9 Steps to Privacy: The Right to Seek to Amend under FERPA

Organization: Future of Privacy Forum
Author: David Sallay and Amelia Vance
Published: May 7, 2019

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) grants parents and eligible students* the right to seek to amend student records that are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise violate student privacy. This does not mean that schools must change a record whenever a parent requests it. It means that schools must follow a fair process by doing the following:

  • Respond to requests to amend within a reasonable time.
  • If denying the request, schools must notify the parents of their right to a hearing.
  • If, after the hearing, a school decides not to amend the records, the school must allow the parents to insert into the record a statement explaining their views. Schools must keep this statement with the record for as long as they maintain the record.

Schools can do many things before, during, and after the amendment process to ensure full compliance with FERPA. The nine items in this blog will help schools comply with the law and treat parents fairly when they request a record amendment.