Transferring School Disciplinary Records under FERPA

Instructor: Della McGuire

Della has been teaching secondary and adult education for over 20 years. She holds a BS in Sociology, MEd in Reading, and is ABD on the MComm in Storytelling.

In this lesson, we will discuss how the transfer of school disciplinary records is influenced or impacted by FERPA and provide examples of ways to transfer these records.

Transferring Records

One of the legitimate educational reasons a school may have to disclose student records is when that student is transferring to another school. Along with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and No Child Left Behind Act provide provisions that states develop a procedure to transfer and facilitate these disciplinary records regarding expulsion or suspension as well as other disciplinary infractions. Because schools have a legitimate educational reason for having full access to a student's record, these disciplinary records must be included even without the student's or parent's consent in the interest of protecting the new school.

Parent Access

Usually a parent has access to educational records to include disciplinary records if the student is a dependent under the age of 18. Some students are considered eligible students under FERPA, meaning they are considered adults because they are over 18, are college students and/or are not claimed as dependents on a parent's tax return. Their parents may not access those records without the student's consent, even if they are assisting the student in the transfer process. One of the exceptions to this rule regards a student's disciplinary history. If an eligible student over age 18 is a dependent on their parents' or guardians' tax return, then those parents and guardians can access disciplinary records even without the student's consent.

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