Tennessee Privacy of School Records Laws

Tennessee: Privacy of School Records Laws at a Glance

Student records are considered confidential and are protected by a combination of federal and state laws. Federal law guarantees a parents' right to access their child's school records, while state laws may provide additional protections. Tennessee's Open Records Act prohibits the unauthorized disclosure of a public student's records relating to:

  • Academic performance;
  • Financial status of a student or the student's parent; and
  • Medical or psychological treatment or testing

With respect to disciplinary records, and in line with federal law, schools are required to limit information to just the name of the student; the violation committed; and the sanction imposed. The record may include the name of another student who was involved (perhaps a witness or a victim), but only with that student's written consent.

The section of the Open Records Act pertaining to school records in Tennessee is summarized below:

Code Section 10-7-504
Who Has Access to School Records? School records are confidential except when compelled under legal process or released for safety of person or property. Outsiders are authorized access to pupil records for research and statistical purposes and pupil or guardian may give consent for others to have access.
Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws -

Note: State laws are constantly changing. We strive to keep our state law pages updated, but you may also want to contact a Tennessee education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are interested in.

Federal School Records Privacy Protections Under FERPA

The federal Family Educational Records Protection Act (FERPA) essentially guarantees a parent's right to access his or her child's school records. FERPA only applies to public schools receiving funding from the federal government, which includes most schools. The law provides the following protections:

  • Students and their parents may review any records maintained by the school
  • Students and their parents may ask the school to make corrections, and ask for hearing if request is denied
  • Schools must get written permission from student and/or parent before disclosing sensitive information (with exceptions)

Research the Law: To start your research, take a look a the resources below.

Tennessee Privacy of School Records Laws: Related Resources

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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