The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, also referred to as the Buckley Amendment) prohibits the disclosure of a student’s education records to anyone other than the student and “school officials with legitimate educational interest.”
The College encourages students to keep their parents informed of their academic and disciplinary standing and expects that students will inform their parents when there is a problem. However, Trinity believes that there are some situations about which parents should be informed, and recent amendments to FERPA permit us to do so. They are as follows.
Parents of students who are financially dependent may have access to information in their child’s academic record according to federal law. Each semester, copies of grades will be mailed to the parents of dependent students. Trinity sends a form to all students, which parents are asked to sign, requesting them to indicate their financial status. This same form has a separate section that students, regardless of age, may choose to sign, authorizing the College to release any conduct information, in addition to what is described below, to parents.
Health and Safety
Parents will be notified when the College learns that a student has been admitted to the hospital, is suffering from a life-threatening illness, or when there is reason to believe that a student’s health and well-being are in jeopardy. Parents will also be notified if the College learns that a student has been arrested and is unable to arrange for his or her quick release.
Drugs and Alcohol
Parents will be notified if the College hears from law enforcement officials that a Trinity student under the age of 21 has been arrested during academic session for an alcohol- or drug-related violation.
Parents of students under the age of 21 will be notified if their child incurs a serious sanction for a first-time offense (such as removal from housing, censure, suspension, or expulsion), or incurs any sanction for a second or subsequent violation of the College’s drug and alcohol policy.
Lastly, parents will be notified if their student puts himself or herself at risk due to alcohol or substance abuse.
For a discussion on alcohol and other drugs and Trinity policies, please see the Student Handbook.
Although, in practice we may notify a student when a parent or guardian has been contacted, we are not required to do so by law.
In addition, under some circumstances, we are permitted by law to release the student’s records to a court without the student or parent’s consent.