Most countries have endorsed laws that aim at preventing the public from exposure to irreligious, offensive, indecent, and abusive materials. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy (FEPRA) was created by Congress in 1974 as federal law in the United States .It was design to enable the student to receive their educational records confidentially. The FEPRA Act forbids exposure of educational records and other personal information to public exposure without owner knowledge. In the court case; Owasso Independent School Dist v. Falvo, the mother from Oklahoma claimed that the teacher grade books were educational records. Peer grading was used which embarrassed her children and violated their FEPRA –provided rights to privacy. In its ruling, the U.S Supreme Court disputed the case, saying that it does not think if FEPRA prohibits this educational technique. However, the court elaborated that students being grading does not violate family educational rights and privacy act (Dinger, 2001). The study investigates the legality of grading and displaying student educational records.
The FEPRA ensure institutions and education agency complies with its policy. It denies those organizations, which violates the law from getting federal funds. It also regulates individual, organization, and agency from obtaining educational records without permission from a student or written consent from his parents. The parent does not have automatic rights to check their children educational documents unless they have a written agreement. The educational records are referred as material, file or documents that entail information associated directly with the student.
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Rapid growth in political, social and technology have increased the debate over and how the school should operate. Issues such as religion, cultural and sexuality have come out as a challenge to many educators. The educator has a difficult task of creating a balance between teaching students with diversity background and at the same time upholding respect for individual rights. To help the teacher and institutions to deal with this situation the states enacted the First Amendment Law. The law was to protect the right of each American to think and freely express their opinions. It also promoted freedom of speech and inquiry. Moreover, it safeguarded and improved the educators’ capability to work professionally. The First Amendment law facilitated proper learning that helped the student to acquire skills and knowledge to be productive.
The first amendment law also contains guidelines on how an educator can use religious symbols during their lessons. The permanent religious symbol displays were not allowed in public schools as this violated establishment clause. For example, the display of the Ten Commandments in public school sends signals that the school endorses only Christian (Haynes, 2003). The use of Jesus in essay could arguably bring out religious issues. However, the Ten Commandments cold be shortly presented in comparative literature lesson as an instructional aid in a lesson on the Bible as literary sources for other works.
Us Supreme Court has ruled on several cases involving the first amendment right of public school students. But most highlighted scenario cases which includes the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988) and Bethel School District v. Fraser (19860). The Supreme Court has developed a critical policy to clarify how the students can realize actual educational goals and use the right to free speech to express their grievances (Abrams & Goodman, 1988). Tinker v Monise case scenario, described how teachers, and students were not required to interpret their constitutional rights, freedom of speech and expression at the schoolhouse gate (Strossen, 1999).
In conclusion, FEPRA is friendly to the student despite them issuing detailed rights and sanction. What it legally mandates is very necessary and important for ethical right in learning institutions. FEPRA helps the educational establishments and agency respecting student privacy by outlining specifics directions on how to share student information and educational records. Finally, the first amendments have played an essential role in institutions by resolving dilemmas by defining specific critical responsibilities and rights.
Dinger, D. R. (2001). Johnny saw my test score, so I'm suing my teacher: Falvo v. Owasso Independent School District, peer grading, and a student's right to privacy under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. JL & Educ. , 30 , 575.
Haynes, C. C. (2003). The first amendment in schools: A guide from the first amendment center . ASCD.
Karst, K. L. (1992). First Amendment, the Politics of Religion and the Symbols of Government, The. Harv. CR-CLL Rev. , 27 , 503.
Abrams, J. M., & Goodman, S. M. (1988). End of an era? The decline of student press rights in the wake of Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier. Duke Law Journal , 1988 (4), 706-732.
Strossen, N. (1999). Keeping the Constitution Inside the Schoolhouse Gate-Students' Rights Thirty Years After Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. Drake L. Rev. , 48 , 445.