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Violating confidentiality laws



My child has a service dog who attends school when me and my husband are available to serve as her handler. We had a meeting and approved a basic sample letter letting the families know that she would be attending. The next day, the counselor and principal sent out a letter to the entire grade stating that "As part of his 504 plan, *my childs's name* will be accompanied by a trained service dog..." It also included my child's full name and that the SD "provides *my child's name* with increased independence, confidence, and emotional support..." 

We did not approve my child's full name (they asked) and definitely would not have approved sharing about my child's 504 if they had asked. Also, the SD is not even mentioned in my child's 504.  We also did not approve them sharing what the SD does for my child. My child has also been severely bullied this year and this could add fuel to the fire.

We have notified the district, but where do we go from here?

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You can file a FERPA complaint since your child's confidential information was shared.  Just be aware that when this happens, people get a slap on the wrist.  Back when my sons were in elementary school, the principal shared class lists where he should have deleted the columns that said who had an IEP or a 504 or a GIEP.  The remedy is generally training for the person who did this.  (With my situation, it was an accident - he did know better.  They were late with finalizing class lists this summer.  He was in a rush & sent out the teacher list where it should have been edited.)

I could see the principal sending a head's up email/letter saying that there is a student who will be attending school with a service dog.  If students have a fear of dogs, the parents might want to talk to their child about this.  I could also see including info that this is a working dog and that the dog shouldn't be petted while working.

This is the link on filing a FERPA complaint:  https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/file-a-complaint  This is something a parent can do themself.  I've been told they are fairly to fill out.

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