It’s that time of year when pencils and crayons smell brand new and thousands of papers and documents are being signed every hour at registration. That’s right, it’s time to head back to school, and with this exciting time of year comes lots of paperwork and software programs that contain multitudes of secure and private information. Every school office and administration should be aware of the proper storage and disposal of this secure information, but just in case you need a refresher here are some of laws regulating information.

FERPA, or the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, was passed in 1974 and includes multiple rules and regulations for storing and destroying documents possessed by educational facilities. FERPA also has strict guidelines for release of this information and requires signatures before information can be turned over for possession. It was created as a way to safeguard the privacy of students being served by educational entities.

The following are the guidelines for retaining and destroying documents:

  • Personal information about students cannot be released to third parties without written consent from parent and/or student.
  • Educational institutions may set their own deadlines for length of time student records will be retained and must make this information known. Each state tends to have their own rules to follow for retention and destruction of records.
  • Documents must be destroyed in a way that no information can be obtained from records.

Most schools do their best to completely destroy these documents in a lawful and correct manner. Once records have been handed to the students the destruction process tends to stray from FERPA regulations. Many students don’t realize that throwing old transcripts in the trash is actually against FERPA regulations.  Making onsite disposal and shredding services available to students is a great way to make sure you are FERPA compliant. For information about onsite shredding services, contact Shred With Us today.

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