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Access to video on the school bus incident


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My child takes the special ed school bus and there was an incident where my boy was attacked by another older child. The bus aide said he intervened and stopped the fight. 

I asked the case manager to provide the video and the case manager says I cannot see the video because there are other kids in the video. Please tell me whether this is true or who I can escalate this to? 

I am concerned there may be significant physical injury threat for my child on the school bus 

 

 

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Under FERPA, if a video is an "educational record" (directly related to a student and maintained by the school district), then the school must provide the parent with the opportunity to inspect and review or "be informed of" the content of the video.  The situation with your child should fall under this definition.  However, the last phrase ("be informed of") makes it more difficult to insist on a viewing, as your school could claim they "informed" you of the content of the video.

It is incorrect that you may not view the video because other children are in it.  Under FERPA, the school may redact or segregate out portions of the video directly related in other students if in doing so the meaning of the record is not destroyed.  In this case, it would be hard to redact out the student who attacked your child without destroying the meaning.  It those instances, the parent still has a right to inspect and review or "be informed of" the entire record, even though it also directly relates to another student.

Schools do not have to provide copies of videos relating to their child, but nothing in FERPA prevents this.  The school can charge for the cost of copying, but cannot charge for the cost of any redaction.

I would escalate first to the principal and then to the superintendent.

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The other factor to consider is who owns the video - it is directly housed by the school district (like they run the buses and store the video content) or is it by a third-party company. FERPA only covers those managed directly by the school district. One way to get access to the video is to ask for a viewing rather than a copy.  Question # directly covers that. Be flexible about dates and times you can come to view it. 

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