478-121-453 - Privacy in full hearings

478-121-453. Privacy in full hearings

(1) In accord with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g) and its implementing regulations (34 C.F.R. Part 99) (FERPA), all meetings or reviews conducted under this code generally will be held in closed session out of respect for the privacy of all the students involved.

(2) In a full hearing, the hearing officer may close parts of a hearing under any provision of law expressly authorizing closure or under a protective order entered by the hearing officer pursuant to applicable rules and the hearing officer may order the exclusion of witnesses upon a showing of good cause.

(3) Students may, at their sole discretion, waive their rights under FERPA in writing. The scope of any FERPA waiver and any protective order entered by the hearing officer will determine who can have access to information that would otherwise be protected from disclosure by FERPA, including without limitation who can be present at any hearing held in a full adjudicative proceeding under this code. If the hearing is open to public observation, the presiding officer shall conduct the hearing in a room that will accommodate a reasonable number of observers. The hearing officer may issue a protective order to exclude from the hearing any persons who are disruptive of the proceedings and may limit the number and activities of the observers as necessary to protect the safety of the participants and observers and to assure a fair hearing.

(4) To ensure the privacy of all students involved, no cameras or recording devices shall be permitted except for the official recording by the university; however, if FERPA or other federal or state law implicated by RCW 34.05.040 does not preclude it, then any party, at the party's expense, may cause a reporter approved by the agency to prepare a transcript from the agency's record, or cause additional recordings to be made during the hearing if the making of the additional recording does not cause distraction or disruption. If a party intends to make a recording of the proceeding, the party shall advise the hearing officer prior to the prehearing conference so that any issues related to making an additional recording can be addressed prior to the full hearing.

(Adopted by WSR 17-15-068, Filed 7/14/2017, effective 8/18/2017)

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