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? What's included in this school record anyway? Here is a brief summary of school records laws in Maryland.
General School Records Laws
In addition to federal protections granted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Maryland law states that the observations of a teacher, principal or counselor are not admissible against a student.
Privacy School Records Laws in Maryland
State privacy of school records laws can vary from state to state. A basic summary of the Maryland statute can be found in the following table.
|Code Section||State Gov't. 10-616 (k)|
|Who Has Access to School Records?||Teacher, principal, or counselor observations during consultations are not admissible as evidence against student. Only "persons in interest" or "an elected or appointed official who supervises the student" may inspect student's records.|
|Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws||-|
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.
Maryland 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 Maryland education attorney. You can also visit FindLaw’s school privacy section for more introductory information on this topic.
Contact a qualified attorney.