August 29, 2018
What we can share is that nothing matters more to the Anchorage School District than the safety of its students. All students and staff have the right to feel safe and secure in their classrooms and while on school property or at school events. From the beginning of the notification of this incident, ASD has been working cooperatively with the Anchorage Police Department. In moving through this investigative process, as soon as APD allowed, ASD began its investigation.
- Safety of students continues to be the highest priority for the Anchorage School District
- School Board Policy BP 5142 addresses safety. It says, “The School Board places a high priority on safety and on the prevention of student injury. The District shall make reasonable effort to ensure the safety and proper conduct of students from the time they come under school supervision until they leave school supervision, whether on school premises or not.” Further provisions address specific topics such as environmental safety, school safety and security, discipline, and more.
- As part of the ongoing investigation, on Monday, August 27, all Dimond High School football players and managers were asked to fill out a written questionnaire regarding team policy/culture and any knowledge of misconduct during their trip to Fairbanks. Students were broken up into small groups in separate classrooms to fill out the questionnaires and were in the presence of school administration during the entirety of the event.
Last Friday, in advance of the administration of the questionnaire, parents were notified of the process by email through ArbiterAthletes (an athletic management and notification system). Some of those original email messages about the questionnaire went to student emails rather than parents. A follow-up message from the Principal of Dimond High School was sent explaining the process and offering for parents to come and see/review a copy of the questionnaire.
- ASD is aware that many of the Dimond Football players are working out on their own. While these activities are not ASD organized or sanctioned, we understand the students desire to continue working with one another and appreciate that parents are monitoring the effort.
- Because of the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law administered by the U.S. Department of Education, there are details that the District cannot share. We cannot share a lot of information because of the ongoing investigations by APD and ASD. Student and family privacy is also addressed in School Board Policy BP 5145.15. The State of Alaska statutes also restricts a school district from sharing information and is covered by AS 25.20.130. State Administrative Code 4 AAC 52.530 specifically addresses Release of records; disciplinary records.
- FERPA protects personally identifiable information (PII) from education records from unauthorized disclosure
- FERPA requires written consent before sharing PII (unless an exception applies)
- An example of an exception is Directory Information Exception, which allows schools to release certain information without consent, but notice is required. If directory information is disclosed, notice must include the types of PII that have been designated as directory information, an explanation that parents or eligible students have the right to opt-out, and a time period within which a parent or eligible student may provide notification that they wish to opt-out. ASD Record Management Release of Student Directory Information REC #009 is a part of the online or in-person registration packet completed at the time of registration/enrollment.
- ASD Student discipline is covered in School Board Administrative Regulation AR 5144, Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, and is also published in the ASD High School Student Handbook (or Elementary Student Handbook, Middle School Student Handbook). Guidelines for participating in high school activities is outlined in the High School Activities Handbook. Further guidelines are posted for each ASD high school, i.e., for Dimond High School, Dimond High School Guidelines.
ASD School Board President expresses student safety as the first priority in, “Marsett alleged Dimond High abuse heartbreaking.