Ohio parents are receiving a notice from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and their local school districts indicating that student privacy rights are being waived as part of a court ordered data release connected to an ongoing lawsuit brought by Disability Rights Ohio (DRO).

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has ordered the Ohio Department of Education to release the educational information of ALL Ohio public school students registered for the 2013/14 school year to Disability Rights Ohio.

The court’s notice to parents found HERE describes the extent of the data to be released:

“Some examples of the types of data include:  a student identifying number; demographic information, such as school, grade, gender, race, age, and disability category; attendance statistics; information on suspensions and expulsions; and results on state tests such as the Ohio Graduation Tests, the Ohio Achievement Assessments, and the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.”

Student name, address, and social security number will not be included.

A protective order is the only assurance parents will have that the data will not be further disclosed by DRO.

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires that families of students affected be notified and given the opportunity to object to the release.  Parents and students age 18 and over may object by following the judge’s orders on the court notice found HERE.  The court must receive objections no later than September 12, 2014.

From the court notice:

CONSENT AND OPPORTUNITY TO OBJECT

If you do not object to the disclosure of information described above, you do not have to do anything.

If you object to the disclosure of information described above and you want to inform the Judge of your objection, you must do all of the following:

  1. Write a letter to the Judge telling him what you object to;
  2. On the first page of your letter, write in large or underlined letter: “OBJECTIONS TO DISCLOSURE OF FERPA INFORMATION IN DOE V. STATE, Case No. 91-464.”
  3. Mail your letter to:

Clerk’s Office: Judge Watson’s Docket
U.S. Courthouse
85 Marconi Boulevard
Columbus, Ohio 43215

A parent or guardian may object on behalf of a minor student, but must state in the objection the relationship that he or she has with the affected minor student.

DO NOT CALL THE COURT. THE COURT WILL NOT ACCEPT PHONE CALLS ABOUT THIS MATTER. YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR OBJECTIONS IN WRITING.

The U.S. District Court’s Notice can be found HERE.

The Ohio Department of Education Notice to Parents can be found HERE.