Michigan Privacy of School Records Laws
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
Students are always afraid of what will wind up on their “permanent record. Surely, there some file cabinet or computer database meticulously cataloging every report card and every talking to we got from the principal. But what law governs who has access to your school records? This article is a quick summary of privacy of school records laws in Michigan.
General School Records Laws
The issue of who has access to a public school student's records is not as simple as it may seem at first glance. On one hand, parents have a compelling argument that accessing these records helps them keep an eye on their child's progress. But teachers and administrators also have a strong argument that they should be able to deal with their students in confidence. On a federal level, students’ school records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Privacy of School Records Laws in Michigan
In Michigan, teachers and other school employees may not disclose a student's records without that student's consent. Learn more about Michigan's privacy of school records laws in the table below.
Who Has Access to School Records?
In legal proceedings, counselors, teachers, and school employees may not disclose information or records of student's behavior received in confidence without consent.
Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws
A person’s the right to be free from an unreasonable intrusion into personal matters exists, to a lesser extent, for students in a school setting. A student’s right to privacy extends to admissions information, conduct reports, and education records. A student's privacy rights could be violated if his or her personal information is disclosed to unauthorized third parties without his or her consent or if his or her locker or backpack is searched without authorization. When these issues involve the safety of other students and members of the community, it often becomes difficult for school administrators to balance a student's privacy with the school administration’s right to know and control the school environment. Students will generally have fewer privacy protections in school than out of school, meaning some searches of lockers or handbags may be permitted, but disclosure of confidential information is not.
Michigan Privacy of School Records Laws: Related Resources
State laws on privacy and education can change. You can contact a Michigan education attorney if you would like legal assistance regarding a school records issue. For more introductory information on this topic, you can visit FindLaw’s School Privacy section.
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