Florida Privacy of School Records Laws

School records are largely considered confidential. But confidential to whom - just the student or the parents as well? Florida privacy of school records laws are fairly clear: parents have access to all written records concerning the parent's child. Once a student is 18 or attending post-secondary educational institution, however, the right to access school records belongs solely to the student.

To learn more about Florida privacy of school records laws, and school records privacy in general, review the summary table or read more in-depth about it below. See FindLaw's School Privacy section for related topics.

Code Section 1002.21, et seq.
Who Has Access to School Records? FERPA mostly implemented. Parents and pupils have access; after pupil is 18 or attending post-secondary educational institution, the right belongs to the student only.
Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws Injunctive relief and attorney's fees and court costs may be awarded

What is the Code Section Governing Privacy of School Records?

Florida Statutes Chapter 1002, entitled Student and Parental Rights and Educational Choices, contains a number of regulations regarding the Florida education system, including access to student records. Chapter 1002 also incorporates most elements of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA is a federal law that protects student records and applies to all schools that receive funding from the United States Department of Education.

Who Has Access to School Records?

Parents and students have access to a child’s school records. After the student turns eighteen or starts attending a post-secondary educational institution, that right transfers to the student only.

Specifically, students and/or parents have the following rights:

  • Right to access education records, including the right to inspect and review the records;
  • Right to waive access to records in certain circumstances;
  • Right to challenge the contents of records;
  • Right to give written consent before records are released to third parties; and
  • Right to receive an annual notice of rights as they relate to records.

There are exceptions to the written consent requirement, including releasing information to the Department of Juvenile Justice and other government agencies to perform official duties. 

Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws?

If an educational institution fails to follow the student record privacy laws, a student or parent affected by the violation may file a lawsuit against the school and request an injunction from the court. An injunction is a court order requiring a party to a lawsuit to either perform a certain action or stop behaving in a particular way. If the court grants an injunction, attorney fees and court cost may be awarded to the parent or student.

Related Resources for Florida Privacy of School Records Laws:

If you have additional questions about school privacy laws or believe that your rights as a parent or student may have been violated, you may consider contacting an experienced Florida education law attorney.

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