Student records to be made no longer confidential by state court

A ruling by the Eastern District Court of California in Sacramento will force the Department of Education to allow District court informationaccess to the formerly confidential data of 10 million students– including those in the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District (PRJUSD). The data will be seen by the Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association (MHCPA), and it will not be made public. Students may have their data kept undisclosed by filling out a form of objection and submitting it to the court by April 1.

Tim Gearhart mug

Tim Gearhart

“I am very concerned,” school board member Tim Gearhart said. “I really strongly suggest all of our parents look at the objection to disclosure forms…I have four kids I’ll be pulling sheets like that for.”

The data that will be collected includes personal information such as a student’s name, social security number, address, and mental and physical assessments for students enrolled in any California public school since January 1, 2008 Objection forms may be found at the front desk of any PRJUSD school and at the district office.

The information is being released by the state Department of Education, not the district, and PRJUSD has no authority to protect the information, PRJUSD said in a facebook post regarding the case.

The MHCPA wants the information “so it could see, for example, if African-American students identified as

Jen Gaviola Interim Principal & PRPS Director of Secondary Schools

Jen Gaviola

intellectually disabled were disproportionately in special day classes as opposed to mainstreamed into general education classes. Or whether children who were diagnosed with behavioral issues had a behavioral management plan in place…we’re not looking for specific information,’” MHCPA vice president Christine English said, according to USA Today.

Interim principal Jen Gaviola said that while she understands the motivations of the MHCPA, she believes they have gone too far. “As a parent, I’ll be pulling forms for my kids,” she said.

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