PSBA recently presented testimony to the House Children and Youth Committee on the issue of respecting confidentiality laws and protecting students and staff. The testimony examined aspects of state and federal reporting and confidentiality laws, as well as legal barriers surrounding information sharing among Children and Youth Services, law enforcement and schools. In many situations, the testimony notes, collaboration is hindered by requirements of the law and schools are unable to put supports and protections in place to address the challenges of a situation.
PSBA urged the committee to consider proactive ways to remove these obstacles statewide and work collaboratively with the federal government, while balancing the privacy interests of students. Some specific suggestions include:
- Establishing reporting obligations on the part of law enforcement and CYS to schools.
- Providing immunity from liability for the three organizations if they share confidential information with one another relating to a minor in good faith.
- Working with the federal government to develop legislative and regulatory changes needed to ensure the prompt and efficient dissemination of student information to and from law enforcement and child protective services officials when the need arises.
Click here to read PSBA’s testimony.