Faculty Members Notified to Keep Hush about Gunman and Victimsby Omar Maglalang
News Staff Writer
April 18, 2007
Faculty and staff at Virginia Tech received an e-mail early Wednesday from the Office of the University Registrar stating that they be wary of divulging information to the press regarding the gunman and victims of the shooting incidents Monday.
“We have just received information from the Attorney General,” noted the statement. “Please remember that FERPA rights survive death...Please be aware of confidentiality of the students involved.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education website, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.
Parents have certain rights to inspect the records of their children, but those rights transfer solely to the students when they turn the age of 18.
Schools can only disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, honors and awards, and dates of attendance.
“Only directory information may be shared and only if that student did not mark their record confidential,” noted the statement.
This e-mail came as a response to complaints about the type of information being shared to the media with regards to senior english major Cho Seung-Hui’s terrorizing rampage of Norris Hall and West Ambler Johnston Monday.
Lucinda Roy, a co-director at the creative program at Virginia Tech, told media Tuesday that she had notified authorities about Cho and asked him to go to counseling.
Nikki Giovanni, university distinguished professor in English, told authorities that she was prepared to offer her resignation papers in response to Cho’s aggressive demeanor in his English papers.
Fifteen faculty members in several college departments rejected reporters from Planet Blacksburg when asked about the e-mail.
“Are you the press?” they said. “No comment.”