CHAPTER 548

AN ACT TO AMEND DELAWARE CODE, TITLE 14, CHAPTER 41, BY ADDING A NEW SECTION RELATING TO PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS AND CONFIDENTIAL RECORDS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Amend Delaware Code, Title 14, Chapter 41, by adding to that Chapter a new Section 4114 as follows:

§ 4114. Disclosure of Pupils' School Records

(1) All personnel records of pupils in all public schools in Delaware and in all private schools in Delaware, including but not limited to, test scores, marks given according to a school grading system, psychological or medical reports, reports related to discipline, personal and anecdotal reports, reports by guidance counselors, are deemed to be confidential and not to be disclosed or the contents thereof released to non-school personnel except in the following circumstances:

(a) Any or all such personnel records shall be furnished upon request to any duly authorized agency of the Federal Government, the State of Delaware, or any County or Municipal government within Delaware which by law or Court order is entitled thereto, in the interest of the public health, safety, law enforcement or national security;

(b) Copies of such personnel records shall be furnished upon the signed request of the pupil involved, provided he or she shall have then reached the age of fourteen, to any other school, college, university or institution to which the pupil involved may apply or be transferred or to any employer or prospective employer which the pupil shall designate or to any licensed physician which the pupil shall designate. Such signed request shall be made on a standard form to be prescribed in accordance with such rules and regulations as may be promulgated by the State Department of Public Instruction in compliance herewith, such pupils' signature shall be appropriately witnessed by an adult, and such executed form shall constitute a release and indemnification in compliance with §4114 (2). Such standard form shall be designed to permit a pupil to authorize in advance the release of such personnel records to any and all recipients hereinabove described without naming them, when and if the pupil desires to expedite the transmittal of such information as requested.

(c) Nothing in this section shall preclude the disclosure by authorized school personnel of the content of all or only a part of such personnel records at appropriate intervals to a parent or legal guardian of a pupil for the purpose of keeping the pupil's parent or legal guardian informed as to the pupil's academic progress, personal health or behavior, to the extent deemed to be appropriate within the sole and absolute discretion of the school's chief administrative officer.

(2) A minor having reached the age of fourteen shall be considered as an adult for the purposes prescribed by this section and his or her witnessed signature on requests prescribed in (1) (b) hereinabove shall be considered valid and binding in law.

(3) No cause of action or claim for relief, civil or criminal, shall lie or damages be recoverable against any school officer or employee, by reason of his or her participation in the formulation of such personnel records or any statements made or of judgments expressed therein concerning a pupil's academic performance, personal conduct, health, habits, school-related activities, or potential; nor by reason of the disclosure of such records in accordance with (1) (a), (b) or (c) hereinabove prescribed, before or after the effective date of this Act, unless malice shall be conclusively proven.

Section 2. If any clause, sentence, paragraph or part of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, shall, for any reason, be adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this Act.

Section 3. All laws inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

Section 4. This Act shall become effective upon signature by the Governor.

Approved June 10, 1970.