Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act prevents universities from disclosing information about students found responsible for sex crimes and violence even though the federal law meant to protect student privacy explicitly tells schools to make that information public.
The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, says the name of a student found responsible for a crime of violence or nonforcible sex offense is a public record along with the violation and the sanction.
In Virginia, such records are exempted from the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Following the controversy generated by Rolling Stone’s tale of a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity, The Daily Progress made a series of open records requests, including one for complaints filed with the school’s Sexual Misconduct Board, asking that names be redacted. The school rejected the request, citing state code. Continue>>>