Apparently not if your child attends a school where they post or disclose personally identifiable information that is readily apparent for all to view.
I've seen this first hand at Blair. Every few weeks, our trusted Blair volunteer coordinator puts out a plea for volunteers to help stuff envelopes containing student interim grades for mailing to parents. When I have questioned this practice, I've been told that the letters are folded in such a way that the volunteers do not see the individual score reports, and that even if they view the letters, the parents are acting in accordance with school policies that let them perform these tasks. Pretty feeble justification, in my opinion, especially when the policy requires training of the volunteers, documentation of the hours, and requires that the the principal is responsible for:
Supervising the scheduling of the volunteer, determining the
role of the volunteer, and assuring that the volunteer has no access to
confidential student or personnel information.
Then, a few weeks ago, at Blair, I noticed the public posting of students who were scheduled to sit for the January administration of HSAs. Names, room numbers, and tests to be taken - names of those students who didn't pass the tests when they were administered the previous May. My student's name is not among the ones posted, so I don't have standing to complain. This time Blair administration won't get an e-mail from me - but I hope that some of the parents of kids named on the list will say something.
Is this an isolated practice? No. Just yesterday, I heard of another high school in Bethesda that will be posting names in the school hallways of students who owe financial obligations. I thought that practice was eliminated - after all, didn't Magruder and Richard Montgomery HS also do that a few years ago and were told to stop?
From the Department of Education website:
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g;
34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
. . .
Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. (34 CFR § 99.31)
What can you do as a parent or student? Call your principal, show him/her the law, assume this is a mistake, but ask to get the information off the wall.
Should they refuse and you want to pursue this further? Contact the Department of Education Compliance office at the information on their website.
For additional information or technical assistance, you may call (202) 260-3887 (voice).
Individuals who use TDD may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.
Or you [use] the following address:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920