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FERPA Fury

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Bellringer’s Carol Richtsmeier, a high school newspaper advisor in Texas, is less than pleased with the Department of Education’s expansion of the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA). In her eyes, the policy was already being misused to stifle student publications, the expansions could make it worse.

My buddies at the Student Press Law Center tell me that the DOE … apparently has gone beyond bat-crack crazy and enacted some additional changes to FERPA that are slated to take effect Jan. 8.
These new rules broaden what the DOE considers to be confidential education records to include basic stuff like statistical data about school safety, discipline and academic performance if school officials think that the person requesting the information or even kiddos on campus can figure out who the information might be about.
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This one certainly is a puzzler--particularly given the current abuses of the law as it stands. FERPA has already been (ab)used to deny parents the right to observe a special education classroom that has been recommended for their child (because then they would know who the other students are in the classroom), refuse parents access to security tape to verify that their kid had been bullied/harrassed/assaulted by another kid (violating that kid's rights, so they say). Fortunately there has been some legal action and court decisions. One hopes that this one will be heavily scrutinized as well.

What WERE they thinking?

Thank you so much for sharing all of that great information! Love the blog and best wishes to you in 2009.

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  • Shazia: Thank you so much for sharing all of that great read more
  • Margo/Mom: This one certainly is a puzzler--particularly given the current abuses read more

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