Posted: September 3rd, 2013
This law protects students’ privacy of education records. After a student is eighteen years and above, he or she can decide who will view his or her records. Not even the parents are allowed to access these records. They can only do that with their child’s consent. This responsibility is left to the family discuss with their child about this issue. Parents can only view their child’s academic record, if he or she signs a waiver. They have to request for access that the institution will not give them if they do not ask for it. However, there are special circumstances that would result in disclosing student private information. For example, if the student’s health is a risk to themselves or the rest of the public (Ramirez, 38). Ramirez has written the law of FERPA, as it should be. He clearly states the rights of college students and their limitations.
This law is very beneficial to college students because it helps them be responsible. College students are adults and they should learn to be accountable, responsible and transparent. They understand that they should have good records whether they are being monitored or not. A parent has a right to know how his or her child is doing since they are paying the college fees. A parent can monitor his or her student’s behavior using this law. If the student is an alcoholic or drug dealer, the institution has the permission to inform parents. There will be no chance for students’ indiscipline because they think their parents will not know (Rooker, LeRoy & Tina, 51). Rooker et al assists readers to understand the FERPA law by explaining what the students and parents are entitled to. They have shown the difference between rights of a college student to those of other levels like high school.
High school discipline is not applicable in college. There is a very big gap between high school students and college students. High school students are adolescents or teenagers. They are not old enough to be decisive on important matters. Therefore, they should be disciplined in a manner that suits them. The law recognizes them as children under the care of their parents. This is why FERPA does not consider them eligible. Their parents should be involved in monitoring their academic work and social behavior. High school students experience many changes that require a lot of support and correcting. On the other hand, college students are eighteen years and above. The constitution recognizes them capable of being disciplined (Hicks, 44). Hicks work is a brief analysis of FREPA law. He talks about the privacy and education rights for students.
College students are protected from the harshness of exposing education records. If colleges were allowed to put up grades on the notice board, it would hurt some students. They would be depressed or stressed because everyone can see how poorly they have performed. This is a negative feeling in a student. Some will never perform better because they are always anxious from the criticisms. Students will be at peace when they know unauthorized people are not viewing their personal information. This law forbids institution personnel from accessing students’ information. Only personnel with professional intentions can view these records. For example, if a student is failing, the appropriate administration personnel are required to go through this student’s records and raise concern (Ramirez, 67). Ramirez clarity enables a reader to identify the benefits of this law to college students. For example, the law enables the students to be responsible.
This law assists in controlling possible alterations of education records. If there were no laws protecting privacy, there would be more attempts to change information of students. It could be possible for a student to ask for special favor from one the administrative personnel. He or she might request changes of grades in his or her favor. Currently, such misconduct is unlikely because only a few people have access to these records. This law partly assists the institution in enforcing its laws. For example, it is against the college rules to be an alcoholic or drug dealer. This law concurs with that of FERPA. If a student is caught in this situation, the parents are informed. Different colleges have various measures for such students (Hicks, 87). Hicks has mentioned the fundamental points of this law. They include parents cannot see their children’s grade unless the student consents.
Students and parents are allowed to request for correction if the information or grades were recorded wrongly. It may occur that lecturers made an error in marking or recording a student’s grades. Sometimes some grades may be left out. The student has a right of asking the relevant personnel to confirm the accuracy of the records. If there is a disagreement and the student is not content, he or she is allowed to contend it in court. The problem should be solved at a hearing. This fully protects the students from unfair lecturers, should there be any. The lecturers are obliged to abide to the code of professional ethics (Hicks, 89). If a student challenges their judgment at a hearing, the lecturers are expected to present a convincing reason for their judgment.
This law makes parents feel they are denied the right to be informed. Some argue that their sons or daughters will not tell them. This happens mainly for the students who do not perform well. Parents feel it is unfair for them to pay college fees and they do not get the opportunity of knowing how their children have performed. On the other hand, this situation could be viewed on a different perspective.
Parents and their children get time to discuss about these issues and come to a consensus. For instance, a student may agree to sign a waiver. It will enable his or her parents to access his or her grades. Sometimes parents and their children do not get time to discuss about life issues. This would be a good opportunity for parents and their children to discuss social issues regarding college. For example, encouraging students to avoid troubles (Ramirez, 111).
The law has challenges and benefits to both parents and students. Each party should look for solutions to curb the shortcomings. For instance, a dialogue between parents and students would be of great help. This law seems to give too much liberty to the students. Some students are very reluctant to tell their grades to their parents. This would be quite dangerous especially for those who are poor performers. Being honest will make them get help and improve. Withholding such information will make their situation worse. Since this law requires them to be responsible, they should always abide to that (Rooker, LeRoy & Tina, 100). This book has taken time to show the challenges and benefits. Parents will have a hard time monitoring their children’s performance. On the other hand, students have a chance of being responsible and transparent to their parents.
Hicks, Dennis J. Ferpa Quick Guide. Washington, DC: AACRAO American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions, 2006. Print.
Ramirez, Clifford A. Ferpa Clear and Simple: The College Professional’s Guide to Compliance. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009. Print.
Rooker, LeRoy, and Tina M. Falkner. 2010 Ferpa Guide. Washington, DC: American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, 2010. Print.
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