The privacy of a student's school records is protected by law in most states, but there are divergent views on this. On one hand, students and their parents believe they are entitled to all student records. But others, including teachers, believe sharing some records (such as a "warning" to another teacher that a student is disruptive) may backfire and cause discord with the student's family.
In Maine, only students and their parents (or guardian) have access to school records, unless the parent or guardian consents to a release.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Federal law also protects a student's right to privacy with respect to school records. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents four (4) basic rights with respect to their child's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or is enrolled in a post secondary institution. Parents and eligible students are granted the following rights:
Are There any Exceptions to the Law?
Yes, the law allows schools to disclose educational records, without consent, to the following:
The main provisions of Maine's privacy of school records laws are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's School Privacy section for related articles.
|Code Section(s)||Tit. 20-A §6001, FERPA|
|Who Has Access to School Records?||Available to parents and student only unless parent/guardian consents to release. Certain exceptions apply pursuant to FERPA|
|What Records Can Be Disclosed Without Consent?||
Schools may also disclose, without consent, "directory" type information such as a student's
Students may request that directory information be suppressed by contacting their school.
Note: State laws surrounding the issues of student privacy rights are constantly changing. You may wish to contact a Maine education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching. Most attorneys offer free consultations.
Research the Law
Maine Privacy of School Records: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.