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!

Carrie Hemphill Rieth 09/15/15

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the Department of Education’s August 18, 2015 Dear Colleague Letter to School Officials at Institutions of Higher Education.  The following response is provided on behalf of California State University.  

Although the Dear Colleague Letter states on page 3: “FERPA’s permissive exceptions do not preempt any state laws that may provide more stringent privacy protections for this information,” the analysis concerning the ability of a threat assessment team to share medical records under the school official exception seems dangerous and misleading since all states have laws governing privileged communications.  We recommend this example be removed from the letter, or at a minimum, that it be revised to acknowledge that although FERPA does not prevent the sharing of medical records with a threat assessment team without consent, state law may and should be consulted.

My contact information is included below if you have any questions about our position.

Regards,