Success Academies’ Eva Moskowitz published a student’s disciplinary record


Anyone who has reported on campus sexual assault knows that school administrations rarely respond, even when they feel unfairly maligned, because they fear violating the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA. Passed in 1974, FERPA is a federal law that bans the release of students’ personal information without their consent. “Schools are not supposed to talk about their students, even when the media is saying, ‘Hey, I can’t believe you did this,’ ” says Derek W. Black, a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law who specializes in education law. “And sometimes that means the media doesn’t get the story straight, but it does protect the student.”

That’s why it was so surprising when Eva Moskowitz, the high-profile head of Success Academy, a network of New York City charter schools, responded to a negative PBS story by releasing the disciplinary record of an ex-student featured in it. Black says this was probably illegal, and it has left the student’s mother, Fatima Geidi, furious and frantic with worry over her 10-year-old son’s reputation. “For a grown woman, an adult, to attack a child is disgusting,” Geidi told me. “There’s no other way around it.” <Read More>