Student records protected in Tennessee Valley - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Student records protected in Tennessee Valley

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

Public schools in some states are receiving directives on how to handle immigration round-ups. 

This comes after  new executive orders were handed down by the President. 

Locally, we checked with districts in the Tennessee Valley and found there are no signs of these issues, but they are being proactive.

About 200 parents and students packed the cafeteria at East Side Elementary Thursday with questions about potential immigration round-ups. 

Police and school officials are hoping to ease their fears.

"Regardless of where the student comes from, we always protect the confidentiality of our student records," Hamilton County Department of Education Communications Coordinator Amy Katcher said.

It's not clear how many Hamilton County students are immigrants, because the state does not collect that kind of data and protects student information.

We do know more than 6% of students in Hamilton County speak English as a second language. 

"I know there's a lot going on right now, but frankly, that just doesn't change the law," Katcher added.

Katcher wants parents to know student records are protected under the Family Educational Rights Act. 

Schools can't release a student's information without a court order from immigration agents. 

HCDE has no received any court orders for information. Neither have other districts in the Tennessee Valley. 

In Georgia, state education leaders suggest a district check with their local board attorney if an immigration agent shows up and to reach out to the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service.

Meetings like the one on Thursday are one way leaders in Hamilton County are being proactive, hoping to make the Hispanic community aware of their rights.

A state also cannot deny access to public education to any child regardless of the student's citizenship, immigration status or that of their guardians.

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