There's a lot of student information generated and stored during a student's time in K-12 education, including standardized test scores, grades, teacher notes, and disciplinary records. Records of immunizations or illnesses, or other data pertaining to medical treatments or conditions, may also be kept on file. This type of personally identifiable information could be used for identity theft or other unsavory uses if unsecured or somehow shared with unauthorized parties. Similar to medical record safeguards, federal laws and some state laws also protect the confidentiality of school records, typically restricting access to students and their parents.
But while most states allow parental access to school records, it's not without some controversy. For instance, some teachers and administrators are opposed to unfettered access by parents because it potentially compromises students' ability to be candid about personal issues (including child abuse).
Privacy of School Records Under Arkansas Law
Arkansas statute provides very little in the way of school record privacy protections, which means federal law likely would be invoked in the event of a legal dispute.
Additional details about Arkansas's school record privacy laws are listed in the following table:
|Who Has Access to School Records?||Records regarding handicapped students or foster children are to be kept confidential by respective school districts and Department of Education.|
|Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws||-|
|How to File a Federal Complaint for Breach of Confidentiality
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:
Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, either through the enactment of newly signed legislation or through other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you may also want to contact an Arkansas education law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Protection of School Records Under FERPA
The Family Educational Records Protection Act (FERPA ) is a federal law that prohibits schools from disclosing personally identifiable educational records without the parent's written permission. FERPA defines "educational records" as files, documents, health records, or other materials pertaining to a student and maintained by the school. FERPA privacy protections transfer from the parent to the student once the student turns 18.
Research the Law
Privacy of School Records Under Arkansas Law: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.