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Jean Ponderosa Mr.. O’Connor AP English Literature 12 Jan aura 2015 FREER: Flaws in Educational Regulations for Political Alleviation Privacy plays a major role in every aspect of life from professional to personal. Our lives should not be displayed for everyone to see unless we give the say so. Schools and other educational institutions promote this right to students through the federal law of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, FREER. But FREER is not always the best avenue to follow when the law is continuously being altered.

According to the political blob Crazy Crayfish, Congress has amended FREER a total of nine times in the nearly 28 years since its enactment” (“FREER Does Not protect Student privacy’). As a result, the school board of an Alabama school received a collection of hate from parents after passing a policy that correlated with President Beam’s changes to FREER in December of 201 1 . According to the article, “the policy supposedly protects student privacy while it also allows the collection, data- mining and sharing of private, non-academic information on students without parental permission” (“Alabama School Board Passes Policy r).

President of he Alabama Federation of Republican Women, Eloise Keenan, looked deeper behind the “actions of the State Superintendent of Education and her hypothesis was that the Superintendent’s fear of losing federal money was greater than his concern for student privacy in schools” (“Alabama Schools Board Passes Policy”). Keenan continues to describe the schools benefits from degrading the rights of their students by saying: ALEDO received one-half billion dollars from the 2009 Stimulus Bill in exchange for developing a state longitudinal data system… He Board no longer has the power to protect detent privacy because theft ‘sold’ their right to the federal government. (“Alabama School Board Passes Policy”) Thus it is irresponsible for the educational system to continue following FREER regulations when it gives maximum authority to guardians, includes certain third parties without having any student/parental consent, and ultimately provides no punishment for disobedience. BACKGROUND As any other law is created, first there had to be dispute over student record privacy for the Family Educational Right and Privacy Act to be created.

Although there was no one specific incident to initiate the birth of FREER in 974, access of any child’s personal or academic information was available to anyone that went looking for it. Schools were open books of student information, which made the parents and communities concerned for their child’s well-being. In reply, Congress created the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act which entails “all educational institutions that receive federal funding to comply with FREER to protect the privacy of student education records” (“FREER Frequently Asked Questions”).

Within FREER, ‘there are federal and state FREER laws, as well as district FREER policies” (Brady). Under this law, students have four basic rights in respect to their education record: the right to control disclosure of their record, the right to review their record, the right to request amendment of inaccurate/misleading portions of their record, and the right to file a complaint regarding non-compliance of FREER” (“FREER Frequently Asked Questions”).

Although the main purpose of FREER pertains to privacy of school boys and girls, over the years it has come to do that and more; one addition being the Campus Security Act which “requires colleges to report campus crime statistics and security measures to al students and employees by October 1 of each year”‘ (“Summary of Federal Laws”). FREER continues to broaden the spectrum of security for students to ensure their safety in every aspect while attending elementary, secondary, post-secondary schools. The most recent change was passed in December of 201 1 and went in to affect January 3, 2012.

President Barack Obama and the District of Education “created this new regulation (34 CUFF Part AY’ (Brady) that included the No Child Left Behind Act and full access to the information of students within foster care. THE ERRORS WITH PARENTAL RIGHTS Even with all changes considered, there is one aspect of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act that has always been left untouched. Parent/Guardian roles within FREER are anything but minor as they stand as sole representation until the student reaches the age of 18.

As 18 years old is the legal age of adulthood, of course schools’ federal privacy law would present parental guardians with sole control of their student’s information. But in some regards, that can be more detrimental to the student than beneficial. Firstly, as Goodman states, “Mr.. Basks makes a good point that not all parents are positive caregivers. There are plenty of absentee parents or guardians who do not partake in a child’s personal or educational life; and yet the U.

S Department Of Education provides guidelines stating that “FREER gives custodial and instructional parents alike certain rights… Unless school is provided with evidence… Court order or State law that specifically provides to the contrary’ (“FREER for Parents”). So then a student below the required age of 18 ultimately has little or no help in preserving the privacy of their information. To quote Basks, “in many situations, students are independent and have no relationship with their parents… Closure of information to parents may even be harmful to the student” (Banks). To allow an absentee parent and/or guardian the control over a life they choose not to participate in is ludicrous and irresponsible. In addition, with parents managing student information and privacy for that long how are the students able to grow independent and able to make their own decisions? There is surely “a need for students to develop emotionally and professionally apart from their parents” as Goodman points out in his article (Goodman).

Parents and guardians guide almost every aspect of a child’s life; adding one more factor f control creates greater chance of students struggling when the time comes to do their own decision-making. It is obviously easier to allow a parent the responsibility over a child “unstable academically, socially, or emotionally’ (Goodman), but because something is easier does not always mean that it is the better option. President Obama evidently followed the easier route of decision making when he passed the additions to FREER in 2011-2012, causing changes to the foster care system.

As Fireman states, “the regulations define authorized representative as any entity or individual so assassinated to perform these functions” (Fireman). Therefore, “the child welfare agency may be an authorized representative” (Fireman) and the student’s information is under their control, with or without parental/ guardian consent. So, basically the students of foster care are denied the one thing that the FREER law promises: right to privacy. Their information lies in the hands of a child welfare agency that is legally able to show the information to whomever they choose.

Unlike the students of a stable home- life, the children within foster care aren’t even permitted so much as the right to their own records. Students deserve the opportunity to make decisions regarding their academic and personal information despite age or living situation. It not only teaches the adolescent responsibility, but also offers the chance of growing up liberated from the chains of absentee guardians, the safety net of parental decision making, or the control taken by child welfare agencies.

THIRD PARTIES INCORPORATED Regardless of the problems that come with parental rights of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, more conflict comes from the bond between FREER and third parties. In the beginning FREER secured student information from third parties unless given parental consent. The so-called “third parties” were “prohibited from permitting access to information from education records… For period not less than five years” (“Family Right and privacy Act”); but over the years “FREER has been considerably weakened…. O make it possible to enable schools and districts to share data with others for a multitude of reasons… Without either notifying parents or gaining their consent” (“Student Privacy Matters”). As time goes on, consent from either parent or student to share information is needed less and less, leaving dents an even smaller amount of privacy with each addition to FREER. Not to mention that “yet a third loophole allows nonsensical disclosures (and re-disclosure) of personally identifiable information (or PI) for studies” (“Student Privacy Matters”).

These studies can be school-oriented or not, but either way student records are handed over without any parental/student knowledge; this demotes the truth that FREER “bars the disclosure of personally identifiable data in student records to third parties without parental consent” (“Student Privacy Matters”). Student Privacy Matters article entities by saying: These school official and authorized representative exceptions were cited by states, including New York, in claiming they were legally allowed to share personal student information with the now-defunct database known as inkblot, without parental knowledge or consent. “Student Privacy Matters”) The phenomenon of inkblot “a national database of personal student information” (Barajas) broke out and continues to cause distress for both students and their parents; it “houses information on millions of school children from nine states and includes names, addresses, telephone embers, disciplinary records and learning disabilities” (Barajas). inkblot consists of “two separate data stores… One is the real data that belongs to the states and school districts {and} the other is a sandbox of fake data for developers” (Barajas).

Although actions have been taken against inkblot, it still continues to get information from so called “vendors that already have access to it” (FREER Does Not Protect Student Privacy). Vendors are the connection from school to inkblot that receives certain information, and then sends it or saves wherever it likes. According to Crazy Crayfish blob: There are currently not Federal laws to safeguard or prevent this, which is why State laws must be enacted in every state if you wish to prevent personal, student, teacher and parent data from falling into the hand of anyone and everyone who wants it. “FREER Does Not Protect Student Privacy”). As shown, by adding in third parties the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act has completely altered the meaning of privacy for students and their records. FREER has taken advantage of the both student and parent trust, and only continues to demolish any hope of security that was intended when the act was created. Also, if actions like those made by the inbox database continue to occur without repercussions than the legitimacy of FREER will continue to decrease.

VIOLATION WITH NO PUNISHMENT As mentioned, many parties outside of the Parent/Student/School circle such as inkblot seem to be gaining more and more privileges in respect to student record information. When it comes to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act regulations, all students/parents/administrators are obligated to agree and follow each and every one. But as seen when looked deeper into, there are no valid consequences given for those who violate the FREER terms. With as much force that is used to warn against defilement, it would be believed that there would be equal punishment.

In regards to employees of most or all educational institutions, termination is a possible result; however, that is only if the Secretary deems if fit. At Texas A&M University, it is instructed to “notify the Office of the Registrar… {to} investigate the matter and determine what action, if any, should be taken” (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). As previously mentioned there is no set guideline to follow when determining the magnitude of a violation, just the personal judgment of a certain person/people. That is not how any violation should be handled nor is it justifiable.

To further discuss the “legal” activity being done by vendors partnered with inkblot, Crazy Crayfish politics blob points out: . … Any vendor for any data system in any school district that has access to data can currently use that data however they want if their only restriction written into their contract is that they will comply with FREER. (“FREER Does Not Protect Student Privacy”). People know about the loopholes within these actions, and yet nothing is being done; everything is simply ignored or poorly looked into.

Crazy Crayfish tastes “this is why inkblot is not going out of business.. They intend to get this data secretly other ways and through other avenues” (“FREER Does Not Protect Student Privacy’). It is astonishing to find that even with the mass amount of governmental bodies who have total knowledge of mongolism’s violations there is absolutely no action taken to actually obliterate it. Worst of all is the fact that even parents are defenseless in the war against lies and deceit.

It is said that “parents do not have the right to sue or take actions against vendors, state agencies, local school districts, or individuals ho use/misuse/abuse their children’s data, or their own data under FREER” (“FREER Does Not Protect Student Privacy’). Parents have no way of fighting against the wrongdoings when their cry for help is blatantly ignored. Crazy Crayfish confirms the notion by saying “parents may make a formal complaint, but those complaints can be ignored and parents have no further recourse” (“FREER Does Not Protect Student Privacy”). FREER puts on a facade of honesty and security, but in all reality consists of neither.

Students and their parents are promised total confidentiality of detent records, and yet when the rules are broken and information is leaked nothing is done to prevent further incidents. The cycle of school to vendor to inkblot database has not yet been stopped, and it seems it might never be. The empty promise of student privacy in the educational system will continue to be just that, and empty promise used to keep concerns at bay. No actions taken by parents or students to completely ensure the safety from databases like such are nearly impossible and pretty much worthless.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT With all points considered, it is obvious that FREER needs much improvement o build upon in order to accurately provide students with privacy they deserve. There is no justifiable reason to allow parents the amount of power given in respect to students records, regardless of age. In addition, no actions in retrospect to sharing information with third parties should not be taken without any form of parental or student consent because it is then unjust to say that the information is secure from unwanted eyes.

And it is especially wrong of FREER to continue promising discipline to any who violate a student’s rights as given by the law, but ultimately doing nothing when incidents actually occur. To begin with, the permit of parents having complete control in regards to student records should be altered to allow the student to have a say before the age Of 18; especially in cases where there is no present or active parent to stand as representation for a student.

It should be acknowledged that students with no emotional, physical, or social inability are fully cap bled of making decisions about their own information. It goes against the entire argument of FREER serving to protect a student’s privacy right, as does the involvement of a third party without any say so from the student or aren’t themselves. Including a third party can create problems in that it allows things like inbox and vendors to do as they please with the information. Well, that is the exact opposite of what is written in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

So, no matter who it is or what they have to do in regard to the student, third parties should be completely excluded from student records unless given the consent by either student or parent. If not followed, then the party receiving the information and the party that leaked it should be punished accordingly. Which leads me to my final point hat the justifiable factor of FREER should be changed to allow more input on consequence to violation and actually acted out. If the PEPPER law continues to permit the spreading of student information with no action against it, than outbreak is sure to happen.