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1232g. Family educational and privacy rights
(a) Conditions for availability of funds to educational agencies or institutions; inspection and
review of education records; specific information to be made available; procedure for access to
education records; reasonableness of time for such access; hearings; written explanations by
(1)(A) No funds shall be made available under any applicable program to any
educational agency or institution which has a policy of denying, or which effectively prevents, the
parents of students who are or have been in attendance at a school of such agency or at such
institution, as the case may be, the right to inspect and review the education records of their
children. If any material or document in the education record of a student includes information
on more than one student, the parents of one of such students shall have the right to inspect and
review only such part of such material or documents as relates to such student or to be informed
of the specific information contained in such part of such material. Each educational agency or
institution shall establish appropriate procedures for the granting of a request by parents for
access to the education records of their children within a reasonable period of time, but in no
case more than 45 days after the request has been made.
(B) No funds under any applicable program shall be made available to any State
educational agency (whether or not that agency is an educational agency or institution
under this section) that has a policy of denying, or effectively prevents, the parents of
students the right to inspect and review the education records maintained by the State
educational agency on their children who are or have been in attendance at any school
of an educational agency or institution that is subject to the provisions of this section.
(C) The first sentence of subparagraph (A) shall not operate to make available to
students in institutions of postsecondary education the following materials:
(i) financial records of the parents of the students or any information contained therein;
(ii) confidential letters and statements of recommendation, which were placed in the education records prior to January 1, 1975, if such letters or statements are not used for purposes other than those for which they were specifically intended;
(iii) if the student has signed a waiver of the student's right of access
under this subsection in accordance with subparagraph (D), confidential
(I) respecting admission to any educational agency or institution,
(II) respecting an application for employment, and
(III) respecting the receipt of an honor or honorary recognition.
(D) A student or a person applying for admission may waive his right of access
to confidential statements described in clause (iii) of subparagraph (C), except that such
waiver shall apply to recommendations only if
(i) the student is, upon request, notified of the names of all persons making confidential recommendations and
(ii) such recommendations are used solely for the purpose for which they
were specifically intended.
Such waivers may not be required as a condition for admission to, receipt of financial aid
from or receipt of any other services or benefits from such agency or institution.
(2) No funds shall be made available under any applicable program to any educational
agency or institution unless the parents of students who are or have been in attendance at a
school of such agency or at such institution are provided an opportunity for a hearing by such
agency or institution, in accordance with regulations of the Secretary, to challenge the contents
of such student's education records, in order to insure that the records are not inaccurate,
misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of students, and to provide an
opportunity for the correction or deletion of any such inaccurate, misleading or otherwise
inappropriate data contained therein and to insert into such records a written explanation of the
parents respecting the content of such records.
(3) For the purposes of this section the term "educational agency or institution" means
any public or private agency or institution which is the recipient of funds under any applicable
(4)(A) For the purposes of this section, the term "education records" means, except as
may be provided otherwise in subparagraph (B), those records, files, documents, and other
materials which --
(i) contain information directly related to a student; and
(ii) are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a person
acting for such agency or institution.
(B) The term "education records" does not include --
(i) records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel and educational personnel ancillary thereto which are in the sole possession of the maker thereof and which are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a substitute;
(ii) records maintained by a law enforcement unit of the educational agency or institution that were created by that law enforcement unit for the purpose of law enforcement;
(iii) in the case of persons who are employed by an educational agency or institution but who are not in attendance at such agency or institution, records made and maintained in the normal course of business which relate exclusively to such person in that person's capacity as an employee and are not available for use for any other purpose; or
(iv) records on a student who is eighteen years of age or older, or is
attending an institution of postsecondary education, which are made or
maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized
professional or paraprofessional acting in his professional or paraprofessional
capacity, or assisting in that capacity, and which are made, maintained, or used
only in connection with the provision of treatment to the student, and are not
available to anyone other than persons providing such treatment, except that
such records can be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate
professional of the student's choice.
(5)(A) For the purposes of this section the term "directory information" relating to a
student includes the following: the student's name, address, telephone listing, date and place of
birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and
height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the
most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.
(B) Any educational agency or institution making public directory information
shall give public notice of the categories of information which it has designated as such
information with respect to each student attending the institution or agency and shall
allow a reasonable period of time after such notice has been given for a parent to inform
the institution or agency that any or all of the information designated should not be
released without the parent's prior consent.
(6) For the purposes of this section, the term "student" includes any person with respect
to whom an educational agency or institution maintains education records or personally
identifiable information, but does not include a person who has not been in attendance at such
agency or institution.
(b) Release of education records; parental consent requirement; exceptions; compliance with
judicial orders and subpoenas; audit and evaluation of federally-supported education programs;
(1) No funds shall be made available under any applicable program to any educational agency or institution which has a policy or practice of permitting the release of education records (or personally identifiable information contained therein other than directory information, as defined in paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of this section) of students without the written consent of their parents to any individual, agency, or organization, other than to the
(A) other school officials, including teachers within the educational institution or local educational agency, who have been determined by such agency or institution to have legitimate educational interests, including the educational interests of the child from whom consent would otherwise be required;
(B) officials of other schools or school systems in which the student seeks or intends to enroll, upon condition that the student's parents be notified of the transfer, receive a copy of the record if desired, and have an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the contents of the record;
(C)(i) authorized representatives of
(I) the Comptroller General of the United States,
(II) the Secretary, or
(III) State educational authorities; or
(ii) authorized representatives of the Attorney General for law enforcement
purposes under the same conditions as apply to the Secretary under paragraph
(D) in connection with a student's application for, or receipt of, financial aid;
(E) State and local officials or authorities to whom such information is
specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed pursuant to State statute adopted --
(i) before November 19, 1974, if the allowed reporting or disclosure concerns the juvenile justice system and such system's ability to effectively serve the student whose records are released, or
(ii) after November 19, 1974, if --
(I) the allowed reporting or disclosure concerns the juvenile justice system and such system's ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records are released; and
(II) the officials and authorities to whom such information is
disclosed certify in writing to the educational agency or institution that
the information will not be disclosed to any other party except as
provided under State law without the prior written consent of the parent
of the student;
(F) organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction, if such studies are conducted in such a manner as will not permit the personal identification of students and their parents by persons other than representatives of such organizations and such information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the purpose for which it is conducted;
(G) accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions;
(H) parents or a dependent student of such parents, as defined in section 152 of title 26;
(I) subject to regulations of the Secretary, in connection with an emergency, appropriate persons if knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons; and
(J)(i) the entity or persons designated in a Federal grand jury subpoena, in which
case the court shall order, for good cause shown, the educational agency or institution
(and any officer, director, employee, agent, or attorney for such agency or institution) on
which the subpoena is served, to not disclose to any person the existence or contents of
the subpoena or any information furnished to the grand jury in response to the subpoena;
(ii) the entity or persons designated in any other subpoena issued for a
law enforcement purpose, in which case the court or other issuing agency may
order, for good cause shown, the educational agency or institution (and any
officer, director, employee, agent, or attorney for such agency or institution) on
which the subpoena is served, to not disclose to any person the existence or
contents of the subpoena or any information furnished in response to the
Nothing in clause (E) of this paragraph shall prevent a State from further limiting the
number or type of State or local officials who will continue to have access thereunder.
(2) No funds shall be made available under any applicable program to any educational
agency or institution which has a policy or practice of releasing, or providing access to, any
personally identifiable information in education records other than directory information, or as is
permitted under paragraph (1) of this subsection, unless --
(A) there is written consent from the student's parents specifying records to be released, the reasons for such release, and to whom, and with a copy of the records to be released to the student's parents and the student if desired by the parents, or
(B) except as provided in paragraph (1)(J), such information is furnished in compliance with judicial order, or pursuant to any lawfully issued subpoena, upon condition that parents and the students are notified of all such orders or subpoenas in advance of the compliance therewith by the educational institution or agency.
(3) Nothing contained in this section shall preclude authorized representatives of
(A) the Comptroller General of the United States,
(B) the Secretary, or
(C) State educational authorities
from having access to student or other records which may be necessary in connection with the
audit and evaluation of Federally-supported education programs, or in connection with the
enforcement of the Federal legal requirements which relate to such programs: Provided, That
except when collection of personally identifiable information is specifically authorized by Federal
law, any data collected by such officials shall be protected in a manner which will not permit the
personal identification of students and their parents by other than those officials, and such
personally identifiable data shall be destroyed when no longer needed for such audit, evaluation,
and enforcement of Federal legal requirements.
(4)(A) Each educational agency or institution shall maintain a record, kept with the
education records of each student, which will indicate all individuals (other than those specified
in paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection), agencies, or organizations which have requested or
obtained access to a student's education records maintained by such educational agency or
institution, and which will indicate specifically the legitimate interest that each such person,
agency, or organization has in obtaining this information. Such record of access shall be
available only to parents, to the school official and his assistants who are responsible for the
custody of such records, and to persons or organizations authorized in, and under the conditions
of, clauses (A) and (C) of paragraph (1) as a means of auditing the operation of the system.
(B) With respect to this subsection, personal information shall only be
transferred to a third party on the condition that such party will not permit any other party
to have access to such information without the written consent of the parents of the
student. If a third party outside the educational agency or institution permits access to
information in violation of paragraph (2)(A), or fails to destroy information in violation of
paragraph (1)(F), the educational agency or institution shall be prohibited from permitting
access to information from education records to that third party for a period of not less
than five years.
(5) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit State and local educational
officials from having access to student or other records which may be necessary in connection
with the audit and evaluation of any federally or State supported education program or in
connection with the enforcement of the Federal legal requirements which relate to any such
program, subject to the conditions specified in the proviso in paragraph (3).
(6)(A) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an institution of
postsecondary education from disclosing, to an alleged victim of any crime of violence (as that
term is defined in section 16 of title 18), or a nonforcible sex offense, the final results of any
disciplinary proceeding conducted by such institution against the alleged perpetrator of such
crime or offense with respect to such crime or offense.
(B) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an institution of postsecondary
education from disclosing the final results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by such
institution against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of any crime of violence (as that term
is defined in section 16 of title 18), or a nonforcible sex offense, if the institution determines as a
result of that disciplinary proceeding that the student committed a violation of the institution's
rules or policies with respect to such crime or offense.
(C) For the purpose of this paragraph, the final results of any disciplinary proceeding --
(i) shall include the name of the student, the violation committed, and any sanction imposed by the institution on that student; and
(ii) may include the name of any other student, such as a victim or witness, only
with the written consent of that other student.
(c) Surveys of data-gathering activities; regulations
Not later than 240 days after October 20, 1994, the Secretary shall adopt appropriate
regulations or procedures, or identify existing regulations or procedures, which protect the rights
of privacy of students and their families in connection with any surveys or data-gathering
activities conducted, assisted, or authorized by the Secretary or an administrative head of an
education agency. Regulations established under this subsection shall include provisions
controlling the use, dissemination, and protection of such data. No survey or data-gathering
activities shall be conducted by the Secretary, or an administrative head of an education agency
under an applicable program, unless such activities are authorized by law.
(d) Students' rather than parents' permission or consent
For the purposes of this section, whenever a student has attained eighteen years of age,
or is attending an institution of postsecondary education, the permission or consent required of
and the rights accorded to the parents of the student shall thereafter only be required of and
accorded to the student.
(e) Informing parents or students of rights under this section
No funds shall be made available under any applicable program to any educational
agency or institution unless such agency or institution effectively informs the parents of students,
or the students, if they are eighteen years of age or older, or are attending an institution of
postsecondary education, of the rights accorded them by this section.
(f) Enforcement; termination of assistance
The Secretary shall take appropriate actions to enforce this section and to deal with
violations of this section, in accordance with this chapter, except that action to terminate
assistance may be taken only if the Secretary finds there has been a failure to comply with this
section, and he has determined that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means.
(g) Office and review board; creation; functions
The Secretary shall establish or designate an office and review board within the
Department for the purpose of investigating, processing, reviewing, and adjudicating violations of
this section and complaints which may be filed concerning alleged violations of this section.
Except for the conduct of hearings, none of the functions of the Secretary under this section shall
be carried out in any of the regional offices of such Department.
(h) Disciplinary records; disclosure
Nothing in this section shall prohibit an educational agency or institution from --
(1) including appropriate information in the education record of any student concerning disciplinary action taken against such student for conduct that posed a significant risk to the safety or well-being of that student, other students, or other members of the school community; or
(2) disclosing such information to teachers and school officials, including
teachers and school officials in other schools, who have legitimate educational interests
in the behavior of the student.
(i) Drug and alcohol violation disclosures
(1) In general
Nothing in this Act or the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.) shall be
construed to prohibit an institution of higher education from disclosing, to a parent or legal
guardian of a student, information regarding any violation of any Federal, State or local law, or of
any rule or policy of the institution, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled
substance, regardless of whether that information is contained in the student's education records,
(A) the student is under the age of 21; and
(B) the institution determines that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with
respect to such use or possession.
(2) State law regarding disclosure
Nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed to supersede any provision of State law that
prohibits an institution of higher education from making the disclosure described in subsection (a)
of this section.
1232h. Protection of pupil rights
(a) Inspection of instructional materials by parents or guardians
All instructional materials, including teacher's manuals, films, tapes, or other
supplementary material which will be used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation
as part of any applicable program shall be available for inspection by the parents or guardians of
(b) Limits on survey, analysis, or evaluation
No student shall be required, as part of any applicable program, to submit to a survey,
analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning --
(1) political affiliations;
(2) mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student or his family;
(3) sex behavior and attitudes;
(4) illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating and demeaning behavior;
(5) critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
(6) legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers; or
(7) income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for
participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program),
without the prior consent of the student (if the student is an adult or emancipated minor), or in the
case of an unemancipated minor, without the prior written consent of the parent.
Educational agencies and institutions shall give parents and students effective notice of
their rights under this section.
The Secretary shall take such action as the Secretary determines appropriate to enforce
this section, except that action to terminate assistance provided under an applicable program
shall be taken only if the Secretary determines that --
(1) there has been a failure to comply with such section; and
(2) compliance with such section cannot be secured by voluntary means.
(e) Office and review board
The Secretary shall establish or designate an office and review board within the
Department of Education to investigate, process, review, and adjudicate violations of the rights
established under this section.
1232i. Limitations on withholding of Federal assistance
(a) Refusal to supply personal data on students or families
Except as provided in section 1232g(b)(1)(D) of this title, the refusal of a State or local
educational agency or institution of higher education, community college, school, agency offering
a preschool program, or other educational institution to provide personally identifiable data on
students or their families, as part of any applicable program, to any Federal office, agency,
department, or other third party, on the grounds that it constitutes a violation of the right to
privacy and confidentiality of students or their parents, shall not constitute sufficient grounds for
the suspension or termination of Federal assistance. Such a refusal shall also not constitute
sufficient grounds for a denial of, a refusal to consider, or a delay in the consideration of, funding
for such a recipient in succeeding fiscal years. In the case of any dispute arising under this
section, reasonable notice and opportunity for a hearing shall be afforded the applicant.
(b) Noncompliance with nondiscrimination provisions of Federal law
The extension of Federal financial assistance to a local educational agency may not be
limited, deferred, or terminated by the Secretary on the ground of noncompliance with title VI of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [42 U.S.C. 2000d et. seq.] or any other nondiscrimination provision
of Federal law unless such agency is accorded the right of due process of law, which shall
(1) at least 30 days prior written notice of deferral to the agency, setting forth the particular program or programs which the Secretary finds to be operated in noncompliance with a specific provision of Federal law;
(2) the opportunity for a hearing on the record before a duly appointed administrative law judge within a 60-day period (unless such period is extended by mutual consent of the Secretary and such agency) from the commencement of any deferral;
(3) the conclusion of such hearing and the rendering of a decision on the merits by the administrative law judge within a period not to exceed 90 days from the commencement of such hearing, unless the judge finds by a decision that such hearing cannot be concluded or such decision cannot be rendered within such period, in which case such judge may extend such period for not to exceed 60 additional days;
(4) the limitation of any deferral of Federal financial assistance which may be imposed by the Secretary to a period not to exceed 15 days after the rendering of such decision unless there has been an express finding on such record that such agency has failed to comply with any such nondiscrimination provision of Federal law; and
(5) procedures, which shall be established by the Secretary, to ensure the
availability of sufficient funds, without regard to any fiscal year limitations, to comply with
the decision of such judge.
(c) Failure to comply with imposition of quotas
It shall be unlawful for the Secretary to defer or limit any Federal financial assistance on
the basis of any failure to comply with the imposition of quotas (or any other numerical
requirements which have the effect of imposing quotas) on the student admission practices of an
institution of higher education or community college receiving Federal financial assistance.