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Utah Privacy of School Records Laws

With every report card, hall pass, doctors’ note, and detention slip, came the same worry: will this wind up in my permanent record? And if so, who will see it? Maybe you envisioned all your grades and test scores typed into an online database, or a complete list of absences and demerits clipped in a manila folder in a basement filing cabinet. Either way, we’ve all been a little concerned about our school slip-ups seeing the light of day.

Fortunately for those of us who may have more trips to the principal’s office than most, the Beehive State restricts who can have access to our educational histories. This is an introduction to privacy of school records laws in Utah.

General School Records Laws

Each state’s privacy of school records laws can function a little differently, but most will limit access to school records to parents and school administrators only. In addition to state statutes, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) makes students’ school records confidential and lays out the requirements for student records requests.

Privacy of School Records Laws in Utah

Utah law only allows parents access to a student’s records. The table below lists Utah's privacy of school records statutes.

Code Section

Utah Code 53A-3-402.1: Access to School Records

Who Has Access to School Records?

School will release to custodial parent or non-custodial parent unless court order restricts non-custodial parent and school has a copy of such record.

Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws


Right to Privacy in Schools

While everyone has a right to be free from unreasonable intrusions into personal matters, this protection is lessened for students in a school setting. For the most part, a student’s privacy rights only extend to admissions information, education records, and conduct reports, making any disclosure of a student’s personal information to an unauthorized third party without his or her consent illegal.

However, the majority of state statutes protect school administrators’ right to know and control the school environment where the safety of other students and members of the community is at issue. Therefore, while disclosing a student’s confidential information is not permitted, limited physical searches of lockers, backpacks, or handbags are normally allowed.

Related Resources for Utah Privacy of School Records Laws

State and federal laws regarding student privacy can be confusing. If you would like legal assistance regarding a school records matter, you can consult with a Utah education attorney. You can also find additional articles and information by visiting FindLaw’s section on School Privacy.

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