Families & the Community

Kentucky Parents Win Records Access

By The Associated Press — April 27, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Parents have an “absolute right” to inspect all educational records relating to their children, including e-mails exchanged between teachers and administrators, the Kentucky attorney general’s office has concluded.

The issue arose when Jonathan Sholar, of Princeton, Ky., sought access to all records pertaining to his daughter, whether hard-copy or electronic. The Caldwell County school district refused the request.

“Mr. Sholar possesses an absolute right to inspect any and all educational records, including the requested communications, relating to his daughter,” Assistant Attorney General Amye L. Bensenhaver wrote in the April 12 opinion. “The district’s refusal to disclose these records to him constituted a violation of the Open Records Act.”

Superintendent Carrell Boyd of the Caldwell County schools said he will abide by the attorney general’s opinion and give Mr. Sholar access to the information he seeks.

Mr. Sholar asked for access to “all documents, e-mails, notes, correspondence, and memoranda” involving his daughter. It was a departure from the more common requests for transcripts and similar academic records.

School district lawyer Marc Wells argued that releasing e-mails and other correspondence “would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy.”

Ms. Bensenhaver concluded that the school district might be able to withhold the requested documents from the general public, but that Mr. Sholar, as a parent, can’t be denied access.

Communications about Mr. Sholar’s daughter “clearly constitute educational records,” according to the opinion.

Ms. Bensenhaver also noted in the opinion that state and federal laws prohibit the disclosure of the educational records Mr. Sholar sought to anyone else without his consent.

The U.S. Department of Education released regulations last year for the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act aimed at reassuring school officials who wish to share private student information because they believe it is necessary to prevent a health or safety emergency. (“Ed. Dept. Releases New Rules on Privacy,” Jan. 7, 2009.)

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 28, 2010 edition of Education Week as Ky. Parents Win Records Access


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
How to Leverage Virtual Learning: Preparing Students for the Future
Hear from an expert panel how best to leverage virtual learning in your district to achieve your goals.
Content provided by Class
English-Language Learners Webinar AI and English Learners: What Teachers Need to Know
Explore the role of AI in multilingual education and its potential limitations.
Education Webinar The K-12 Leader: Data and Insights Every Marketer Needs to Know
Which topics are capturing the attention of district and school leaders? Discover how to align your content with the topics your target audience cares about most. 

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Families & the Community Reported Essay Parents’ Rights Groups Have Mobilized. What Does It Mean for Students?
Parents' rights groups have led the charge to limit teaching about race, sexuality, and gender. What will happen to students who miss out?
12 min read
Education Week Big Idea Protest 082023
Traci Daberko for Education Week
Families & the Community Opinion How to Reengage Parents in Their Children's Schooling
A healthy partnership between families and schools involves both educators and parents helping each other do better.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Families & the Community Opinion We Need to Recalibrate the Parent-Teacher Relationship
As students continue to grapple with learning loss, emotional trauma, and social isolation, both parents and educators need to help.
2 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Families & the Community What the Research Says Does Parent Involvement Really Help Students? Here's What the Research Says
Parent involvement can lead to improved student outcomes, research shows, but some forms are more helpful than others.
7 min read
072523 parent involvement fs stanford 1209442706
sturi / E+