Policy 408 - Subpoena of a School District Employee

Revised: April 16, 2017

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to protect the privacy rights of school district employees and students under both state and federal law when requested to testify or provide educational records for a judicial or administrative proceeding.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

This policy is to provide guidance and direction for school district employees who may be subpoenaed to testify and/or provide educational records for a judicial or administrative proceeding.

III. DATA CLASSIFICATION

A. Educational Data

1. State Law

The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA), Minn. Stat. Ch. 13, classifies all educational data, except for directory information as designated by the school district, as private data on individuals. The state statute provides that private data on individuals may not be released, except pursuant to a valid court order or informed consent by the subject of the data or a parent if the subject of the data is a minor.

2. Federal Law

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, provides that educational data may not be released, except pursuant to informed consent by the individual subject of the data or any lawfully issued subpoena. Regulations promulgated under the federal law require that the school district must first make a reasonable effort to notify the parent of the student, or the student if the student is 18 years of age or older, of the subpoena in advance of releasing the information pursuant to the subpoena.

B. Personnel Data

The MGDPA, Minn. Stat. Ch. 13, also classifies all personnel data, except for certain data specifically classified as public, as private data on individuals. The state statute provides that private data on individuals may not be released, except pursuant to a valid court order or informed consent by the subject of the data.

Legal References:

  • Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)
  • Minn. Rules 1205.0100, Subp. 5 (Minnesota Rules Regarding Data Practices)
  • 20 U.S.C. § 1232g (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

Cross References:

  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 211 (Criminal or Civil Action Against School District, School Board Member, Employee, or Student)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 515 (Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records)
  • MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 13, School Law Bulletin “I” (School Records – Privacy – Access To Data)

Adopted: May 13, 2003
Revised: August 26, 2008
Reviewed: May 2015
Revised: April 16, 2017