Student-counselor confidentiality protected with defeat of HB 1167

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Student-counselor confidentiality protected with defeat of HB 1167

A bill that would have severely hindered the confidentiality students share with school counselors couldn’t get out of the House of Representatives.


On a 30-37 vote, Reps defeated House Bill 1167, which circumvents the confidentiality between student and counselor.


Rep. Chris Johnson, the bill’s prime sponsor, claimed South Dakota statute was in “direct conflict with FERPA,” which is federal law, as he believes “FERPA says parents have the absolute right” to review their student’s academic records and those records included counseling records.


Rep. Kevin Jensen said language on the FERPA website “ends with…academic records” and the interpretation that counseling records fall under the academic record umbrella may be “getting a little too far down the road from what is actually shareable.”


That interpretation was shared by Rep. Timothy Johns who said there was no court case stating counselor records “qualify as student records.”


ASBSD opposed the bill.


For updates from the 2020 legislative session, check the ASBSD Blog and Bill Tracker page.

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