best of our knowledge we have complied with all rules regulating the
release of school information. If you find otherwise, please let us
federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)411
prohibits educational institutions from releasing a student’s “education
records” 412 without the written consent of the eligible student 413 or
his or her parents, except as permitted by the Act.414 “Education
records” are records directly related to a student that are maintained
by an education agency or institution or by a party acting for the
agency or institution.
term encompasses records such as school transcripts, attendance records,
and student disciplinary records.
record is considered to be “directly related” to a student if it
contains “personally identifiable information.” The latter term is
defined broadly: it covers not only obvious identifiers such as student
and family member names, addresses, and Social Security Numbers, but
also personal characteristics or other information that would make the
student’s identity easily linkable.
evaluating records for release, an institution must consider what the
records requester already knows about the student to determine if that
knowledge, together with the information to be disclosed, would allow
the requester to ascertain the student’s identity.
federal FERPA law applies to all students, regardless of grade level. In
addition, Ohio has adopted laws specifically applicable to public school
students in grades K-12.
Those laws provide that, unless otherwise authorized by law, no public
school employee is permitted to release or permit access to personally
identifiable information – other than directory information – concerning
a public school student without written consent of the student’s parent,
guardian, or custodian if the student is under 18, or of the student if
the student is 18 or older.
Directory information” is one of several exceptions to the requirement
that an institution obtain written consent prior to disclosure.
“Directory information” is “information…that would not generally be
considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.
includes a student’s name, address, telephone listing, date and place of
birth, major field of study, participation in official recognized
activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams,
dates of attendance, date of graduation, and awards achieved.
Pursuant to federal law, post-secondary institutions designate what they
will unilaterally release as directory information. For K-12 students,
Ohio law leaves that designation to each school district board of
education. Institutions at all levels must notify parents and eligible
students and give them an opportunity to opt out of disclosure of their
law prohibits release of directory information to any person or group
for use in a profit-making plan on activity. A public office may require
disclosure of the requester’s identity or the intended use of directory
information in order to ascertain if it will be used in a profit-making
plan or activity.