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Communicating with Parents

Nowhere in FERPA does it require an employee of the university to communicate with a parent. FERPA does grant some exceptions under which an employee may share education records with a parent. Those are:

  1. If the student signs a release allowing for the sharing of a specific record to a specified parent.
  2. In health and safety emergencies.
  3. If the student is a dependent of the parent for tax purposes. Proof must be submitted.
  4. If there is an alcohol or drug policy violation and the student is under 21 years of age.

Outside of these exceptions, no records should be shared with a parent.

FERPA does not restrict what is known as observable behavior, that is to say, information that does not make up a part of a student's education record. This can be informal conversations with the student, the student's appearance, involvements outside of class, etc. If the information is not recorded in a record, it not restricted until it becomes at such time it becomes a record, if it ever does become a record. Once again, there is not requirement to share this information with a parent. If you are contacted by a parent and seek guidance about what to share and not share, employees are welcome to contact the Dean of Students office at 920-465-2152 or the Registrar's Office at 920-465-2657.