Sep 242010
 September 24, 2010  Posted by  Online, Workplace, Youth & Schools

Melissa B. Taboada reports:

A first grade teacher at Pillow Elementary School resigned this month after she was confronted by district officials who accused her of posting personal information about her students on her blog, a violation of the federal student privacy rights statute.

(The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act — more commonly known as FERPA — protects the privacy of student education records and applies to schools that receive certain federal funds.)

Katie Lowery, who was named 2010 Teacher of the Year at Pillow, had posted pictures and references to the children in the class, district officials officials said. The blog was accessible to the public. The story was first reported by KXAN.


When I first read the news story, I thought it was unfortunate and that perhaps they just should have educated her about her responsibilities under FERPA. Other media coverage, however, indicates that on her blog she identified a specific student as having Asperger’s Disorder and made negative statements about some students and their parents:

If the allegations made are true, I think her resignation was appropriate. Given her good reputation prior to this, though, I hope she just learns from it and finds another position where she can continue to be an effective teacher.

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