Can teachers disclose students' information without consent of the parents?

Asked over 1 year ago - Philadelphia, PA

My boyfriend has sole custody of his daughter and he has been emailing the teacher (Catholic school) about grades, upcoming events, etc but she never replies. Rather, the child's grandmother (mother's mom) also works in the same school and seems to know everything that the father does not: grades on tests, disciplinary events, tuition info, upcoming event fees and registration paid/sent in advance. The mother is NOT involved in the situation and the father never gave consent for information about anything to be released to the grandmother. Not only is it distracting but interfering in his ability to be a father. Are there any laws that forbid a teacher/school from releasing this information to a relative when the father has NOT given consent? Thank you.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Alyssa Harland Knisely

    Contributor Level 6

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The Federal Educational Orivacy Rights Act prohibits public school disclosure of student information, such as grades, physical exam results, disciplinary records and other "non-directory" information. So, the short answer is that the school or it's agent, a teacher, should not be sharing this information with a third party. Things however, get murky when that third party is also working at the school and may have routine access to such information. I doubt there's a violation in this instance. Instead, you should focus more on why the school has failed to provide this information to the father and legal custodian. I would contact the school's superintendent to discuss these concerns. There may be a reasonable explanation. The school may need a copy of a court order, if one exists, regarding dad's primary and legal custody of the child.

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