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North Carolina Privacy of School Records Laws

Privacy of Public School Records in General

The privacy of a student's school records is a matter of some debate. For example, many teachers believe that certain critical evaluations meant to be used internally may cause problems if accessed by parents (such as "warnings" to other teachers about behavior problems). But many parents have argued that it is simply unconscionable for a public education institution to withhold any records from parents or students. But most people agree that a student's records should never be shared with anyone outside the school other than the students and parents.

The Basics of North Carolina School Record Privacy Law

In North Carolina, school records are not subject to public inspection and communications with counselors are considered privileged. But the state allows parents to obtain records upon request.

Learn about North Carolina's privacy of school records laws with the following chart and links. See FindLaw's School Privacy section for links to related articles.

Code Section 8-53.4; 115C-174.13; 115C-402
Who Has Access to School Records? Not subject to public inspection; minimum competency test scores of students not public and available consistent with FERPA; counselor communication privileged. May be obtained by parent or student upon request.
Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws -
Agency to Contact with Complaints

To file a complaint about school record privacy violations, contact the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) at 1-8000-872-5327 or:

Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a North Carolina education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

What is FERPA?

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) dictates how schools handle parent or guardian requests for their child’s education records or amendments to them if they're inaccurate. Schools can't release educational records without the written consent of the parent. To release personally identifiable educational records, the school must provide the parent or guardian the following information:

  1. Records that’ll be released
  2. Reason for release
  3. Organization or person requesting the school records
  4. How they’ll be released (electronic, paper)
  5. That parents have a right to review or receive a copy of those records

Research the Law

North Carolina Privacy of School Records Laws: Related Resources

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