Lawsuit Forces Disclosure of Student Information

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The Laguna Beach Unified School District notified parents and guardians that their children’s confidential school records will be disclosed to parties involved in a lawsuit, unless parents or guardians provide an objection.

A judge is hearing a case brought by two nonprofit groups representing parents of Morgan Hill students with disabilities, who have sued the California Department of Education, says a district statement. The judge ordered the state agency to provide the plaintiffs with information on students who have attended public schools statewide since January 2008.

The order prohibits use of the information outside the context of the lawsuit and the return or destruction of the confidential records at the conclusion of the lawsuit, the district statement says.

Information on the CDE database includes name, social security number, home address, demographics, course information, teacher demographics, behavior and discipline information, progress reports, special education assessments and evaluations, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), health and medical records, attendance statistics, discipline records and state test results.

While the local district is not being compelled to disclose any student information, LBUSD student information held by the state agency will be submitted to the plaintiffs unless parents or former students opt out. An objection may be submitted to the court by April 1.

Objection forms are available from the CDE at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/ws/documents/form2016jan26.pdf or from the LBUSD at: http://www.lbusd.org/cf_news/view.cfm?newsid=263.

Correction:

The article Lawsuit Forces Disclosure of Student Information in the Feb. 26 edition imprecisely described the action parents can take in response to a lawsuit filed against the state Department of Education. Parents may object to allowing the release of their children’s information to the court, but the CDE says there is no guarantee that the court will abide by the objections. However, the local district still recommends that parents complete the objection forms and submit them by April 1.

 

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