The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 protects:
- The right to inspect and review education records.
- The right to seek to amend those records.
- The right to limit disclosure of information from the records.
Educational records include:
Any records, in whatever medium (handwritten, computer media, print, e-mail, magnetic tape, film, diskette, microfilm and microfiche, video or audio tape), that are in the possession of any school official.
Texas Wesleyan's unrestricted directory information includes:
- Student’s name, address(es) and telephone numbers
- Date and place of birth
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Dates of attendance
- Major field(s) of study
- Degrees and awards received
- Denominational or religious preference
- Most recent previous school attended
- Athletic team members: height, weight and position played
What is considered confidential information
- Financial information (includes outstanding balances on accounts)
- Academic probation, academic suspension or dismissal information
- Records of judicial proceedings
- All other records that are not labeled directory information
Parental access to children’s education records
At the postsecondary level, parents have no inherent right to inspect a student’s education records.
The right to inspect is limited solely to the student.
Records may be released only under these circumstances:
- Through written consent of the student
- In compliance with a subpoena
- Parents provide a copy of the most recent Federal Income Tax form showing that the student was claimed as a dependent.
What does this mean to me?
- Public posting of grades either by student name, ID number or SS number without the students written permission is a violation of FERPA.
- Returning of papers via an “open” distribution system is a violation of FERPA.
- Transporting student files from campus for any reason is in violation.
- Transmitting student grades via campus e-mail is not recommended.
What information may be included in letters of recommendation?
- Written permission of the student is required if any information included in the recommendation is an “education record.” For example, grades and GPA.
Who do I call if I have a question?
- Kay VanToorn in the Office of Student Records, extension 4414
- Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. (202) 260-3887