Confidentiality: CONFIDENTIALITY OF STUDENT WITH IEP AND STUDENT WITH 504

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Chryssie:  I’ve experienced two incidents in the last month in the public high school where I work. (1) In the school where I work (District A), a colleague of mine who is the husband of the  principal at my oldest son’s school (District B), knew my son was a student in her building.  (2) A student in one of my classes used a specific wording that referred to my opting my youngest son out of testing and specific instruction. This student’s mother is my son’s assistant principal.  Are either of these incidents a breach in confidentiality?  I would like court cases, laws, anything documentation that will support my position. Thank you.

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Kathleen

My son had had an IEP that started in 3rd grade. On June 28th (after the school let out for the summer) my son had gone to play at a friend’s apartment complex with other children from his class. One of the children handed my son a piece of paper and said “my mom said to give this to you.” My son ran the piece of paper over to me. Upon reading the paper I was horrified, it was my son’s IEP progress report card with narritive on my son’s progress and his grades. I didn’t know this child or this mother. The one page crumbled paper I received had page 82 on the bottom so I have no idea how many pages were sent but I only received the one page. I made several calls to the school district with a promise of a call back which I never received. Please advise what I should do about this.

Chuck

You can put the request for the document in writing. Your state parent training and information center can assist you. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

Jill G

Chryssie –

It’s generally acceptable for people to know that a student attends a particular school. In fact, under FERPA, schools are allowed to release what is called “directory information” to third parties – this includes student names, ages, grades, home address, and telephone – unless parents opt out of that. So the first situation probably wouldn’t be a breach of confidentiality. An exception may exist if the school solely served students with IEPs, but probably not even then if it’s a public school.

The second situation may be an issue. It’s debatable whether the information shared would be protected under FERPA, but it does certainly sound unprofessional. Perhaps have a talk with the mother/assistant principal?