"I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution." — Ulysses S. Grant
Have you ever asked for public records and been told you couldn't have them because of FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act?
In the absence of clear guidance from Congress or the Department of Education, schools are using FERPA to hide behind so they don't have to give you the information you ask for — information that is often otherwise public under federal and state public record laws. Costly and time-consuming lawsuits are proving the only way to fight the misuse.
Enough is enough. It's time to fix FERPA. By breaking it.
If you've ever been denied information on the basis of FERPA, here's a way to fight back. FERPA is more than just a privacy statute — it's also a mandatory disclosure statute. As even the Department of Education has said, if a record is protected by FERPA, students have a right to inspect, review and challenge the content of the record.
Schools have shown they'll go above and beyond to follow the privacy aspect of the law. Let's test how they respond to the disclosure part. Click our letter generator below to request your own FERPA records — defining 'records' in the same over-broad way that schools and colleges do when they're trying to withhold a public record. Legally, the school has 45 days to give you your own records, and they can't charge you for the service.
See if they comply. Or if they get so overwhelmed by the enormous request for information that they cave and tell you — rightfully — those records aren't really covered by FERPA.