Keep Student Information Private
Much of the information you will deal with is private educational data on students and is protected by both state and federal privacy laws. Sharing information when there is no valid educational reason for doing so may subject you to discipline by the district and civil and criminal liability.
When discussing students with colleagues, ask yourself whether the discussion is really necessary to provide educational services to the student. Do not discuss individual students outside the school setting. Be sure that volunteers in your classroom know they must keep information on students private.
- Most student data is private and should not be released to anyone but the student, parents and staff with a legitimate educational interest.
- The law covers all releases of data. If you can’t release something in written form, you can’t release it verbally.
- Review your classroom practices to make sure you aren’t unnecessarily sharing information about students in class. Do not list the names of students who got the top scores or state the names of students who need to turn in work.
- If in doubt, when asked for information, withhold the requested information until you check with your principal to determine whether it can be released.
- If anyone questions you about a student, whether it be the media or a parent of another student, respond simply that the information is private student data and that you cannot discuss it.