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

5.F. Handling Challenges to Record Contents

FERPA also provides parents, custodial or noncustodial, and eligible students the right to request that a school correct or amend records believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of a studentís rights. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record commenting on the contested information.

A school district should develop a written description of the procedures to notify parents and eligible students of their rights to challenge record contents and guide them through the process. The parents must identify the part of the record they want to change, and specify why they believe it to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the studentís rights. The parents should make a written request to amend the record. The school or district may provide a form for this purpose, such as the one in exhibit 5Ė5.

The school or district may decide whether the request is valid. If the school or district can verify that the contents in question are in error, the record should be amended as soon as possible and the parent notified of the changes in writing. Exhibit 5Ė6 contains a sample form for this process.