Adam Owens report on WRAL.
And yes, expect to see at least some folks saying that we need to revamp or weaken FERPA so that we can prevent school shootings. Of course, they could just strengthen the laws prohibiting guns, but hey….
Seriously: when you drill down into it, it’s not FERPA (the federal law protecting education records) that is hindering efforts. It’s more often school personnel’s failure to really understand what FERPA requires and what it doesn’t require.
As but one example: if a teacher learns something by overhearing a student talking to another student, that information that the teacher acquired is NOT an “education record” under FERPA, and for good or bad, the teacher is pretty much free to share that information with others.
When schools get ready to return for September, spend serious time reviewing FERPA, starting with what an “education record” is and what it is not, and including what happens to health information held by the nurse in terms of that being under FERPA, etc.
Need a good resource for teaching your staff about FERPA? I encourage you to check out all the amazing resources by law professor Daniel Solove. Not only has Dan written a number of highly respected books and articles on privacy, but he has developed the TeachPrivacy site and can be engaged to provide training or consulting for your district or school.