Disclosure to Police


Section 28(2)(g) of LAFOIP allows a board of education (board) to share personal information of a student with a law enforcement agency for the purpose of a lawful investigation without consent of the student or parent. This section does not compel the board to share the information but allows it to do so when the board believes it is appropriate.

Sharing such information will generally be appropriate when the board believes it to be in the best interests of a particular student or in the best interests of students in general.

The school’s access to student information should not be used merely as a convenience by the police. The police may have other ways of getting information and the board should, at minimum, ask them if they have tried these alternatives. Section 28(2)(g) only applies when the police are actually conducting a formal investigation and are not just gathering information for a potential investigation.

School Database Records

Boards collect information from students and store it in databases for education purposes. This is the personal information of students and the only purpose for which it should be used is education purposes.

In particular, parents and students would not expect that information would be shared on a routine basis with the police. That would not be considered an appropriate use and should not be done without express consent of the student or his or her parents.

Allowing access to information of students housed on the school databases to any outsider, including the police, is not advisable unless they are bound by contract to protect confidentiality, such as service providers.  Boards do not have the same level of control over third parties and how they use the system as they do with employees.

This does not mean that boards can never disclose any student database information with the police. In circumstances where a section 28(2) of LAFOIP or a section 10 of the LAFOIP Regulations applies, then the particular information that is required to be shared can be disclosed. If, for example, a police officer is helping with educational matters then the board can share personal information of the student with the officer so that the interaction can benefit the student.

Any disclosure of information should be done on a case-by-case basis. Care must be taken to ensure that only the minimal information required for the purpose for which it is being disclosed is being shared.