20 U.S.C. § 1232g : US Code - Section 1232G: Family educational and privacy rights

Search 20 U.S.C. § 1232g : US Code - Section 1232G: Family educational and privacy rights

    (a) Conditions for availability of funds to educational agencies or
      institutions; inspection and review of education records;
      specific information to be made available; procedure for access
      to education records; reasonableness of time for such access;
      hearings; written explanations by parents; definitions
      (1)(A) No funds shall be made available under any applicable
    program to any educational agency or institution which has a policy
    of denying, or which effectively prevents, the parents of students
    who are or have been in attendance at a school of such agency or at
    such institution, as the case may be, the right to inspect and
    review the education records of their children. If any material or
    document in the education record of a student includes information
    on more than one student, the parents of one of such students shall
    have the right to inspect and review only such part of such
    material or document as relates to such student or to be informed
    of the specific information contained in such part of such
    material. Each educational agency or institution shall establish
    appropriate procedures for the granting of a request by parents for
    access to the education records of their children within a
    reasonable period of time, but in no case more than forty-five days
    after the request has been made.
      (B) No funds under any applicable program shall be made available
    to any State educational agency (whether or not that agency is an
    educational agency or institution under this section) that has a
    policy of denying, or effectively prevents, the parents of students
    the right to inspect and review the education records maintained by
    the State educational agency on their children who are or have been
    in attendance at any school of an educational agency or institution
    that is subject to the provisions of this section.
      (C) The first sentence of subparagraph (A) shall not operate to
    make available to students in institutions of postsecondary
    education the following materials:
        (i) financial records of the parents of the student or any
      information contained therein;
        (ii) confidential letters and statements of recommendation,
      which were placed in the education records prior to January 1,
      1975, if such letters or statements are not used for purposes
      other than those for which they were specifically intended;
        (iii) if the student has signed a waiver of the student's right
      of access under this subsection in accordance with subparagraph
      (D), confidential recommendations - 
          (I) respecting admission to any educational agency or
        institution,
          (II) respecting an application for employment, and
          (III) respecting the receipt of an honor or honorary
        recognition.

      (D) A student or a person applying for admission may waive his
    right of access to confidential statements described in clause
    (iii) of subparagraph (C), except that such waiver shall apply to
    recommendations only if (i) the student is, upon request, notified
    of the names of all persons making confidential recommendations and
    (ii) such recommendations are used solely for the purpose for which
    they were specifically intended. Such waivers may not be required
    as a condition for admission to, receipt of financial aid from, or
    receipt of any other services or benefits from such agency or
    institution.
      (2) No funds shall be made available under any applicable program
    to any educational agency or institution unless the parents of
    students who are or have been in attendance at a school of such
    agency or at such institution are provided an opportunity for a
    hearing by such agency or institution, in accordance with
    regulations of the Secretary, to challenge the content of such
    student's education records, in order to insure that the records
    are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the
    privacy rights of students, and to provide an opportunity for the
    correction or deletion of any such inaccurate, misleading or
    otherwise inappropriate data contained therein and to insert into
    such records a written explanation of the parents respecting the
    content of such records.
      (3) For the purposes of this section the term "educational agency
    or institution" means any public or private agency or institution
    which is the recipient of funds under any applicable program.
      (4)(A) For the purposes of this section, the term "education
    records" means, except as may be provided otherwise in subparagraph
    (B), those records, files, documents, and other materials which - 
        (i) contain information directly related to a student; and
        (ii) are maintained by an educational agency or institution or
      by a person acting for such agency or institution.

      (B) The term "education records" does not include - 
        (i) records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative
      personnel and educational personnel ancillary thereto which are
      in the sole possession of the maker thereof and which are not
      accessible or revealed to any other person except a substitute;
        (ii) records maintained by a law enforcement unit of the
      educational agency or institution that were created by that law
      enforcement unit for the purpose of law enforcement;
        (iii) in the case of persons who are employed by an educational
      agency or institution but who are not in attendance at such
      agency or institution, records made and maintained in the normal
      course of business which relate exclusively to such person in
      that person's capacity as an employee and are not available for
      use for any other purpose; or
        (iv) records on a student who is eighteen years of age or
      older, or is attending an institution of postsecondary education,
      which are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist,
      psychologist, or other recognized professional or
      paraprofessional acting in his professional or paraprofessional
      capacity, or assisting in that capacity, and which are made,
      maintained, or used only in connection with the provision of
      treatment to the student, and are not available to anyone other
      than persons providing such treatment, except that such records
      can be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate
      professional of the student's choice.

      (5)(A) For the purposes of this section the term "directory
    information" relating to a student includes the following: the
    student's name, address, telephone listing, date and place of
    birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized
    activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic
    teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the
    most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by
    the student.
      (B) Any educational agency or institution making public directory
    information shall give public notice of the categories of
    information which it has designated as such information with
    respect to each student attending the institution or agency and
    shall allow a reasonable period of time after such notice has been
    given for a parent to inform the institution or agency that any or
    all of the information designated should not be released without
    the parent's prior consent.
      (6) For the purposes of this section, the term "student" includes
    any person with respect to whom an educational agency or
    institution maintains education records or personally identifiable
    information, but does not include a person who has not been in
    attendance at such agency or institution.
    (b) Release of education records; parental consent requirement;
      exceptions; compliance with judicial orders and subpoenas; audit
      and evaluation of federally-supported education programs;
      recordkeeping
      (1) No funds shall be made available under any applicable program
    to any educational agency or institution which has a policy or
    practice of permitting the release of education records (or
    personally identifiable information contained therein other than
    directory information, as defined in paragraph (5) of subsection
    (a) of this section) of students without the written consent of
    their parents to any individual, agency, or organization, other
    than to the following - 
        (A) other school officials, including teachers within the
      educational institution or local educational agency, who have
      been determined by such agency or institution to have legitimate
      educational interests, including the educational interests of the
      child for whom consent would otherwise be required;
        (B) officials of other schools or school systems in which the
      student seeks or intends to enroll, upon condition that the
      student's parents be notified of the transfer, receive a copy of
      the record if desired, and have an opportunity for a hearing to
      challenge the content of the record;
        (C)(i) authorized representatives of (I) the Comptroller
      General of the United States, (II) the Secretary, or (III) State
      educational authorities, under the conditions set forth in
      paragraph (3), or (ii) authorized representatives of the Attorney
      General for law enforcement purposes under the same conditions as
      apply to the Secretary under paragraph (3);
        (D) in connection with a student's application for, or receipt
      of, financial aid;
        (E) State and local officials or authorities to whom such
      information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed
      pursuant to State statute adopted - 
          (i) before November 19, 1974, if the allowed reporting or
        disclosure concerns the juvenile justice system and such
        system's ability to effectively serve the student whose records
        are released, or
          (ii) after November 19, 1974, if - 
            (I) the allowed reporting or disclosure concerns the
          juvenile justice system and such system's ability to
          effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose
          records are released; and
            (II) the officials and authorities to whom such information
          is disclosed certify in writing to the educational agency or
          institution that the information will not be disclosed to any
          other party except as provided under State law without the
          prior written consent of the parent of the student.(!1)


        (F) organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of,
      educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of
      developing, validating, or administering predictive tests,
      administering student aid programs, and improving instruction, if
      such studies are conducted in such a manner as will not permit
      the personal identification of students and their parents by
      persons other than representatives of such organizations and such
      information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the
      purpose for which it is conducted;
        (G) accrediting organizations in order to carry out their
      accrediting functions;
        (H) parents of a dependent student of such parents, as defined
      in section 152 of title 26;
        (I) subject to regulations of the Secretary, in connection with
      an emergency, appropriate persons if the knowledge of such
      information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the
      student or other persons;
        (J)(i) the entity or persons designated in a Federal grand jury
      subpoena, in which case the court shall order, for good cause
      shown, the educational agency or institution (and any officer,
      director, employee, agent, or attorney for such agency or
      institution) on which the subpoena is served, to not disclose to
      any person the existence or contents of the subpoena or any
      information furnished to the grand jury in response to the
      subpoena; and
        (ii) the entity or persons designated in any other subpoena
      issued for a law enforcement purpose, in which case the court or
      other issuing agency may order, for good cause shown, the
      educational agency or institution (and any officer, director,
      employee, agent, or attorney for such agency or institution) on
      which the subpoena is served, to not disclose to any person the
      existence or contents of the subpoena or any information
      furnished in response to the subpoena; and
        (K) the Secretary of Agriculture, or authorized representative
      from the Food and Nutrition Service or contractors acting on
      behalf of the Food and Nutrition Service, for the purposes of
      conducting program monitoring, evaluations, and performance
      measurements of State and local educational and other agencies
      and institutions receiving funding or providing benefits of 1 or
      more programs authorized under the Richard B. Russell National
      School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.) or the Child Nutrition
      Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.) for which the results will
      be reported in an aggregate form that does not identify any
      individual, on the conditions that - 
          (i) any data collected under this subparagraph shall be
        protected in a manner that will not permit the personal
        identification of students and their parents by other than the
        authorized representatives of the Secretary; and
          (ii) any personally identifiable data shall be destroyed when
        the data are no longer needed for program monitoring,
        evaluations, and performance measurements.

    Nothing in subparagraph (E) of this paragraph shall prevent a State
    from further limiting the number or type of State or local
    officials who will continue to have access thereunder.
      (2) No funds shall be made available under any applicable program
    to any educational agency or institution which has a policy or
    practice of releasing, or providing access to, any personally
    identifiable information in education records other than directory
    information, or as is permitted under paragraph (1) of this
    subsection, unless - 
        (A) there is written consent from the student's parents
      specifying records to be released, the reasons for such release,
      and to whom, and with a copy of the records to be released to the
      student's parents and the student if desired by the parents, or
        (B) except as provided in paragraph (1)(J), such information is
      furnished in compliance with judicial order, or pursuant to any
      lawfully issued subpoena, upon condition that parents and the
      students are notified of all such orders or subpoenas in advance
      of the compliance therewith by the educational institution or
      agency.

      (3) Nothing contained in this section shall preclude authorized
    representatives of (A) the Comptroller General of the United
    States, (B) the Secretary, or (C) State educational authorities
    from having access to student or other records which may be
    necessary in connection with the audit and evaluation of Federally-
    supported education programs, or in connection with the
    enforcement of the Federal legal requirements which relate to such
    programs: Provided, That except when collection of personally
    identifiable information is specifically authorized by Federal law,
    any data collected by such officials shall be protected in a manner
    which will not permit the personal identification of students and
    their parents by other than those officials, and such personally
    identifiable data shall be destroyed when no longer needed for such
    audit, evaluation, and enforcement of Federal legal requirements.
      (4)(A) Each educational agency or institution shall maintain a
    record, kept with the education records of each student, which will
    indicate all individuals (other than those specified in paragraph
    (1)(A) of this subsection), agencies, or organizations which have
    requested or obtained access to a student's education records
    maintained by such educational agency or institution, and which
    will indicate specifically the legitimate interest that each such
    person, agency, or organization has in obtaining this information.
    Such record of access shall be available only to parents, to the
    school official and his assistants who are responsible for the
    custody of such records, and to persons or organizations authorized
    in, and under the conditions of, clauses (A) and (C) of paragraph
    (1) as a means of auditing the operation of the system.
      (B) With respect to this subsection, personal information shall
    only be transferred to a third party on the condition that such
    party will not permit any other party to have access to such
    information without the written consent of the parents of the
    student. If a third party outside the educational agency or
    institution permits access to information in violation of paragraph
    (2)(A), or fails to destroy information in violation of paragraph
    (1)(F), the educational agency or institution shall be prohibited
    from permitting access to information from education records to
    that third party for a period of not less than five years.
      (5) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit State
    and local educational officials from having access to student or
    other records which may be necessary in connection with the audit
    and evaluation of any federally or State supported education
    program or in connection with the enforcement of the Federal legal
    requirements which relate to any such program, subject to the
    conditions specified in the proviso in paragraph (3).
      (6)(A) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an
    institution of postsecondary education from disclosing, to an
    alleged victim of any crime of violence (as that term is defined in
    section 16 of title 18), or a nonforcible sex offense, the final
    results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by such
    institution against the alleged perpetrator of such crime or
    offense with respect to such crime or offense.
      (B) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an
    institution of postsecondary education from disclosing the final
    results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by such
    institution against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of any
    crime of violence (as that term is defined in section 16 of title
    18), or a nonforcible sex offense, if the institution determines as
    a result of that disciplinary proceeding that the student committed
    a violation of the institution's rules or policies with respect to
    such crime or offense.
      (C) For the purpose of this paragraph, the final results of any
    disciplinary proceeding - 
        (i) shall include only the name of the student, the violation
      committed, and any sanction imposed by the institution on that
      student; and
        (ii) may include the name of any other student, such as a
      victim or witness, only with the written consent of that other
      student.

      (7)(A) Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit an
    educational institution from disclosing information provided to the
    institution under section 14071 (!2) of title 42 concerning
    registered sex offenders who are required to register under such
    section.

      (B) The Secretary shall take appropriate steps to notify
    educational institutions that disclosure of information described
    in subparagraph (A) is permitted.
    (c) Surveys or data-gathering activities; regulations
      Not later than 240 days after October 20, 1994, the Secretary
    shall adopt appropriate regulations or procedures, or identify
    existing regulations or procedures, which protect the rights of
    privacy of students and their families in connection with any
    surveys or data-gathering activities conducted, assisted, or
    authorized by the Secretary or an administrative head of an
    education agency. Regulations established under this subsection
    shall include provisions controlling the use, dissemination, and
    protection of such data. No survey or data-gathering activities
    shall be conducted by the Secretary, or an administrative head of
    an education agency under an applicable program, unless such
    activities are authorized by law.
    (d) Students' rather than parents' permission or consent
      For the purposes of this section, whenever a student has attained
    eighteen years of age, or is attending an institution of
    postsecondary education, the permission or consent required of and
    the rights accorded to the parents of the student shall thereafter
    only be required of and accorded to the student.
    (e) Informing parents or students of rights under this section
      No funds shall be made available under any applicable program to
    any educational agency or institution unless such agency or
    institution effectively informs the parents of students, or the
    students, if they are eighteen years of age or older, or are
    attending an institution of postsecondary education, of the rights
    accorded them by this section.
    (f) Enforcement; termination of assistance
      The Secretary shall take appropriate actions to enforce this
    section and to deal with violations of this section, in accordance
    with this chapter, except that action to terminate assistance may
    be taken only if the Secretary finds there has been a failure to
    comply with this section, and he has determined that compliance
    cannot be secured by voluntary means.
    (g) Office and review board; creation; functions
      The Secretary shall establish or designate an office and review
    board within the Department for the purpose of investigating,
    processing, reviewing, and adjudicating violations of this section
    and complaints which may be filed concerning alleged violations of
    this section. Except for the conduct of hearings, none of the
    functions of the Secretary under this section shall be carried out
    in any of the regional offices of such Department.
    (h) Disciplinary records; disclosure
      Nothing in this section shall prohibit an educational agency or
    institution from - 
        (1) including appropriate information in the education record
      of any student concerning disciplinary action taken against such
      student for conduct that posed a significant risk to the safety
      or well-being of that student, other students, or other members
      of the school community; or
        (2) disclosing such information to teachers and school
      officials, including teachers and school officials in other
      schools, who have legitimate educational interests in the
      behavior of the student.
    (i) Drug and alcohol violation disclosures
      (1) In general
        Nothing in this Act or the Higher Education Act of 1965 [20
      U.S.C. 1001 et seq., 42 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.] shall be construed
      to prohibit an institution of higher education from disclosing,
      to a parent or legal guardian of a student, information regarding
      any violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule
      or policy of the institution, governing the use or possession of
      alcohol or a controlled substance, regardless of whether that
      information is contained in the student's education records, if -
      
          (A) the student is under the age of 21; and
          (B) the institution determines that the student has committed
        a disciplinary violation with respect to such use or
        possession.
      (2) State law regarding disclosure
        Nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed to supersede any
      provision of State law that prohibits an institution of higher
      education from making the disclosure described in subsection (a)
      of this section.
    (j) Investigation and prosecution of terrorism
      (1) In general
        Notwithstanding subsections (a) through (i) of this section or
      any provision of State law, the Attorney General (or any Federal
      officer or employee, in a position not lower than an Assistant
      Attorney General, designated by the Attorney General) may submit
      a written application to a court of competent jurisdiction for an
      ex parte order requiring an educational agency or institution to
      permit the Attorney General (or his designee) to - 
          (A) collect education records in the possession of the
        educational agency or institution that are relevant to an
        authorized investigation or prosecution of an offense listed in
        section 2332b(g)(5)(B) of title 18, or an act of domestic or
        international terrorism as defined in section 2331 of that
        title; and
          (B) for official purposes related to the investigation or
        prosecution of an offense described in paragraph (1)(A),
        retain, disseminate, and use (including as evidence at trial or
        in other administrative or judicial proceedings) such records,
        consistent with such guidelines as the Attorney General, after
        consultation with the Secretary, shall issue to protect
        confidentiality.
      (2) Application and approval
        (A) In general. - An application under paragraph (1) shall
      certify that there are specific and articulable facts giving
      reason to believe that the education records are likely to
      contain information described in paragraph (1)(A).
        (B) The court shall issue an order described in paragraph (1)
      if the court finds that the application for the order includes
      the certification described in subparagraph (A).
      (3) Protection of educational agency or institution
        An educational agency or institution that, in good faith,
      produces education records in accordance with an order issued
      under this subsection shall not be liable to any person for that
      production.
      (4) Record-keeping
        Subsection (b)(4) of this section does not apply to education
      records subject to a court order under this subsection.