Education Laws and Regulations
Student Records: Questions, Answers and Guidelines
Disclaimer: Some of the information in these documents may be outdated because of recent amendments to the Student Records Regulations. The Department is currently working on updating these documents. Please see the amended regulations for the current language.
Other Laws Relevant to Student Records
Four sections of the Massachusetts General Laws deal specifically with public school student records. They read as follows:
G.L. Chapter 71, Section 34D.
The Board of Education shall adopt regulations relative to the maintenance, retention, duplication, storage and periodic destruction of student records by the public elementary and secondary schools of the Commonwealth. Such rules and regulations shall provide that a parent or guardian of any pupil shall be allowed to inspect academic, scholastic, or any other records concerning such pupil which are kept or are required to be kept.
G.L. Chapter 71, Section 34E.
Each school committee shall, at the request of a parent or guardian of a student, allow such parent or guardian to inspect academic, scholastic, or any other records concerning such student that are kept or are required to be kept, regardless of the age of such student. Each school committee shall, at the request of a student eighteen years of age or older, allow such student complete access to all school records relative to him or her.
G.L. Chapter 71, Section 37L.
. . . A student transferring into a local system must provide the new school system with a complete school record of the entering student. Said record shall include, but not be limited to, any incidents involving suspension or violation of criminal acts or any incident reports in which such student was charged with any suspended act.
G.L. Chapter 71, Section 87.
The score of any group intelligence test administered to a student enrolled in a public school shall be removed from the record of said student at the end of the school year in which such test was so administered.
Note: Several other sections of the General Laws also mention student records. For example, G.L. c. 22A, s. 9 requires schools to "flag" the student records of a child who has been reported as missing. These other statutes are not reproduced here, but are referenced in the Student Record Regulations.
Federal Statute and Regulations
The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, sometimes called the "Buckley Amendment") applies to schools that receive federal education funds. FERPA requires schools to protect the privacy of student records, and gives parents and students rights including inspection and review of student records. The FERPA statute is found at 20 U.S.C. sec. 1232g. The FERPA regulations are found at 34 CFR Part 99. The Massachusetts Student Record Regulations are consistent with the FERPA statute and regulations.