Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

Article Title

Keeping It off the Record: Student Social Media Monitoring and the Need for Updated Student Records Laws


Alice Haston


An increasing number of school districts work with private companies to monitor public social media and to notify administrators of alarming student information. Although these services help address challenging school safety issues, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and state law offer little guidance on how districts should store student social media data. This Note encourages states to pass student records laws similar to recent California legislation and urges the Department of Education to clarify the relationship between student social media and education records under FERPA. New state and federal initiatives would help ensure that third parties may not access information that inaccurately depicts a student's current emotional state and honor individual privacy as students become more mature digital citizens.