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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default FERPA and Student Confidentiality

    My question involves education law in the State of: Washington DC and New Jersey


    College A in Washington DC contacts College B in New Jersey. College A asks College B some sensitive information such as enrollment status about a student. College B provides that information to College A.

    Has College A and/or College B violated any laws?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: FERPA and Student Confidentiality

    Maybe, maybe not. Colleges don't simply exchange information about students for the fun of it. How about sharing the relevant facts.

  3. #3

    Default Re: FERPA and Student Confidentiality

    I'm not sure if this would be the right place to post this; please correct me if I'm wrong.
    I will include the relevant facts:

    child suffers from 2 diagnosis (1 emotional)
    child was suspended for bringing something that could be considered a weapon/or not to school
    child took "weapon" out of backpack and began twirling it like he was in a kung fu movie (unfortunately a hobbie that he not so much)
    child was suspended for 2 days for having the "weapon" (child took bus home/principal kept "weapon'')
    Next Day

    made an ER therapy appt for child (has ongoing tx)
    discussed the seriousness in his actions (bringing a "weapon" to school..not a good idea)
    Next Day

    received a call from a school district official asking if Id shared any information about my child to other parents (of course not)
    school official stated the principal of the school is saying that I did, and the word has rapidly spread and they are painting your child out to be a...she never finished that sentence...I said "monster" and she said "yes". She went on saying that the parents are picketing his return and passing out fliers. The media has also contacted us.
    Received a voicemail from the Principal stating," I shared some info with someone he thought wanted to help, and they in turn used it against us. I am sorry this as happened" (I was too upset to talk so I never got his full story...wish I would've now)
    Next Day

    Front Page in the press "teachers decry the return of a student who allegedly threatened a teacher"
    In the article a teacher states, "we just want the parents to know what happened and how this is being handeled" Urging parents to complain to the District about this matter.
    Parents demanding my child be expelled
    On the next page, the picture of a Teacher passing out a flier, informing another parent of the situation and urging her to do the same...complain to the District.
    The big deal was the fact that the child was only suspended and not expelled. The problem was he probably would've been expelled (rightfully so), had he really done what they were reporting to parents.
    There is a long history between the teachers and the school Administrators surrounding a proposed "No Expolsion" rule that has caused some tension. After learning about all of the history surrounding the suspension vs. expulsion, I wondered if this incident was exaggerated to give a better story and make an even bigger point to School Officials (yes, it is only a thought). Trying to understand why all of this happened, and how. As if we weren't working on so many other things in his life that he has dealt with, now he knows that whatever friends he did have...he will never see them again, and can't say goodbye(he still doesn't understand that) He isn't aware that those friends and their parents' may be apart of the "get him out of here" crowd. So here we are...another loss with no explanation. At the age of 5, my child suffered a VERY unfortunate experience and has been battling those feelings within since. This was like salt to a wound that was still in the process of being healed...
    Obviously, I was confused by the sudden accusation. He was suspended for having the "weapon", not threatening a teacher with it. He didn't and wouldn't do that! I am not just saying that as a protective Mother who is in denial...I am not in denial. He will lie, he will curse when I'm not around, he sometimes picks the wrong kids to hang out with(trying to be cool; he is a different/special kind of kid), and makes poor social decisions, he is by nomeans an angel. A certain incident that occured in his life assisted this drastic change in his behaviors and not thinking prior to an action. Even with all of that being said, HE DID NOT THREATEN THE TEACHER, OR ANYONE FOR THAT MATTER.

    He couldn't return to the school right away (for his own safety)
    He was home schooled (Didn't work)
    He missed 6 months of school (partially my fault)
    He is finally enrolled in school, another school whom we can only hope wont identify him as the student who "threatened the teacher with a hammer". One District Official suggested I use a different last name when enrolling him...for the "just in case" reasons.
    Even up to today, I thought that 1 news article would be the end of it. That article caused many more to follow surrounding the false incident. The District admitted the wrongdoing on thier part but when I asked them to tell the Parents' and everyone else the story was untrue, they refused. I asked for an investigation into the incident (from day 1, I didn't need apologies..just a correction of the matter). No response...I picked up a Tort Form. A couple of days later, I finally got a response telling me that they are still having a third party investigate the incident (All I wanted from day 1 of the chaos was an explanation and for them to clear the rumors up). Months went by, and still no follow up; so I turned in the Tort Form with 2 days left to spare. Once again, I got a response with regards to the investigation a couple of days later. The letter states that they didn't find any new findings and they were able to complete the investigation, even though I was unwilling to cooperate with the investigator. Unbelievable...Nobody has tried to contact me. I would be more than willing to share my information with them, our side of the story along with the evidence. They never asked for it. Why wont I just let it go? I can't. 5 years ago, something horrible happened to my child and I didn't fight for him. I let big names and words I didn't understand, silence me. I didn't protect him then and I can't allow that to happen again. This is nowhere nearly as bad as the previous unfortunate event, but it is nonetheless, an important issue that needs addressing, and requires attention from all of those unwilling to do the right thing. Any advice will be helpful...even if it's not what I want to hear...After all I've been through, I think I can handle it.:-)
    I thank you in advance for any response; it is truly appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: FERPA and Student Confidentiality

    One school has the right to contact a previous school regarding student records. Disciplinary records are one of those records. If you felt it would be a problem, you should have addressed the issue upfront with school officials.

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