Aug 312014
 August 31, 2014  Posted by  U.S., Youth & Schools

Ellen Meder reports:

 Schools inevitably amass a lot of information about their students: name, contact information, medical information and all the tidbits that make up an educational record.

How and when that information can shared is tightly restricted on by the federal law Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). When personal information is shared with an unauthorized person, it’s supposed to be taken seriously.

But should a small, but regrettable, breach in protocol end the career of an educator with an otherwise exemplary record?

That is the root of some controversy plaguing Florence School District 1 right now. This month the school board voted to uphold an administrative decision to demote former West Florence High School Assistant Principal Robin Voss after it came to light in April that she had forwarded three emails containing student information outside the district to her then-fiancé, now wife, a teacher in a neighboring school district.

It’s interesting that the reporter chooses to preface the scenario by describing it as a “small, but regrettable, breach in protocol.” Why not describe it as a “willful violation of students’ privacy that affected three students”?


And not for nothing, this case is another reminder why parents should periodically request inspection all of their child’s records under FERPA.

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