When individual information not authorized by FERPA or other federal laws such as the National School Lunch Act (NSLA) is requested by a third party (e.g., a relative, family lawyer, or news reporter), the requester should be required to present written consent from the parent. If information requested from the record is not considered directory information but is personally identifiable, it can be released if the parent provides a written, signed, and dated consent document. The document must:
Staff members processing the request need to authenticate the request. The parent could be contacted for verification if there is any question or doubt about its authenticity.
Unless otherwise allowed by federal or state law, or local policies, agency or school staff should not assume that if parents openly discuss information included in their child’s education records, the parents are giving “implied” consent for staff to release that information. Written consent for agency or school release from the parent is required by FERPA.