Posted by Jennifer A. Hardin on 2/14/2019

In December, the Legal Ledger reported that the Federal Commission on School Safety, formed by President Trump after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, had released its report and recommendations. In…

Posted by Sara C. Clark on 4/20/2018

Yesterday, the federal Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) released an FAQ about how photos and videos should be treated under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

FERPA generally prohibits school districts from disclosing personally identifiable…

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Posted by Sara Clark on 10/7/2016

The U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) has issued a guidance video concerning the use of email in schools and student data privacy. In the short video, the Department briefly explains the protections afforded student personally identifiable information (PII) by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and asks school employees to evaluate the risks associated with using email as a convenient means of transmitting such sensitive information.

If you haven’t starting utilizing PTAC…

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Posted by Megan Greulich on 9/9/2016

House Bill (HB) 359, Ohio’s new Safe at Home program, became effective yesterday, Sept. 8. The HB 359 bill analysis is available here. The program creates a system of address confidentiality implemented through the secretary of state’s (SOS) office. The new provisions appear in Ohio Revised Code (RC) sections 111.41, 111.42…

Posted by Jennifer Hardin on 7/24/2016

On Thursday, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a ruling in State ex rel. School Choice Ohio, Inc. v. Cincinnati Pub. School Dist. [Cincinnati Public School District was dismissed as a respondent in this case when it entered into a settlement agreement with SCO.]

In October 2013, School Choice Ohio (SCO) submitted a public records request to Springfield City School District, requesting:

  1. Student’s and parent’s/guardian’s name,
  2. Parent’s/guardian's complete address and email address,…
Posted by Megan Greulich on 1/26/2016

This morning, the Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments in School Choice Ohio Inc. v. Cincinnati Public School District and Springfield City School District. School Choice Ohio (SCO) filed the lawsuit after the Springfield City School District denied SCO’s request for student names and addresses. In 2013, Springfield adopted a policy that stopped student names, addresses, phone numbers and other identifying data from being designated as “directory information” under the Family Education Rights and Privacy…

Posted by Sara Clark on 2/8/2013

On January 14, 2013, President Barack Obama signed the "Uninterrupted Scholars Act of 2013." The Act amends the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which generally prohibits the release of personally identifiable information from student education records without written consent from a parent or eligible student.

Before the Act's passage, the records of foster youth could not be easily obtained by agency caseworkers. A child welfare worker was required to obtain parental consent for the transfer of education records or receive a court order from a judge. The…

Posted by Candice Christon on 7/20/2012

The OSBA Legal Assistance Fund (LAF) recently participated in an Ohio Supreme Court case between The Ohio State University (Ohio State) and ESPN. The LAF joined the Ohio Legal Rights Service, Community Legal Aid Services, and Northeast Ohio Legal Services, and submitted an amici curiae brief arguing that Ohio State was prohibited from disclosing the records requested by ESPN pursuant to Ohio's Public Records Act and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

In the case, State ex rel. ESPN Inc. v. Ohio State Univ., Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-2690, ESPN…

Posted by OSBA Legal Ledger on 2/25/2009

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Affordability Act of 1996 and its regulations contain a Privacy Rule that requires covered health care providers to keep health information confidential. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) covers students enrolled in elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools that receive federal funding. It requires school districts to keep confidential students' personally identifiable information other than directory information. Many people are confused about how these two laws work and exactly what information is required to be kept…