Organizations may request student information

Jake Collins
News Editor

Requests for student directory information must be made through the WGSD Central Office. Photo by Nathan Epps.

Directory information is a set of information the school is allowed to give out without breaking privacy laws. Some examples include a student’s name, address, phone number, email address, photograph, date and place of birth

.Any source can request and receive this information. Some of examples of groups that have requested this information are Fortnightly organizers, Yucandu Art Studio and DeMolay, a group for young men run through the Masonic Temple.“There are under 10 requests made a year,” Vespereny said, “It’s usually local businesses… Fortnightly uses us to get its information out.”
At a fee of $30, anyone can get the information. All of the money goes into the district’s business department, where it is put back into funds.

“With a formal request, you (students) can opt out of the mailing program,” Vespereny said.
In the district publication, “Our Schools,” there is a section explaining the law. “We will try to publicize this more,” Vespereny said.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act protects students privacy but also obliges the school to give requesting groups directory information.

Related to FERPA is the Sunshine Law. A Missouri University article, “Top 10 Things You Should Know about Your Sunshine Law” said, “The Sunshine Law deals with whether a public body’s records must be open to the public, but it generally does not state what records the body must keep or for how long. A body cannot, however, avoid a records request by destroying records after it receives a request for those records.”

With a formal request anyone can ask for information regarding spending and certain records. This also means most meetings, except those regarding staffing issues, must be open to the public. The public must be given 24 hours notice about meetings, except for emergency meetings, which are in a different class.

See also “Editorial: School should better share students’ privacy rights.”

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