Back To School Season – Should Schools Shred?

back to school

Back To School Season – Should Schools Shred?

It’s back to school season! After a year of online schooling due to COVID-19, perhaps this return has been more chaotic and challenging than any years before. However, the privacy of student records should not be something that schools and school systems are worried about as everyone gets back into their routines. Safe and secure shredding is a simple way to stay compliant with FERPA and other statutes. Plus, it keeps the focus on the students as the school year gets into full swing.

What is FERPA?

FERPA (Family Educational Records Protection Act) is a federal law that protects the privacy of educational records. Specifically, it “affords parents the right to have access to their children’s education records” and “the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records” (source).

Under this law, a variety of files are protected. This includes any personal information and health records that are maintained by the school. It also includes any information related to the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act). Simply enough, once an individual turns 18, these protections are then transferred to the student rather than the parent. This makes it important for both parents and students to understand their rights to privacy when it comes to educational records.

Are There State Statutes?

FERPA trumps state statutes in situations where states offer less protection to the information of students. However, in Kentucky, strict statutes also require schools to maintain the confidentiality of a student’s academic records and prohibits the requirement of a student’s Social Security Number (source). This means that these confidential records can only be made available to students and their parents under specific circumstances.

One example of when educational records may be shared with outside parties includes grantors of scholarships and loans. Another popular example would include federal or state agencies that are determining eligibility for military service. However, it is important to note that these records are only allowed to be shared upon the request.

Get Compliant with Greenway Shredding

Greenway Shredding can make it easy for schools to stay compliant with both FERPA and Kentucky privacy statutes. We provide secure and HIPAA-compliant document destruction services. Our cross-cut shredding technology, coupled with a secure chain of custody, leaves our customers with a safe and secure way to stay privacy compliant when disposing of educational records. Plus, secured, locked consoles within the school can contain the records until customized pick-up times. As a final security measure, Greenway Shredding also provides a Certificate of Destruction after each service.

By taking the legwork out of privacy compliance for schools, the focus can stay on providing the best education for students rather than secure disposal of documents. Even better? We do our part to help look out for the health and future of our students. Our document destruction services are environmentally responsible.

Get started toward privacy compliance today by contacting the shredding professionals at Greenway Shredding!