The Family Policy Compliance Office is excited to announce the launch  of the new Student Privacy Website! This new website replaces both the Privacy Technical Assistance Center’s and the Family Policy Compliance Office’s sites.  The Student Privacy Website can be found at:  https://studentprivacy.ed.gov. Be sure to update your bookmarks accordingly!

Can a school provide local or other law enforcement officials with “directory information” on students?

Yes.  If the school or school district has a directory information policy under FERPA that permits this disclosure, then the directory information of those students whose parents (or the eligible students) have not opted out of such a disclosure may be disclosed. 

The disclosure of appropriately-designated directory information under the conditions set forth in § 99.37 is one of the exceptions to FERPA’s general consent requirement (§§ 99.31(a)(11) and 99.37).  FERPA defines “directory information” as information in a student’s education record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.  See § 99.3 "Directory information."  Directory information may include the student's name; address; telephone listing; electronic mail address; photograph; date and place of birth; major field of study; grade level; dates of attendance; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; degrees, honors and awards received; and the most recent educational agency or institution attended.  Id.

A school may disclose directory information if it has given public notice of the types of information which it has designated as "directory information," the parent or eligible student’s right to restrict the disclosure of such information, and the period of time within which a parent or eligible student has to notify the school in writing that he or she does not want any or all of those types of information designated as "directory information.   See § 99.37(a).