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Washington Privacy of School Records Laws

Washington School Record Privacy Laws at a Glance

School records are generally kept confidential, as dictated by state laws, with some variation on who may access these records. Many teachers believe that some records should not be accessed by parents, though, particularly messages to future teachers about behavior problems. Washington's privacy of school records laws are relatively minimal, only requiring personal information in school records to be exempt from public review.

Contact Washington's Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction if you would like to request school records.

What Types of School Records are Protected by State and Federal Privacy Laws?

Generally speaking, certain types of school records are protected by most school privacy laws. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Transcripts - A student's official academic record, including classes taken and grades received in each.
  • Verifcation of Graduation - The diploma is a unique document for which no copies are made, but a graduation verification is an official document that can be mailed out to upon request.
  • Other Student Records - Other documents may include as attendance and discipline records, test results, and contact information (such as home address, phone numbers, etc.).

How Federal Law Protects the Privacy of School Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records, applicable to schools that receive federal funding (this includes essentially all public schools). FERPA gives parents and eligible students access to their records, allowing them to make corrections if necessary, and requires written permission from the student (or a parent) in order to disclose these records to third parties.

The code section and basic provisions of Washington's privacy of school records laws are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's School Privacy section to learn more.

Code Section 42.17.310
Who Has Access to School Records? Personal information in school records exempt from public inspection and copying.
Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws -

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

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Washington Privacy of School Records Laws: Related Resources

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