Virginia Northam signs bills to forbid release of student phone numbers and emails without consent

Gov. Ralph Northam has signed two bills that forbid public schools and colleges from releasing a student’s email address or phone number without written consent.

Release of such information is currently discretionary. But the Democratic governor last week signed Senate Bill 512 from Sen. David Suetterlein, R-Roanoke County, a bill that will become one of the only exemptions in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act to specifically prohibit release of public records.

The governor also has signed House Bill 1 from Del. Tony Wilt, R-Rockingham. That bill amends state education law to say that no school can disclose student directory information without a parent or eligible student affirmatively consenting in writing.

The new laws will go into effect July 1. Read more…