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Contact an Education Lawyer at Maya Law

If you have any questions about disclosing school records, it may be beneficial to speak to an education lawyer. The attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. have extensive experience handling Connecticut education law matters, including school discipline, suspension, expulsion, and readmission, and are well-equipped to assist you in these proceedings.

Disclosing Records Without Consent

“…there are several exceptions permitting the school to disclose the records without prior consent. For example, the school can disclose information to school officials having a legitimate educational interest in reviewing the record. School officials having such an educational interest include teachers and school employees that work directly with the student as well as attorneys for the school district. The right to disclosure may also extend to outside consultants, contractors, volunteers, and other parties that have contracted with the school provided they:

  1. perform a service for which the school would otherwise use employees;
  2. are under the direct control of the school in the use and review of the records; and
  3. will not disclose the information to an unauthorized party.”

“The parent and student do not need to consent when the school is disclosing information to state and local officials who are using the records to conduct audits, evaluations, and compliance reviews of specific educational programs.216 The school can
also disclose to organizations that are contracting with the school to develop and administer predictive tests, administer aid programs, and improve classroom instruction.”

Restrictions to Ensure Records are Properly Used

  1. “…the written agreement between the school and the organization must specify the purpose, scope and duration of the studies, the information that is to be disclosed, and contain assurances from the organization that it uses the records only for its intended purpose.”
  2. “…when conducting the studies, only representatives of the organization that have a legitimate interest in the information can access the records.”
  3. “…once the organization completes the study, it has to destroy or return to the school all personally identifiable information.”

What if a student enrolls/transfers to a school in a different district?

“…the ‘receiving school’ may access the educational records from the ‘sending school,’ without parental or student consent, unless there is a board policy prohibiting the transfer of records. However, under both Connecticut and New York law, the receiving school must send written notification to the sending school at the time the student enrolls there. The sending school then has ten (10) days after the written notification to send all the student’s educational records to the receiving school…the school has to provide copies of the disclosed records to the parent or student and an opportunity for a hearing if he or she wants to amend the records.”

In the Case of a Court Order or Subpoena

“…the school has to make reasonable attempts to notify the parent or student about the order or subpoena in advance of the disclosure, so the parent or student has an appropriate opportunity to challenge the subpoena or court order.229 On a related note, if the school is defending or pursuing a legal action by or against a parent, it can disclose relevant student records without a court order, subpoena, or prior parental or student consent.”

“Similarly, the school can disclose student information to state and local authorities without written consent if the disclosure is related to the juvenile justice system’s ability to serve that student and a particular state statute permits such an action.”

In the Case of an Emergency

“The school can also disclose confidential information in emergencies if the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals. Parents should be aware that the school has the statutory authority to disclose confidential student records to teachers and school officials within the school and at other schools if they have a legitimate interest in the behavior of the student. The statute also permits the school to disclose information to any other individual whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the student and any other individuals.”

Disclosing “Directory Information”

“…the school can disclose ‘directory information’ without consent if it has provided public notice to parents or eligible students attending the school. ‘Directory information’ means any information in an educational record of the student that would not
generally be harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Examples of directory information include the student’s name, address, phone listing, e-mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, grade level, enrollment status, dates of attendance, participation in activities and sports, degrees, honors and awards received, etc. The Department of Education has outlined requirements for what type of information must be in the public notice.”

  1. the notice has to contain the types of personally identifiable information that the school has designated as directory information.
  2. the school has to spell out the parent’s or the eligible student’s right to refuse to let the school disclose such information and the period of time within which he or she has to notify the school.

Read more about disclosing educational records and other aspects of education law in our education publication here: https://mayalaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Education-Publication.pdf

Maya Murphy P.C. has proudly been included in the 2024 Edition of Best Law Firms®, ranked among the top firms in the nation. In addition, Managing Partner Joseph C. Maya has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for his work in Employment Law and Education Law in Connecticut. Recognition in Best Lawyers® is awarded to firms and attorneys who demonstrate excellence in the industry and is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor.

Our firm in Westport, Connecticut serves clients with legal assistance all over the state, including the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Bethel, Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Darien, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Monroe, Naugatuck, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Haven, Newton, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Shelton, Sherman, Southbury, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Wilton, and Woodbridge. In addition to assisting clients in Connecticut, our firm handles education law matters in New York as well.

If you have any questions about education law in Connecticut or would like to speak to an attorney about a legal matter, please contact Joseph C. Maya and the other experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or JMaya@Mayalaw.com to schedule a free initial consultation today.