Before it goes into effect Nov. 14, Reynoldsburg school officials must first find out how they can comply with the city's new daytime curfew law without violating the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA.)

Before it goes into effect Nov. 14, Reynoldsburg school officials must first find out how they can comply with the city's new daytime curfew law without violating the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA.)

The law says any minor who has been suspended or expelled from school who is found on Reynoldsburg streets between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. is in violation and can be held by police until their parent or guardian is contacted.

Also, parents of children who violate the law can be held accountable.

City attorney Jed Hood said the question is whether the schools will be able to release the names of expelled or suspended students to police without violating FERPA.

The federal law says schools cannot divulge information to anyone other than the student about the student's grades or behavior, including schoolwork posted on a bulletin board with a grade.

"That's the difficulty," Hood said. "I don't think that they could. The parents have to consent to the disclosure of any information other than what is characterized as directory information, which does not include disciplinary records.

"That's the issue and that needs to be resolved," he said. "That's why I'm concerned about the enforceability of the ordinance that was passed.

"The safest, surefire way is to get parental consent, so when they're (school officials) having their disciplinary hearing before they make a determination, if they could at least ask for parental consent, that would go a long way to help us," Hood said.

Superintendent Steve Dackin agreed that the challenge for the district is complying with FERPA while at the same time, complying with the city's new law.

He said district officials are in conversation with school attorneys who are reviewing the new legislation to find out clearly what the district's obligations are.

Dackin said once they have an answer, the district will share what it can with police.

Hood questioned the legalities of the daytime curfew and whether the schools would be able to release student information to police.

"Our desire to comply with the ordinance is obvious," Dackin said. "We intend to do that as best we can under the constraints the existing federal legislation."

He said the district has committed to inform parents and guardians about the new curfew law in the disciplinary letter that goes out to them when their children are suspended or expelled from school.

"Until we hear back from our attorneys, we believe we are permitted to notify through the expulsion or suspension notice of this ordinance, and we intend to do that," Dackin said. "It's the law of the city of Reynoldsburg and we're going to do our best to comply with it under the challenges that present itself under federal law."

Although Reynoldsburg police officers have always been able to stop anyone they deem suspicious or think has broken the law, proponents of the new curfew legislation say it provides an additional tool police can use because it provides that officers can hold someone to verify if he or she has been expelled or suspended.

Police Lt. Scott McKinley said Reynoldsburg police have not discussed the new law yet with any school officials but they will be informed about how to enforce it before it goes into effect Nov. 14.