Guns in Schools and FERPA
What if I told you that there had been 12 incidents involving a firearm during 2017 in a St. Johns County School? None of the 12 were ever reported to the parents of those school children.
CarrieAnn and her husband send their children to schools in St. John County. As a concerned parent, she called the St. Johns County Sheriff’s office to research guns in schools. She and her husband were appalled that they had never been informed of these 12 events, or any events for that matter. The lack of communication all centers around student privacy and a US Federal Law called FERPA.
FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 regulates the public distribution of student educational information or records. FERPA includes parents, potential employers, and publicly funded educational institutions, as well as foreign governments. Somehow this law allows for the withholding of incredibly important information like the 12 gun related incidents mentioned above from being directly shared with parents.
CarrieAnn and her husband, a disabled veteran, were alarmed by these numbers. Alex, CarrieAnn’s husband, remembers the effectiveness of body armor during his many tours of duty. Alex stated, “Body armor made a significant difference in the determination of life or death for an airman.” They were not willing to wait for an alternative legislative solution, so they came up with a backpack insert that can stop either a pistol or an AR round.
Schools are reluctant to approve or promote these, however, believing that school security can protect each child. Wrong. This has been refuted in events such as Columbine, Sandyhook, and Parkland.
Call your schools – and ask the tough questions. Find out the truth about gun incidents in your own child’s school, and them make an educated decision on how to best protect your child, and bring them home safe.