Bill would require Va. universities to disclose sexual assault reports to local prosecutors

The bill would require the departments to report incidents of sexual assault to the local Commonwealth attorney within 48 hours of receiving the report, providing another avenue to access information about reported incidents.

Va. bill could restrict student journalists’ ability to survey classmates

The bill would require parents to approve any surveys asking students to provide “sexual information,” mental health information, medical information, student health risk information, information about drug use and other topics the school board deems “sensitive.”

Obama calls for federal student data protections

President Obama said the legislation, which is modeled after a new law in California, is necessary as digital learning becomes more prominent in classrooms. Leading up to his State of the Union Address next week, the proposal was part of the president’s recent focus on cybersecurity and privacy.

Try this at home: How equitable is your high school?

Earlier this week, the Department of Education released data compiled through its Civil Rights Data Collection program. For the first time since 2000, every public school in the country was surveyed, and for the first time ever, the results of the survey are being made public in a searchable database.The database has the potential to be a great resource for student journalists who want to learn more about their schools.

Campus crime statistics unavailable from government during shutdown, but we have ’em

We often encourage student journalists to look up campus crime statistics reported by their school using the Department of Education's "Data Analysis Cutting Tool." On that website, students can look up statistics reported annually by their school as required by the Jeanne Clery Act, as well as those reported by other schools.Students (and members of the public) trying to do that today won't be able to.

To fix FERPA, raise the price of lying

Put yourself in the place of a school or college attorney. Your client, the institution, is trying to decide whether to fulfill or reject a journalist's request for public records.Honoring the request is going to be a nuisance, and the records contain some embarrassing information the school would rather not see on the evening news.The records pretty clearly don't contain any confidential student information -- but the journalist can't easily prove that.