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Maverick
Maverick, Attorney
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 6421
Experience:  20 years experience as a civil trial and appellate lawyer
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I live in Centennial, Colorado. My son was in a private

Customer Question

I live in Centennial, Colorado. My son was in a private school and we are moving him to a public school due to unfair treatment and inappropriate/ unsubstantiated write ups. (We feel like they would write him up repeatedly to build a case for suspension or expulsion because of race. The school is over 95% white and his teacher openly used the N-word)
Now that he is at the new school I have held back his trumped up behavior record, as the headmaster at his previous private school recommended, so he is not labeled a 'bad kid' at his new public school.
I received a call from his new principal stating that his behavior records are required, although the school district's records request form has an option to include behavior records, or exclude them from the records request.
I chose to exclude them.
What are my rights in regards ***** ***** child's records ?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 11 months ago.

Hello. I have been an attorney for 27 years and have worked in the field of Education for 17 years. I will help you with your questions.

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 11 months ago.

I'm really sorry to hear about the experience you had and I do understand your concerns. Give me a short time to look at the Colorado law and I will give you a complete response.

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 11 months ago.

It is Federal law that controls here. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records.

Usually schools must have written permission from the parent in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent (34 CFR § 99.31) to School officials with legitimate educational interest.

When a student transfers to a new school, that school is entitled to the records. However, because your son is going to a public school, they cannot refuse to enroll him because of his discipline record.

Do you have the form you mention that allowed you to "exclude" the records? If you do can you attach it here?

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 11 months ago.

I just looked more closely at the FERPA law I cited. This only applies with in the school agency. Here is what the law says:

(a) An educational agency or institution may disclose personally identifiable information from an education record of a student without the consent required by § 99.30 if the disclosure meets one or more of the following conditions:

(1)(i) (A) The disclosure is to other school officials, including teachers, within the agency or institution whom the agency or institution has determined to have legitimate educational interests.

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 11 months ago.

So, in your case, you would have to give written permission to allow the new school to have the discipline records.

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 11 months ago.

I have to apologize. I would like another expert to help you with this to ensure you get the best service. Therefore, I am going to opt out to allow you to speak with another expert.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
OK thank you
Expert:  Maverick replied 11 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer! My name is Maverick. Please give me a few minutes to review your inquiry. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Maverick replied 11 months ago.

Can you please upload a blank or filled-in version of the form that permits you to exclude the records.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi Maverick,
Thank you for your help!
I don't have a copy of the form, and it is not available online. I have attached a similar form from the district with similar choices, along with a form I signed at registration that states:
'I further understand and agree that pursuant to School Board Policy JF, Admission and Denial of Admission, all
students new to the District shall be enrolled conditionally until records, including discipline records, from the schools previously attended by the student are received by the Cherry Creek School District. In the event such records indicate a reason to deny admission, the student’s conditional enrollment shall be revoked. I further agree to pay Cherry Creek Schools any and all applicable tuition charges, which may be due, together with
the cost of collection thereof, including reasonable attorney’s fees.'So as of now he is registered 'conditionally'
I have no problem showing them the behavior record, I just do not want the old trumped up records to become part of his record at his new school.
Let me know what you find and if there is a way for you to draft a letter for me to give to the school stating this. I'm not sure how to pay you for that through this site or I can pay using a different form of online payment.Thanks
Expert:  Maverick replied 11 months ago.

Have you completed this process with the former school yet:

Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I was told that because the previous school is a private school, this does not apply to them. They do not change records, but they did recommend and agreed not to send over the behavior portion of the record.
Expert:  Maverick replied 11 months ago.

Here is what I suggest that you do. I suggest that you ask the private school to meet with you in person and the two of you make an attempt to correct/amend your son's record under mutually acceptable terms. State that the reason you want to do this is that you believe that the record may contain inaccurate or misleading comments or statements.

Once this letter is sent, then write another letter to the new school stating that there may be a delay in it being able to obtain your son's behavior record from the private school for the reason that the accuracy of the records is being formally disputed.

If the private school then fails to comply with your request, you may need to hire a local defamation lawyer to send them a demand letter asking for the record to be corrected under the threat of a defamation and racial discrimination suit. A letter like this should cost about $200.00. Hopefully, this will bring the private school to the bargaining table.

Here is a list of lawyers that may be able to assist you in your area.

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