Sunday, February 01, 2004

Article: Pat on the back or privacy violation? School honor rolls under fire

This is out of the states ... Some school boards are considering banning posting honor rolls out of "privacy concerns". Well, it actually is because some people may not be happy because they aren't on the lists. But if you complaint about that, a school board lawyer might discover that a list of overachievers is actually a "disclosure" of personal information and against state privacy laws. > News > Education -- Pat on the back or privacy violation? School honor rolls under fire: "NASHVILLE, Tenn. The school honor roll, a time-honored system for rewarding A-students, has become an apparent source of embarrassment for some underachievers.

As a result, all Nashville schools have stopped posting honor rolls, and some are also considering a ban on hanging good work in the hallways ... all at the advice of school lawyers.

After a few parents complained their children might be ridiculed for not making the list, Nashville school system lawyers warned that state privacy laws forbid releasing any academic information, good or bad, without permission. "

What many people don't think about is that you can post the honor roll, as long as you have permission. Given how important the honor roll is in US schools, I expect that most parents and kids will be happy to give consent. Some kids who are targeted for bullying for being too smart may decline, but giving them the choice of whether to be on is much more responsible than assuming that it's OK.

This story is also covered elsewhere:

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