I was talking to a school administrator yesterday…and she posed a question that I couldn’t clearly answer because it doesn’t seem there is a clear answer. So I wanted to see if any of our readers had some thoughts about it.
If a parent comes to you (you as an educator in the school system) and says that their child is being anonymously cyberbullied by someone from school, and their child is being affected at school because of it – and you do your investigation and find out the identity of the bully (and that it definitely is someone from school) – do you have to keep the identity of that bully private because of FERPA? What if the parent demands to know who it is, arguing that such information could help that parent better protect the child in the future? Furthermore, if the parent of the victim adamantly demands to know what the school is doing to specifically discipline that bully and address the issue, do you have to share that information – or can you just say that your school is dealing with the problem and the parent should let you know if it continues? How exactly does FERPA play a role in these situations?