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Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information: State and Local Education Agencies

5.G. Managing the Hearing Procedures

A school or district may decide not to make the requested correction. If so, school officials should notify the parents of the decision and advise parents of their right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the studentís rights. Exhibit 5Ė7 contains a sample form for this process. The parents should be asked to inform the school or district if they would like to schedule a hearing to challenge the record.

The school or district should notify the parents, as soon as feasible but in advance of the date, location, and time of the hearing. The hearing must be presided over by someone who is considered a disinterested third party; this person may be a school or district employee. The parents must be allowed to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the record. The parents may be assisted by other individuals such as an attorney.

When a decision is made about challenged content, the school or district needs to document the evidence presented in the hearing and reasons for the decision. The decision has to be based solely on the evidence presented in the hearing.

If the decision of the hearing is that the challenged information is not inaccurate, not misleading, or not in violation of the studentís rights, the school or district must notify the parent. This notification informs the parents that they have a right to place in the record: 1) a statement commenting on the challenged information, or 2) a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision that the record will not be changed. This statement will accompany the record when it is transferred to another entity in the future.

If the decision is that the challenged information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the studentís rights, the record must be appropriately amended. The school or district must notify the parent, in writing, that the record has been amended. If the information is maintained in portions of the record located in more than one place in the school or district, then information in all locations need to be corrected.

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education