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Nebraska Privacy of School Records Laws

Privacy is a fundamental right, especially in schools, where students spend a significant portion of their time. In Nebraska, like in many other states, there are laws in place to protect the privacy of students and their families. One of the most important federal laws regarding student privacy is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA protects the privacy of student education records. It covers all educational agencies and institutions that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education. This article explores Nebraska's privacy laws. In the following information, learn about how FERPA works with state law to help student privacy protection.

Privacy of School Records Laws Generally

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law. FERPA creates requirements for the privacy of student education records in educational institutions. These records include any information directly related to a student. The information is maintained by an educational agency or institution. FERPA gives parents certain rights regarding the education records of their children. These rights are transferred to the student when they attend a school past the high school level or become 18 years old.

Schools must have written permission from the eligible student or parent to release any information. This disclosure of the student's education record is prohibited except in specified circumstances. These circumstances include situations involving health and safety emergencies. They also include court-ordered subpoenas and requests made by school officials. School officials must have a legitimate educational interest.

Nebraska Privacy of School Records Laws

In Nebraska, FERPA is complemented by state laws. These laws provide additional and more detailed protections for student privacy. The Nebraska Department of Education implements and enforces these laws. Nebraska privacy laws apply to both public and private schools within the state. They cover a wide range of student information. This information includes student names, dates of attendance, social security numbers, and more.

Schools in Nebraska must take measures to ensure the privacy and protection of student data. This includes safeguarding against unauthorized access to student records. It also includes ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to such information. Nebraska privacy laws also prohibit the disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII). PII can't be disclosed without written permission from the parent or eligible student. But there are some exceptions in limited circumstances outlined in FERPA.

Code Section Nebraska Revised Statute § 84-712.05
Who Has Access to School Records? Records are withheld from the public unless disclosed in court or administrative proceedings. Records can also be disclosed if they contain only directory information.
How To File a Complaint with the Federal Government To file a complaint about school record privacy violations, contact the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office.
Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws In Nebraska, school officials guilty of violations are subject to removal or impeachment. They can also be charged with a Class III misdemeanor within the state. Violations of FERPA can result in severe penalties at the federal level. Schools found in violation of FERPA may face the loss of federal funding. This includes both grants and loans. Persons responsible for unauthorized disclosure of student records can also be held responsible. This means they are subject to fines or other disciplinary actions. The U.S. Department of Education imposes these actions.

Note: State laws are not carved in stone and may change at any time, most often through the enactment of newly signed legislation but also through higher court decisions and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you may also want to contact a Nebraska education law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Federal Protection of School Records

FERPA prohibits schools from disclosing personally identifiable educational records without the parent's written permission, including files, documents, health records, or other materials pertaining to a student and maintained by the school. PPRA also places certain restrictions on the participation of students in surveys, evaluations, or other potential disclosure of sensitive information.

Getting Legal Help

You or your child may be in situations where your privacy is violated. In these situations, you have the right to seek legal help. Lawyers can help clarify student privacy and parental rights. Attorneys with experience in education law can provide guidance and representation to protect students' rights. They can also help ensure compliance with applicable federal and state regulations and school district policies. Attorneys can review subpoenas and other court orders and provide and provide guidance on them.

Consult a qualified Nebraska education attorney about your potential case today.

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