The Laws Of The Law Essay

The Laws Of The Law Essay

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Laws are particularly difficult to formulate, they need careful examination and law makers need great foresight, since even the smallest of loopholes can lead to unintended consequences. Judge James Buckley passed FERPA as an amendment to another law, so passing FERPA was not difficult. However, the way the law was adopted meant that those effected by the law didn’t have a chance at a hearing. Universities and high schools became confused over the FERPA guidelines, which were very general originally because Buckley believed these types of regulations were better left to the states. The confusion cleared up somewhat with the passing of several key amendments to FERPA, but interpretation of FERPA is still up to the schools. In Universities interpretation of FERPA can vary from school creating confusion, scandals, and misuse of the law.
The law is supposed to protect students records, but different interpretation of the law has created confusion over what is covered under FERPA. FERPA’s original intent was to protect student’s educational records, but at times the law is stretched beyond what its original purpose to cover information that that shouldn’t be left completely private. From state to state and even within states the information a college covers under FERPA varies. It mostly depends upon what the school’s interpretation of the law, and some colleges are confused over what information they can share, and may end up severely limiting the information shared even between parents and children. Suzanne Andriukaitis in an article in the Chicago Tribune “Colleges Need Schooling on Privacy Laws,” states that in a case were a student may be showing signs of trouble, “’the more likely scenario is that the college is going to say nothi...


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...gthened its privacy policy, it still allows third parties such as YouTube and Google to insert cookies on students ' computers to target ads.” In this case third parties aren’t using the student information to benefit the students and provide services but to benefit themselves.
Confusion, misuse, and scandals have followed a law, who’s original intent was clear and beneficial for student privacy. Even Buckley has spoken out about the misuse of FERPA, according to Bonilla “Buckley added: ‘Based on what I believe to be extreme misinterpretations of (the law) by colleges and universities, if I was still in the Senate, I would long ago have introduced amendments to the bill to get rid of the kind of (issue).’" It’s clear that a solution is needed and perhaps a good solution would be to clear up interpretation of the law, no longer leaving it up to the school’s decision.

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