I attended a seminar yesterday on the Constitution and the ways in which the document continues to change and evolve as society does. It was a fascinating day – much more so than I imagined it would be – and I’m eager to sign up for the rest of the programs in the series.
One of the panels featured a lawyer who does extensive work with issues of privacy. After her session, I made my way to the front of the lecture hall to try to get a moment or two with her, which she graciously offered me. I quickly told her to story about what happened to me at CHS last year, giving her a thumbnail sketch of the proverbial ‘facts of the case,’ but stopping just short of the fact that I was let go at the end of it all.
Her very clear and unhesitating diagnosis of the situation was that a school representative, working with the express permission of a parent, has the right to disclose personal information of a medical nature about said parent’s minor child. It seems that HIPA has a clause that allows for the release of information by the subject party or the subject party’s legal representative – in this case, a parent – and, in the absence of a clear school policy forbidding such disclosure (which there wasn’t), there is absolutely no wrongdoing if said school representative gives information about a student to the school community.
The attorney literally gasped when I told her that I’d been let go as a consequence of the story I told her. She went on to tell me that I absolutely had actionable cause (which I’m not going to pursue) and that this never should have happened.
I said the things that I said that day with the express permission of Sweet Pea’s parents (and Sweet Pea concurred when she was well again and I was catching her up on what was going on at CHS). I knew what I was doing was right when I was doing it, but I walked away from the conversation yesterday feeling incredibly vindicated.