Do you wonder if your child’s right to privacy in their educational records, has been violated? Would you like to learn how FERPA can help your child? This article will discuss the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which applies to all educational institutions to which receives funds from the Department of Education. Also discussed are 4 benefits that your child can get from FERPA.
Benefit 1: Use FERPA to review your child’s school record to see if it is accurate, and if it contains items that you have not seen. It is amazing, what you can find in your child’s school record. Also look for items that may support your case.
For Example: If your child has behavior difficulties, that special education personnel want to suspend them for, look for evidence that the behavior has been happening for a while. School personnel are supposed to work to prevent the behavior, rather than continuously punishing the child for it.
Ask for a copy of any item that you have not seen, or supports your case. Special education personnel may charge a reasonable copying fee, though you should ask for the school policy on parents receiving free records.
Benefit 2: Use FERPA to have removed anything in your child’s school record that is inaccurate, misleading or violates your child’s right to privacy. Once again, it is amazing what you will find in your child’s school record. If something is written about your child or family that you disagree with, ask that it be taken out. If the school district refuses, they can file for a due process hearing, to prove to the hearing officer that the school’s records are accurate.
Benefit 3: Use FERPA to ask for items that you may not think about, as part of your child’s school record. You have the right to review everything that has your child’s name on it; permanent record, temporary record, e mails, internal memos, testing materials and protocols, audio recordings, video recordings, etc. If your child has difficulty on the bus, ask and see if your child’s bus contains a camera. If it does, ask for copies of any day that you are concerned about.
Benefit 4: If you feel that your child’s confidentiality has been breeched by special education personnel, file for a FERPA complaint. This complaint can be filed with the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) at: U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave SW, Washington DC 20202.
Your child has the right to confidentiality in their educational records. You have the right as their parent to access their school records. Good luck in your fight for an appropriate education for your child with a disability, the fight is worth it!