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Violation of Confidentiality - School Admin

Discussion in 'Civil Court, Procedure & Litigation' started by Heather King, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. Heather King

    Heather King Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    My son was interrogated for 1 ½ hours over an incident that happened off school grounds. They coerced him and his friends into admitting they drank alcohol, so they would not have a permanent suspension from their school sports. During the discussion at the school, the Principal and Athletic Director both told my son that it was a ‘safe area’ and nothing that he said would be repeated outside of the room. Additionally, I had a follow-up discussion the next day, and both Admin individuals restated that point .. it was confidential and the info would not be shared with others. The next day, my son’s hockey coach, also a teacher at the high school, questioned my son based on points stated during his interrogation. Thus, it was obvious that private points discussed during my son’s interrogation were shared with others.

    At this point, I have engaged the school superintendent and he has interviewed the admin involved. The superintendent has confirmed that there is a breach of confidentiality and wants to interview my son (meeting scheduled next week). I want to know what our rights are in MN – specifically the breach of confidentiality (FERPA) and coercing these kids into false statements so that they would not be banned from school sports.

    I am beyond frustrated with the situation and how it was handled. The Admin were using these kids to install fear and make a statement to the rest of the kids in school. Now.. it is my turn to make the statement that these types of actions will not be accepted in an educational setting.
     
  2. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Did you urine test your son for alcohol to prove, at least to yourself, that your son was innocent of the allegations?
     
  3. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    What part of FERPA do you believe was violated?
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Representatives of what agency or department conducted the interview?

    Going forward, make sure your children know NOT to speak with strangers, even if the strangers are from the police.

    Inform your children to immediately ask the officer or agent to call her/his mom or pop.

    Once the child has made the request, make sure the child says nothing until dad or mom arrive.

    These days, kids have mobile device, and most can probably call mom or pop directly, if the parental unit has instructed the child accordingly.


    If something sticks in your gizzard, makes you upset, or angers you; it is time for you to hire yourself a local attorney.

    Big shots, lil squirts, bureaucrats, potentates, impotent folks, Mr. Big, Ms. Bigger, and the rest don't care what you or I think.

    As the A Team intro intoned:



    In 1999, a crack internet legal unit was sent to prison by a potent folks for crimes they didn't commit.

    These women & men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the WWW internet underground.

    Today, still wanted by them potent folks, they survive hiding under anonymous names at a little legal site. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them....maybe you can hire The L-Team."

    Hire yourself a lawyer.

    Why?

    Because all them 'potent folks ignores what we says, and they's still trying to lock 'em up, too!
     
  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I do not intend to poke a bear, but I do have to ask how you know the statements are false. Are you simply taking your son's word? What evidence did the school present? There certainly is some reason they were being asked about it in the first place. Were they present while others were drinking?

    As for the disclosure of information that seems to be an internal issue for the school to resolve. It would be a different matter if it had been released publicly.
     
    army judge likes this.
  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I read it as if it was only school officials. The word "interrogated" implies otherwise, but there is no indication of law enforcement.
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    School leadership and officials have far greater leeway and legal authority to question/interview their charges.

    Society has carved out many legal exemptions for schools.

    That said, parents don't teach their children to call them (or have them called), remain silent until the parent arrives (or sends a lawyer) to ensure the child doesn't do more stupid or harmful stuff.
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Interrogated by whom? What sort of incident?

    You used the word "they" twice in this sentence, and I think you're referring to two different groups of people. I think the second reference to "they" refers to your son and his friends, but your post provides no clue as to the antecedent of your first use of "they." Also, how did "they" coerce your son and his friends, and why would their admission to drinking alcohol avoid a permanent suspension? Also, isn't a "permanent suspension" an expulsion?

    By the way, I assume that you weren't present when the events described occurred and that you are simply repeating what your son told you.

    First of all, unless you tell us what happened that you are describing as "coercion," there is no way for us to assess the propriety of what happened. As far as FERPA, it does not protect against disclosure of verbal communication to other persons employed by the school.

    It doesn't sound to me like anything illegal occurred, but you're free to consult with a local attorney who handles education matters.
     
  9. Heather King

    Heather King Law Topic Starter New Member

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    lol.. the school did not address this issue until 4 days after the said event. How would you alcohol test at that point? They have no evidence ... just hearsay and threatening the kids that if they did not 'confess' then they/School Admin would ban them from the rest of the season.
     
  10. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    This is something you need to resolve with the school administration. You seem to be on the right path. Just keep after them.
     

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