FERPA; Students; Sexual Misconduct – Employment; Internal Investigations; Investigations; Sexual Misconduct & Other Campus Violence
University of Kentucky v. Kernal Press, Inc. (Ky. Cir. Ct. Jan. 23, 2017)
The Kentucky Kernal, the student newspaper at the University of Kentucky, filed a request for information pursuant to the Kentucky Open Records Act in which the newspaper requested copies of university records relevant to a sexual misconduct investigation. The University declined to turn over records that contained personally identifiable student information pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Subsequently, the state Attorney General ordered the University to release the requested documents. The Court reversed the Attorney General’s ruling, holding that the investigation documents at issue constituted protected education records under FERPA, since they related to student witnesses, and that the documents could not be reasonably redacted to protect the privacy rights of the students involved.