CT: Brookfield admits ‘blackout pen’ error led to sharing of special education students’ information

Trevor Ballantyne reports:

School officials this week acknowledged a failure to properly redact personally identifiable information linked to students receiving special education services from the school district.

According to emails obtained by The News-Times, parents accused the district of violating privacy protections laid out under the U.S. Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, and said they reported the issue to the state Department of Education. A spokesperson for the agency confirmed receipt of the complaints but said there was no inquiry into the matter because the issue falls under federal jurisdiction.

Read more at The News-Times.

Comment: The story focuses on FERPA, but does not seem to mention the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires that students’ special education information be kept confidential. Was this incident actually a breach of IDEA? Not that it makes much difference because we should not expect to see any actual enforcement of IDEA, but it is another federal law that requires protection of certain information.

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