Are there FERPA issues surrounding teachers speaking at JRB meetings?I don't claim to be an expert on the FERPA law but it seems to me that the release a family signs when they agree to the JRB process should be sufficient for the school to provide information in the child's educational record. Perhaps the release form can be amended to specifically authorize the school "to disclose information from the child's educational record to the JRB for the purposes of handling a matter involving the child that is being considered by the JRB."
Also, as I understand FERPA, it only applies to information found in a student's "educational record" so it would not apply to information found in the records of the "law enforcement unit" of the school if the records were maintained for law enforcement purposes and it would also not apply to the personal observations of the educator. So a teacher could talk about what they saw during an incident as long as what they were talking about was from their personal observation and not from the record.
This opinion is based on an OJJDP publication on FERPA that, while thirteen years old, should still be valid. It can be found here.
Click to Return to JRB Questions.