Office of the University Registrar

November 3, 2020

Health and Safety Emergencies

Faculty and staff may experience circumstances where they need to disclose student information in the case of emergency. Should an “articulate and significant threat to the health and safety of the student or other individuals” exist, school officials may release student information to local law enforcement, parents or outside entities. In these circumstances, the school official must record the release in the student’s record, including what was released, to whom, and why.

If you sense that a student may be in danger to themselves or to any other person:

  • Call 911 in an emergency
  • Report FERPA protected information to non-UW officials if a threat of danger or violence is present
  • Notify Safe Campus of the nature of the release and what was released to whom

FERPA allows for the disclosure of this information if you have a “rational basis” for your decision. At the UW, a formal process exists for disclosing this information and you are not required to disclose this yourself. Review the UW protocol when disclosing personally identifiable information related to a health and safety emergency.

Law Enforcement Inquiries

FERPA records cannot mix with Campus Safety records. Should this happen, the Campus Safety records automatically become protected under FERPA. Outside entities with badges cannot have access to student data without student permission. The only exception is in a health or safety emergency. Do not release a student’s schedule or location without the student’s written permission.