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Campus disciplinary hearings and student records

Part of the process of growing up often includes making mistakes. Sometimes, those mistakes come with serious consequences.

If you or a loved one face campus disciplinary charges, it is important to understand the possible impact moving forward. Consider a few key facts.

FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is in place to protect a student's educational records. This act prohibits institutions from releasing a student's disciplinary records without expressed consent. However, it is important to note certain circumstances exist under which the school may release the student's records, such as:

  • School officials for educational purposes
  • Compliance with a subpoena order
  • Officials for health and safety research or emergencies
  • Schools a student seeks to transfer to

Along with disciplinary records, the school may also release a student's demographic information without consent.

Code of conduct

Each college or university has its own code of conduct, which it must abide by. Granted, schools must first submit to any federal law, but the code of conduct takes precedent after that. The institution should detail the handling of the disciplinary process and any subsequent records within the code. Therefore, it may be beneficial to review the code of the school and speak with a knowledgeable attorney to understand what you are up against and your available options. 

Transfers

In the case that a student chooses to transfer after a disciplinary hearing, it is important to note that such infractions will surface during the transfer process. Whether the student is guilty or not, most school applications inquire about students' involvement in disciplinary hearings. It is therefore up to the student to provide a clear disclosure of the facts involving the incident. This is especially important, seeing as most records will not provide details about the case.

These are just a few key things to consider in regards to the effects of disciplinary hearings on student records. Each case is unique, so take your time to review the laws, as well as the school's policies, to determine what your best course of action may be.

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