Delaware Privacy of School Records Laws

Many a student and parent over the years have feared that some bad conduct may end up on a student's “permanent record.” Would a university not admit you once it caught wind of a dumb prank? We were always certain the school had an enormous file that included that time we skipped first period or that time we celebrated a football game too much.

But who gets to see what is actually included in your school records? And what's included in this school record anyway? Here is a brief summary of school records laws in Delaware.

Privacy School Records Laws in Delaware
The main protections on point are the federal protections granted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). State privacy of school records laws, meanwhile, can vary from state to state. A basic summary of the Delaware statute can be found in the following table.

Code Section Tit. 14 §4111
Who Has Access to School Records? Confidential with stated exceptions: duly authorized government agency; authorized school personnel by request of pupil aged 14 or older; parent/guardian.
Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws Unless malice can be proven, no cause of action for participation in formulation or disclosure of records

As a general rule, people have the right to be free from an unreasonable intrusion into personal matters. This freedom also extends to a school setting. The right to privacy for students extends to admissions, conduct, and education records. If a student’s personal information is disclosed to unauthorized third parties without his or her consent, or if a student faces an unauthorized search of his or her locker or backpack, a student's right of privacy is violated.

As you can imagine, it can be difficult for school administrators to balance a student's privacy with the school administration’s right to know something. This is especially true when these issues involve the safety of other students and members of the community. Still, in most cases, students have fewer privacy protections in school than out of school. This usually means searches of lockers or handbags are permitted, but disclosure of confidential information is not.

Delaware Privacy of School Records Laws: Related Resources

State laws regarding education are constantly changing. If you would like legal assistance regarding a school records issue, you can contact a Delaware education attorney. You can also visit FindLaw’s school privacy section for more introductory information on this topic.

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