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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=22071
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 12, 2017 12:03 PM
From: Representative Warren Kampf
To: All House members
Subject: Disclosure of School Discipline to Victims, Previous HB 2269
 
I am preparing to re-introduce legislation that will require a public school to disclose information concerning the discipline of a student enrolled in the public school to a person who was victimized by that student and presents a threat to that person. Under current law, schools refuse to give parents of children who have been threatened or physically harmed any information about the school discipline of the offending child.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal statute governing the privacy of student information. Under FERPA, a public school student’s education records generally cannot be disclosed to anyone other than the student’s parent unless the parent gives consent to the disclosure. There are exceptions to this Federal law. In the case of health or safety emergencies, a public school may disclose personally identifiable information from an education record in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. However, since FERPA does not require that public schools disclose information under these circumstances, public schools are often unwilling to release student discipline information to the families of classmates who may have been victimized by the student and who are seeking assurance that the disciplined student no longer presents a danger.

My legislation will eliminate some of the discretion that FERPA gives to public schools in these circumstances. Specifically, my bill will require a public school to disclose information concerning the discipline of a student, upon request, to appropriate parties other than the student’s parent, and without the consent of the student’s parent, in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. The bill further provides that knowledge of information shall be considered necessary to protect the health or safety of other individuals when (1) there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of the person requesting the disclosure or to the child of the person requesting the disclosure, and (2) the student has been charged criminally with respect to the conduct that is the subject of the request for disclosure.

It is important to protect the privacy of student information, but it is also important to protect the health or safety of those who were victimized by a student’s misconduct.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.



Introduced as HB919