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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 100052
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My School district 'advised' that, by their interpretation

Customer Question

My School district 'advised' that, by their interpretation of FERPA, I cannot EXPORT my school emails to an external file.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 4 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Can you please tell me:

1) Are you a teacher, administrator, etc?

2) What is in those emails? Why are you attempting to export them?

3) Is this a SCHOOL account, or your personal account such as gmail, yahoo, etc?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
1) I'm a teacher. 2) emails exchanged with colleagues or parents or Administration. 3) School Account.
Expert:  Ely replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your reply. On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times.

FERPA disallows schools to disclose educational records without the family's/student's consent. By exporting the school emails, the school is afraid that you may inadvertently violate FERPA, which would have them be held accountable.

But aside from this, the answer is based on a simpler doctrine. If it is a school account, it is their email. It does not belong to you. The employer can set limits on email use and sharing for their employee's email accounts that belong to the employer. When you leave, you lose the account and it belongs to the employer and stays with them.

So the school CAN do this, and state that employees cannot copy emails to an outside server, etc. This is not unusual.

So yes, they can enforce this rule.

Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I need to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I need those emails, if parent or Administration follow up at a later date, to . There was no 'prior disclosure' - no 'setting limits'!
Expert:  Ely replied 4 months ago.

Okay. Let us back up. Why do you need said emails?

Expert:  Ely replied 4 months ago.
Hello,
You did not reply to my last question, but I think I understand. You state that you need those emails for work, to back up for meetings, etc. I get that. However, the employer still has the right to limit this. I am sorry. So unfortunately, my answer stands as is. Thanks again in advance for not shooting the messenger.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.