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Public Information Rights Privacy & Law


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA or the Buckley Amendment) is a United Stated federal law hat governs the access of educational information and records to public entities such as potential employers, publicly funded educational institutions, and foreign governments.


FERPA affords parents/guardians and students over 18 years of age “eligible students” certain rights with respect to the student’s education records and personally identifiable information.

These rights are:

  • Inspect and review information contained in their education records, to challenge the contents of the education records, to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in the files if the decisions of the hearing panels are not acceptable to the challenging party.
  • Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the eight protected areas as designated by the statute. It also provides the right to receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of protected area surveys, non-emergency invasive physical exams, or screenings.
  • Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Information may be disclosed to school officials with legitimate educational interests.
  • File a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO), US Dept of Education; Washington, DC. with the alleged failure(s) by the school district to comply with FERPA requirements.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that Athens City Schools, with certain exceptions, obtain written consent from a parent/guardian prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student's education records. However, Athens City Schools may disclose appropriately designated "directory information" without written consent, unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with District procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow Athens City Schools to include this type of information from a student's education records in certain school publications.

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent's prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information categories - names, addresses and telephone listings - unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student's information disclosed without their prior written consent.


If you do not want Athens City Schools to disclose directory information from your child’s education records without prior written consent, you must notify the school in writing by September 15 of each school year or, for newly enrolled students, within 15 days of receiving this notice.  Athens City Schools has designated the following information as directory information: [Note: an LEA may, but does not have to, include all the information listed below.]

  • Student's name
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Address
  • Telephone listing
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Electronic mail address
  • Photograph
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance
  • Grade level
  • The most recent educational agency or institution attended