When is it permissible to utilize FERPA’s health or safety emergency exception for disclosures?

In some situations, school administrators may determine that it is necessary to disclose personally identifiable information (PII) from a student’s education records to appropriate parties in order to address a health or safety emergency.  FERPA’s health or safety emergency provision permits such disclosures when the disclosure is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.  See 34 CFR §§ 99.31(a)(10) and 99.36.  This exception to FERPA’s general consent requirement is limited to the period of the emergency and generally does not allow for a blanket release of PII from a student’s education records.  Rather, these disclosures must be related to an actual, impending, or imminent emergency, such as a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, a campus shooting, or the outbreak of an epidemic disease. 

K-12 School Officials
Postsecondary School Officials
Exceptions - Health and Safety Emergency