5Excluded from the definition of education records arerecords/notes in the sole possession of an individual which serve onlyas a personal memory aid. Personal observations of a student by schooladministrators and staff are not considered to be educational recordsunder FERPA. Such information, however, cannot be based on the stu-dent’s educational records as defined by FERPA. For instance, ateacher may observe that a particular student is involved in criminalbehavior. 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 foreducators and school employees. Further, educational records do notinclude instructional records which are in the sole possession of the58Gangs and Law Enforcement2. 34 C.F.R. § 99.23. Under FERPA, parents have a right to inspect their child’s educational records. If a school recordcontains 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. § 99.35. InOwasso Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Falvo, 534 U.S. 426, 122 S. Ct. 934 (2002), the U.S. Supreme Courtruled unanimously that schools do not violate students’ rights of privacy when teachers ask pupilsto grade each other’s tests, papers, and assignments.
maker and not accessible or revealed to any other person except a sub-stitute.6If records include data or information about matters whichoccurred after the student was no longer in attendance at the school,disclosure or release of this specific information does not require priorpermission.7FERPA8protects the educational records of minor students and eli-gible students.9Parents enforce the right of minors under the law, butthese rights transfer directly to the eligible student at the age of 18. Therights accorded to a student’s parent, such as annual notification ofrights, transfer to an eligible student. However, an educationalagency/institution may give an eligible student rights in addition tothose given to parents of minor students.Although student privacy rights and personally identifiable data arecarefully guarded by FERPA, the constitutional right to privacy extendsto the individual’s interest in avoiding the disclosure of personal mattersand the individual’s interest in making vital decisions, such as theparental right to raise children without undue state interference.10Nonetheless, prior parental consent or consent of an eligible student isnot required for the disclosure of information from a student’s educa-tion records if disclosure is needed in emergencies to safeguard thehealth and/or safety of the individual student or others. Although suchrelease does not require prior consent, disclosure must be limited to aspecific emergency and only to the individuals who are directly