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Thomson Elementary school 4th and 5th grade students discuss with ALA President Sari Feldman how library digital learning is enhancing their learning experience, while Librarian Jeminnia States listens.As you may have read here earlier this week, we finally have language for the bill that will reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that was last updated in 2001 with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Your complaint must contain “specific allegations of fact giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation” of FERPA has occurred and must be submitted within 180 days of the alleged violation. The Office will then investigate to find out if a violation has occurred. While it is true that we did not get everything we hoped for, school libraries were better represented in ESSA than in any legislation in decades!The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U. Thus, any policy that prohibits a school from changing a student’s name or gender marker would be in direct conflict with FERPA. It’s for this reason that we are so excited about the language found in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).The last few days have seen collaboration across all divisions of ALA as members share the good news and call on their Representatives.
Many transgender students wish to amend their secondary educational records after graduation to ensure that anyone who requests those records (for example, college admissions offices or potential employers) see only the correct name and gender marker on their transcript. Additionally, most states allow amendments or corrections to gender markers on driver’s licenses, state IDs, and birth certificates. Under FERPA, students, current or former, have a right to seek to amend their school records if said records are “inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy.” (34 C. When an organization or agency is unwilling to issue identification that reflects a person’s gender identity, it is making a value judgment on the legitimacy of that gender identity. You should consult a local attorney to find out how long schools have to respond in your state. If an informal approach is unsuccessful, we recommend sending your school administrators a letter like this one, which outlines the legal and practical reasons why your school should amend your educational documents. The decision must be based solely on the evidence presented, must be in writing, and must include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision. Under federal law, you (or your parents or guardians if you are under 18) have the right to request that your school change your name and gender marker on your records if you feel they are incorrect, misleading, or violate your privacy. The refusal to correct a transgender student’s school records can also be emotionally harmful. Some states have laws similar to FERPA that require schools to provide access within a shorter period of time. The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has drafted a great model policy for school districts to follow, and both Connecticut and Massachusetts have issued excellent guidelines on how schools should comply with nondiscrimination laws. For example, if you spent some of your savings after filing the FAFSA form, you may not update your information to show a change in that amount.You should speak to the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend if there will be a significant change in your or your parent’s income for the present year or if your family has other circumstances that cannot be reported on the FAFSA form. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s educational records. If you wish simply to review your educational records, FERPA requires that schools honor a request to review those records within 45 days of receiving the request. Often, we hear a school district say “We can’t do that” or, in the same vein, “Our lawyer says we can’t do that.” If this is your school district’s response, remember: There are no laws preventing your school district from making this change. §§ 99.00 et seq.) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. There is no reason for a transgender student to suffer such indignity. FERPA requires that schools provide parents with an opportunity to inspect and review educational records, but not to receive copies, except in limited circumstances. Unfortunately, school districts are not always immediately cooperative, even when presented with compelling arguments. FERPA states that no educational institution shall be granted funding if it does not provide parents and/or students a hearing process through which they can challenge the content of school records, insure that the records are not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of students, and receive an opportunity for the correction or deletion of any such inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate data contained therein. By not correcting a student’s gender marker on their school records, the school is essentially disclosing that student’s transgender status to anyone who sees their records, This has the potential to place the student in harm’s way; exposure of transgender status is directly linked to high rates of discrimination, harassment, and even violence. You may want to bring some helpful materials, including publications from Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Toolkit, in order to help your school understand how important it is to be able to update your educational records. Beyond FERPA, there are practical and ethical reasons why schools should duly amend transgender students’ records. If you have a trusted faculty member or administrator, it may be best to approach them first with this request. Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director of the Washington Office, shared her enthusiasm via a letter of appreciation to the chair and ranking member of the House and Senate education committees.With all of the issues that Chairman Kline, Ranking Member Scott, Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray had to contend with during this process, it’s important that they not only hear, “job well done”, but continue to hear from the library community on the important role a school library plays in the life of a student.