Does a school need to know how much a student’s parents earn or how much real estate they own? Should you know that the father is unemployed or an alcoholic, or that the mother is suffering from a physical or mental disability? This type of sensitive information shows up in many divorce or separation decrees that end up in the hands of schools so that they are aware of the extremes that are associated with the educational field after a breakup; For example, which of the two members is responsible for picking up the child or who can make decisions about extracurricular activities. Although, These court decisions contain a lot more data than they are ‘raw’. In other words, no one purges the couple’s private sphere of features that might violate existing regulations on data protection.
Family lawyers and legal experts in data protection have to deal with this hot potato every day, assuming that the Ministry of Education and the relevant regional councils and courts can themselves arbitrate on measures to protect the most sensitive information from third parties. “And stick to announcements that only affect the school environment”They add up.
“Schools have no choice but to receive these sentences in full because there are regulatory aspects regarding parental rights or custody that they must take into account. what’s the problem? that the parent does not request, or provide, partial testimony or attestation to the extent that it is in the best interest of the schoolexplains Alfonso Pacheco, a lawyer specializing in data protection who advises schools on the matter. Pacheco also recalls that the Ministries of all Autonomous Communities consider the requirement of text complete sentences in their protocols. With access to the full resolution, the school is being informed of information that affects parents’ right to privacy and, of course, their right to data protection.”
These data are limited to certain people, such as legal advisors of the Center, Principal or guardian of the student who has a legal obligation to maintain confidentialityBut they end up receiving a document with overwhelming information “and sometimes horrifying” that they don’t need to know “or parents must notify the school,” details the lawyer, who co-authored the blog Privacy Lógica, by the respected Basque Data Protection Agency.
In his opinion, this tangled matter can be resolved with a request from the lawyers of the Administration of Justice to issue a certification of the content of the partial testimony or sentence, which should be brought to the attention of the school, such as attribution to the parents. Rights, guardianship and custody, collected at school; who is responsible for authorizing extracurricular activities; or taking student photographs for school publications. “that request must be attended to because there is a legal basis for it”,
Family lawyer Óscar Martínez, who says that the schools limit themselves to complying with the resolutions of the Ministries of Education, pronounces in the same vein. Martinez, a member of the Spanish Association of Family Lawyers (AEAFA) and with an office in Valencia, gives the example of what happens in the Valencian Community, where education asks parents to give the school a copy of the sentence. The lawyer proposes a possible solution: Standardize a document in which only relevant data is provided for the educational system.
To do this, the administration must invest in computer tools that automate these processes “so that when a court issues a sentence, the necessary data is extracted by the college and that document is distributed to the parties. Although the ideal would be that the court should send it directly to the Center“, he specifies. Martínez believes that this standardized document will avoid the transfer of sensitive data protection material to the school, such as the physical or mental health of parents, their assets, their debts, if they are compensatory pay pensions or if they have complaints that have been filed” In addition, if schools receive a shorter and more specific document, they will avoid reading proposals of more than ten pages. He will get a lot of time,” he added.