisions, such as the parental right to raise children without undue state interference. 10 Nonetheless, prior parental consent or consent of an eligible student is not required for the disclosure of information from a student’s educa- tion records if disclosure is needed in emergencies to safeguard the health and/or safety of the individual student or others. Although such release does not require prior consent, disclosure must be limited to a specific emergency and only to the individuals who are directly
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