I just got this e-mail from Jamie. (The Mom whose boy was abused at school) I'm sorry I'm slow in posting it. I just got back into town---She is going to a School Board meeting for Weber County TONIGHT at 6:00p.m. Again, sorry for the short notice. That's my bad. If any of you are interested and able to go, I'm sure she'd appreciate your support. Here is the rest of the e-mail she sent. Valuable information to know.
I would like to share some important information if you could pass it on please. Please let the Mom's know how important it is to be informed on your rights and that of you child. Not just to the extent the school gives you dig deeper! just an FYI they are hiding behind the FERPA laws in our case, (and stating that is why they could not say anything, and why the aide was released) BUT... My son has medical reasons why I should have been told everything according to this!
Personal Knowledge or Observation
FERPA does not prohibit a school official from disclosing information about a student if the information is obtained through the school official's personal knowledge or observation, and not from the student's education records. For example, if a teacher overhears a student making threatening remarks to other students, FERPA does not protect that information, and the teacher may disclose what he or she overheard to appropriate authorities.
The "Health or Safety" Exception – (34 CFR 99.36)
The Department has made three important liberalizations to the section of FERPA which governs how institutions can make use of the "health or safety" exception to FERPA.
No longer will the health or safety exception be "strictly construed" [the old section 99.36(c)]. Instead, section (c) now provides the following three types of useful flexibility:
First, in making a determination as to whether to invoke the "health or safety" exception, institutions may take into account the "totality of the circumstances" pertaining to the safety or health of a student or other individuals.
Second, if the institution determines that there is an "articulable and significant threat" to the health or safety of a student "or any other individuals," it may disclose information from education records "to any person whose knowledge of the situation is necessary to protect" the health of safety of the student or other individuals.
Third, "If, based on the information available at the time of the determination, there is a rational basis for the determination, the Department will not substitute its judgment for that of the educational agency or institution in evaluating the circumstances and making its determination."
Another change occurs in 99.36(a). In connection with an emergency, an institution may disclose personally identifiable information from an education record "to appropriate parties, including parents of an eligible student [emphasis added], if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals." The provision for disclosure to the parents, in this context, is new.
In addition, the Department will now require that the institution involved must record, under 34 CFR 99.32(a)(5), the nature of the threat and the parties to whom it disclosed information under the "health or safety" emergency exception.
53A-11a-301. Bullying and hazing policy(3) The policy shall include the following components:(d) procedures for protecting:e) procedures for promptly reporting to law enforcement all acts ofbullying, hazing, or retaliation that constitute criminal activity;(i) a procedure for referring a victim of bullying or hazing tocounseling;(j) involving the parents or guardians of a perpetrator or victim ofbullying, hazing, or retaliation in the process of responding to, andresolving, conduct prohibited by this chapter;(k) to the extent permitted by federal and state law, including thefederal Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act of 1974, as amended, aprocedure informing the parents or guardians of a student who is avictim of bullying or hazing of the actions taken against theperpetrators of the bullying or hazing;If they have a policy they didn't follow it. If they don't have apolicy they are in violation of 53A-11a-301.Under IDEA, children with disabilities are entitled to a free andappropriate education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environmentpracticable. In turn, a FAPE includes special education and relatedservices which are reasonably calculated to permit a child with adisability to benefit educationally. Consequently, actions taken byschool districts to alleviate an unpleasant bullying situation for aspecial education child in order to comply with Title IX's dictatesconcerning peer sexual harassment may inadvertently also violate achild's right to a FAPE by altering that child's placement and/orprograms. In order to prevent placing school officials in this legalCatch-22, a legal model needs to be developed which ties the overlappingstatutory frameworks of Title IX and IDEA together in one hybrid legalcause of action. Alternatively, if Title IX's stringent legal standardsfor peer sexual harassment cannot be met in a given bullying case evenafter incorporating IDEA concepts, IDEA may also provide legal bases forspecial education children to obtain monetary damages against schoolofficials who have failed to protect them from bullying, which, in turn,has violated that child's right to a FAPE under IDEA.