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Court upholds right to withhold college records

November 4, 2003


A new law designed to force Tennessee colleges and universities to release student disciplinary records still gives schools the right to refuse, reported Duncan Mansfield in the Nov. 2 issue of The Tennessean.
November 4, 2003


A new law designed to force Tennessee colleges and universities to release student disciplinary records still “gives schools the right to refuse,” reported Duncan Mansfield in the Nov. 2 issue of The Tennessean.

The law states victims should be informed of actions taken against their assailants, parents could be notified if their minor students have alcohol or drug problems, and registered sex offenders “could be revealed.” The law also says once a student disciplinary panel finds a student guilty, his or her name and punishment could be reported.

Colleges tend to keep this information confidential, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. In a six-page opinion, State Attorney General Paul Summers said the new law still does not make disclosure mandatory.

State Rep. Harry Brooks and Sen. Tim Burchett, both of Knoxville, sponsored the original law and plan to try to amend it.

Barbara Phillips, assistant vice president for student affairs, says Austin Peay already informs victims of actions taken against their assailants.

To read the original article, “Right to withhold college records backed,” go to http://tennessean.com/education/archives/03/10/41767378.shtml?Element_ID=41767378.
—Rebecca Mackey