Student Privacy Rights

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA)

COPPA imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from a child under 13 years of age.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) is a federal law that affords certain rights to parents of minor students with regard to surveys that ask questions of a personal nature. Briefly, the law requires that schools obtain written consent from parents before minor students are required to participate in any U.S. Department of Education funded survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning the following areas:

Political affiliations;
Mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student and his/her family;
Sex behavior and attitudes;
Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating and demeaning behavior;
Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent*; or
Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program.)