What is the Morgan Hill Court Case?
The Plaintiffs in this lawsuit are The Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association and The Concerned Parents Association. Both organizations are non-profit associations made of parents and guardians of children with disabilities. They claim that the Defendant, the California Department of Education (CDE), has violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) by failing to monitor, investigate, provide services to, and enforce the rights of children with disabilities consistent with its obligations under the law. The Defendant denies these allegations.
Why is it relevant to YLHS students?
It’s relevant because the California Department of Education is required to disclose information that it stores on databases and network drives that contain protected personal information of Californian students. This includes all children, even ones with disabilities, ones who have been assessed for special education eligibility. This is relevant not only to YLHS students, but to anyone who has attended school in California any time since January 1, 2008.
What personal information will be shared?
Examples of information that is stored on CDE’s databases and network drives includes name, social security number, home address, demographics, course information, statewide assessment results, teacher demographics, program information, behavior and discipline information, progress reports, special education assessment plans, special education assessments/evaluations, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), records pertaining to health, mental health and medical information, student statewide identifiers (SSID), attendance statistics, information on suspensions and expulsions, and results on state tests.
How can you object to this sharing of personal information?
If you object to the disclosure of your or your child’s protected personal information and records, you must notify the Court by April 1, 2016, in one of two ways.
First, you may print out and complete the “Objection to Disclosure of Student Information and Records Case No. 2:11-CV-03471” form at the CDE’s website www.cde.ca.gov/morganhillcase, and mail your objection to the Court at the address stated. You can find this form attached to the article.
Another way to object is writing a confidential letter to the Judge. It must include the name of the student on whose behalf you are writing, your name and relationship to the student, the student’s date of birth, county, school district, and school. You can even state the basis of your objection, why you object to this.
It’s important to note that no student’s identifying records will be disclosed to the public and that the information may only be used in context of the lawsuit.
Go to http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/ws/documents/order2016jan26.pdf to find out more.