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40 J.C. & U.L. 543 (2014)
FERPA and the Press: A Right to Access Information

handle is hein.journals/jcolunly40 and id is 571 raw text is: 







FERPA AND THE PRESS: A RIGHT TO ACCESS

                       INFORMATION?

                          ERIN ESCOFFERY*

IN TRO D U CTION   .......................................................................................... 543
I. BACKGROUND OF THE FEDERAL EDUCATIONAL            RIGHTS AND
      P RIV A CY  A CT  .................................................................................. 545
II. FE R PA   IN  PRACTICE  ............................................................................. 549
III. EFFORTS BY THE PRESS TO ACCESS INFORMATION ............................. 552
      A. First Amendment Right of Access .......................... 552
      B . O pen R ecords  Law s  ................................................................... 557
IV. CASES IN WHICH RECORDS WERE RELEASED ...................................... 563
C O N CLU SIO N   .............................................................................................. 564


                            INTRODUCTION
   In 1974, Senator James Buckley proposed the Federal Educational
Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)1 as a measure to prevent schools from
hiding individual student files from the students themselves.2 When he ini-
tially offered the educational amendment, he stated that it was important to
realize the dangers of Government data gathering3 in the post-Watergate
era, and that it was necessary to protect the rights of students and their
parents and to prevent the abuse of personal files and data in the area of
federally assisted educational activities.4 In the time since the passage of


* B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 2008; M.Phil., Philosophy, University of Cam-
bridge, 2009; J.D., Notre Dame Law School, 2014. Thank you to my entire family for
their constant love and support. Additionally, thank you to the editors and staff of
the Journal of College and University Law for their diligent editing efforts.
    1. 20 U.S.C. § 1232g (2010).
    2. 120 CONG. REC. 14,580 (1974).
    3. Id.
    4. Id. Senator Buckley reasoned:
    Some educators seem to feel that they know much more about the welfare and
    best interests of the child than do the parents, and therefore, once a child
    comes under their sway, they think they have the right to do what they them-
    selves think is best for the child, without regard for values and beliefs of the
    parents.
 Id.

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