Quite a bit of information pertaining to academic performance, disciplinary measures, interactions with teachers, and even medical data is collected and stored during a student's time in school. Much of this data is considered confidential under federal law and is only available to students and their parents, but some states have additional privacy protections or at least their own policies for controlling access. Many types of personally identifiable information could be used for identity theft or criminal offenses if unsecured or somehow shared with unauthorized parties.
Most states allow parental access to school records, but it is not without some controversy. For instance, some teachers and administrators are opposed to unfettered access by parents because it potentially compromises students' own privacy in certain matters, such as pregnancy.
Privacy of School Records in Kansas and Federal Law
Kansas law addresses school records privacy but defers to federal privacy laws. For the most part, these include the Family Educational Records Protection Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA).
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.
|State Law||Every board shall adopt a policy in accordance with applicable federal laws and regulations to protect the right of privacy of any student, or pupil and his or her family regarding personally identifiable records, files and data directly related to such student or pupil.|
|Who Has Access to School Records?||Governed by FERPA|
|Agency to Contact for 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:
|Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws||(Federal violation of FERPA)|
Note: State laws are always subject to change and may do so any time, most often through the enactment of newly signed legislation but also through higher court decisions and other means. You may want to also contact a Kansas education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
Kansas Law and the Privacy of School Records: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.