“If someone in the community wants a roaster of all the students in the school, the school must release the information, excluding the names of students whose parents requested their names to be exempt form discloser.
The penalty for illegal disclosure is withholding of federal funds from the school district through the U.S. Department of Education. DOES NOT APPLY TO STUDENTS GRADING EACH OTHERS PAPERS BECAUSE ITS NOT AND EDUCATIONAL RECORD KEPT BY THE DISTRICT. It’s not considered a “record” kept by the district until the grade is recorded in a grade book.
Reasonable is the key word here….the school official needs more than a feeling or a hunch!!!
Some commentators that advise school law are against “general searches or sweep” not involving health of safety reasons
The purpose of this Act is to kept the public awareof the workings of the government states “Every regular, special, or called meeting of agovernmental body shall be OPEN to the public.”The meetings must be held within the boundaries ofthe school district. Open session meetings cover public businessmatters or public policies.
Defines meetings as staff briefing sessions where boardmembers receive information or give information to a third partyA written notice must be accessible at the administrationbuilding to inform the public about the place, date, time, andsubjects at lease 72 hours BEFORE the meetingOnly subjects on the written notice should be discussedTape recording or written minutes must be kept to reflect thesubject(s) discussed, decisions, or other actions taken. Theserecordings will be kept for at least 2 years
Closed meetings that are NOT open to the public must involve:1. Purchase or lease of real estate property2. Security measures3. Receipt of gifts4. Consultation with attorney5. Personnel matters6. Economic development7. Certain homeland security matters**Closed meetings must adequately describe the subjects that will be discussed in a public notice
The Right to Know Guarantees the public has access to government information. The Texas Government Code gives citizens the right to access government records, without having to state a reason for the request. Every citizen is entitled to a prompt and appropriate response to an open records request.
RIGHT TO KNOW RIGHT TO PRIVACY Name, sex, ethnicity, s All personal alary, title, and dates Information and of employment lifestyle matters that will violate someone’s Educator’s degree privacy obtained and curriculum studied Evaluation documents Records and Transcripts allegations against a school personnel
FERPA is a federal law that protects theprivacy of student education records. The lawapplies to all schools that receive funds fromthe state This Act ensure student and parental rightsin education. It also allows a student to VIEWor COPY the items inside of their records.
Parents can deny the release of information to third parties pertaining to their child Parents have unlimited access to their child’s attendance and counseling records, test scores, reports about behavior, and ANY files, documents, and other material maintained by the school district pertaining to their child. Parents are entitled to receive a understanding about assessments that may be used to determine learning behaviors and personality traits. Parental consent is needed. Parents can challenge or question the content found in the records and request an amendment to be added in the file if the records are misleading.
If a school violates the regulations of FERPA they risk the chance of termination of federal funding through the U.S. Department of Education. Educators can face termination of employment!McGilvray v. Moses, 1999
The 4th Amendment guarantees the rights ofthe people to be secured in theirpersons, house, paper, and effects, againstUNREASONABLE searches and seizures, shallnot be violated, and no warrants shall issuebut upon probable cause
The Right to Privacy or the Right to Know Are students protected by the Fourth Amendment “the right from unreasonable searches” when randomly asked to submit to a urine test?
Yes, BUT…. As general rule, most districts practice their right to know when suspicion arises. If an individual is suspected of illegal drug possession or usage, they can be subjected to drug testing. *This rule also applies to educators. Some degree of individualized suspicion is needed
Do school officials hold the same RIGHTS as parents to search a student to preserve order?
YES!..... School officials can search a student if:1. a there is a REASONABLE cause that the student has violated a school rule or law.2. the search is appropriate for the age, gender, and nature of offence **A search can include lockers, cars, backpacks, and personal belongings
A school district or school can enforce a policy that requires a general search for ALL students. However, the students must be aware of this action in the student code of conduct. This includes random drug testing and metal detectors. Students should also know that any item in “plain view” will be taken and could be subjected to discipline measures.*students’ privacy rights are limited in the public school setting because the district is responsible and expected to maintain order.
The use of sniffer dogs or metal detectors to inspect personalbelongings, lockers and cars on school property is NOTconsidered a search during a general search. However….Once a sniffer dog or metal detectors alerts schoolofficials, there is grounds for REASONABLE SUSPICIONand a search can be conducted to locate thecontraband
The United States Supreme court ruled that public schools are entitled to protection of the Fourth Amendment. Yet, the courts realized that school officials may need to perform searches to maintain order. The FULL protection of the Constitution Does NOT apply to students.
TheEducators’ Right toKnow and Right toPrivacy…
Is the personal information stored on a teacher’sschool-district owned computer privateinformation?
NO!If the computer was issued by the schoolfor educational purposes, it should notbe used for private or personal use. Theinformation stored on the computer isNOT considered private information andcan be inspected by the district atanytime.
“Theconstitutional right of privacy does not protect against the disclosure of information about unlawful activity” P.350
Defamation is false and unprivileged spoken words or written publication, which expose ridicules to lower the reputation of someone. These statements has a tendency to cause damage to one’s occupation.Two types of defamation: slander- oral statements libel- written statements
1. the words meets the definition of defamation2. the words were communicated to a third party3. the words are false4. caused injuryThese conditions suggest some defense to claim of defamation.Employees have the RIGHT to clear their names if their reputation is stigmatized due to defamationHammond v. Katy ISD
The community, educators, and students have the RIGHT to KNOW and the RIGHT to PRIVACY. When a situation involves personal information, student records, students rights, work ethics, searches, and seizes, it is necessary for one act with caution and use common sense to avoid violating someone’s constitutional rights and the risk of a lawsuit. Know the difference between the Right to KNOW and the Right to PRIVACY.
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