Privacy & Protection Acts/Notifications
Child Protection Act
Under the Michigan Child Protection Act, school employees are required to report suspected child abuse to the Family Independence Agency. Child abuse is defined in the Child Protection Act as “harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or welfare by a parent, legal guardian, or any other person responsible for the child’s health or welfare, or by a teacher or teacher’s aide, which occurs through non-accidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or maltreatment.”
Hastings Area Schools Publicity Information
This announcement will serve to notify parents and guardians that throughout the school year student activities, programs, and sports events are videotaped for broadcast on the local cable access channel (channel 2) and for other public and school viewing, and that students may be photographed for the newspapers and for display on the Internet. Parents/guardians who do not wish their child/children to be videotaped or photographed throughout the school year are asked to send written notification to the office at the school the child/children attend.
Locker Search Policy
It is the policy of the Hastings Area School System Board of Education that all lockers assigned to its students are the property of the School System. At no time does the School System relinquish its exclusive control, of its lockers. The school principal, or his/her designee, shall have custody of all combinations to all lockers or locks. Students are prohibited from placing locks on any locker without the advance approval of the school principal, or his/her designee.
Legitimate Use of School Lockers: The School System assigns lockers to its students for the students’ convenience and temporary use. Students are to use lockers exclusively to store school-related materials and authorized personal items such as outer garments, footwear, grooming aids, or lunches. Students shall not use the lockers for any other purpose, unless specifically authorized by school policy or the school principal, or his/her designee, in advance of students bringing items to be kept in their lockers to school. Students are solely responsible for the contents of their lockers and should not share their lockers with other students, nor divulge locker combinations to other students unless authorized by the school principal, or his/her designee.
Search of Locker Contents: Random searches of school lockers and their contents have a positive impact on deterring violations of school rules and regulations, ensure proper maintenance of school property, and provide greater safety and security for students and personnel. Accordingly, the Board of Education authorizes the school principal, or his/her designee, to search lockers and locker contents at any time, without notice, and without parental/guardianship or student consent.
The school principal, or his/her designee, shall not be obligated to but may request the assistance of a law enforcement officer in conducting a locker search. The school principal, or his/her designee, shall supervise the search. In the course of a locker search, the school principal, or his/her designee, shall respect the privacy rights of the student regarding any items discovered, that are not illegal or against school policy and rules.
Seizure: When conducting locker searches, the school principal, or his/her designee, may seize any illegal or unauthorized items, items in violation of school policy or rules, or any other items reasonably determined by the school principal, or his/her designee, to be a potential threat to the safety or security of others. Such items include, but are not limited to the following: firearms, explosives, dangerous weapons, flammable material, illegal controlled substances or controlled substance analogues or other intoxicants, contraband, poisons, and stolen property. Law enforcement officials shall be notified immediately upon seizure of such dangerous items, or seizure of items that schools are required to report to law enforcement agencies under the Statewide School Safety Information Policy.
Any items seized by the school principal, or his/her designee, shall be removed from the locker and held by school officials for evidence in disciplinary proceedings and/or turned over to law enforcement officials. The parent/guardian of a minor student, or a student 18 years of age or older, shall be notified by the school principal, or his/her designee, of items removed from the locker.
Notice For Directory Information
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that Hastings Area School System, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child's education records. However, Hastings Area School System may disclose appropriately designated "directory information" without written consent, unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with District procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the Hastings Area School System to include this type of information from your child's education records in certain school publications. Examples include: • A playbill, showing your student's role in a drama production; • The annual yearbook; • Honor roll or other recognition lists; • Graduation programs; and • Sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members. Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent's prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information categories - names, addresses and telephone listings - unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student's information disclosed without their prior written consent. If you do not want Hastings Area School System to disclose directory information from your child's education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the District in writing by October 1, 2013. Hastings Area School System has designated the following information as directory information:
• Student's name
• Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
• Telephone listing
• Weight and height of members of athletic teams
• Electronic mail address
• Degrees, honors, and awards received
• Date and place of birth
• Major field of study
• Dates of attendance
• Grade level
• The most recent educational agency or institution attended
Notification of Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
PPRAaffords parents certain rights regarding our conduct of surveys, collection, and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:
Consent before, students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas ("protected information survey") if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education (ED):
1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student's parent
2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student's family
3. Sex behavior or attitudes
4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior
5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships
6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers
7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents
8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility. Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of -
1. Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding
2. Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law
3. Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
Inspect, upon request and before administration or use -
1. Protected information surveys of students
2. Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes
3. Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.
These rights transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under State law.
Hastings Area School System is developing and adopting policies, in consultation with parents, regarding these rights, as well as arrangements to protect student privacy in the administration of protected information surveys and the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes. Hastings Area School System will directly notify parents of these policies at least annually at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes. Hastings Area School System will also directly notify, such as through U.S. Mail or email, parents of students who are scheduled to participate in the specific activities or surveys noted below and will provide an opportunity for the parent to opt his or her child out of participation of the specific activity or survey. Hastings Area School System will make this notification to parents at the beginning of the school year if the District has identified the specific or approximate dates of the activities or surveys at that time. For surveys and activities scheduled after the school year starts, parents will be provided reasonable notification of the planned activities and surveys listed below and be provided an opportunity to opt their child out of such activities and surveys. Parents will also be provided an opportunity to review any pertinent surveys. Following is a list of the specific activities and surveys covered under this requirement:
• Collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales or other distribution.
• Administration of any protected information survey not funded in whole or in part by ED.
• Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening as described above.
Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-5901
Parent's Rights to Student Records
The Family Educational and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:
1) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the Hastings Area School System receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the building principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The School official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Parents or eligible students may ask the Hastings Area School System to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write to the building principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want to be changed. If the School decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the School will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
3) The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the School as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has contracted to perform a service instead of using its own employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, Hastings Area School System discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. Hastings Area School System will forward the records as requested.
4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Hastings Area School System to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605