A Florida District Court of Appeals on Monday denied a motion for rehearing submitted by the University of Central Florida in an open records case filed against the university.
In April, Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeal ruled UCF wrongly withheld names of student government officials accused or charged with misconduct. The appellate judges agreed the names of student government officials accused of misconduct are not protected under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as the university was claiming.
KnightNews.com, a student-run news organization, filed a lawsuit against UCF in 2013, claiming administrators incorrectly redacted public records and closed disciplinary hearings regarding hazing allegations against an on-campus fraternity.
The appellate judge ruled in April that the university properly withheld records that would have identified students accused of hazing, reasoning the records are classified as education records and are protected under FERPA. However, the Court deemed records relating to student government officials were not protected under the Act.
The university filed for rehearing at the end of April, claiming the court’s opinion creates an “implied waiver exemption” to FERPA and argues that Congress and the Secretary of Education have refused to allow the exemption.