District of Columbia Privacy of School Records Laws

The types of records generated and maintained throughout a student's time in school pertain to academic achievement, discipline, medical health, and other, often-private information. Since this type of information could be used for identity theft, blackmail, discrimination, or other illegal uses, it is considered confidential and may not be shared with third parties without consent. Federal law protects the privacy of educational records in virtually all public schools, but some state laws offer additional protections.

District of Columbia Laws Concerning the Privacy of School Records

Washington, D.C. statute specifically protects the confidentiality of a student's medical health records. Federal law also protects the privacy of student records.

Additional details about Washington, D.C. school records privacy laws are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's School Privacy section to learn more.

Code Section 38-607
Who Has Access to School Records?

The Board of Education, with respect to public school students, and the Mayor, with respect to private school students, shall establish uniform procedures requiring elementary and secondary schools in the District to maintain health files for each student. Each student's health file shall contain all health-related documents submitted by or on behalf of the student.

Student's health file shall be confidential and subject to inspection, disclosure, and use only as applicable District and federal law.

Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws -
Federal Agency to Contact with Complaints

To file a complaint about school record privacy violations, contact the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) at 1-8000-872-5327 or:

FPCO
Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920

Note: State laws may change at any time in a number of different ways, usually through the enactment of legislation or decisions from higher courts. We strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, but you also may want to contact a Washington, D.C. education law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

FERPA: Federal School Records Privacy Law

FERPA prohibits schools from disclosing personally identifiable educational records without the parent's written permission, including files, documents, health records, or other materials pertaining to a student and maintained by the school. PPRA places certain restrictions on the participation by students in surveys, evaluations, or other potential disclosure of sensitive information.

In addition, FERPA requires schools to provide eligible students (those over 18) and parents the opportunity to review their child's school records within 45 days of the request.

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Privacy of District of Columbia School Records Laws: Related Resources

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