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4020 - Confidential Communications



The board recognizes that school staff must exercise a delicate balance regarding the treatment of information that was revealed in confidence. A staff member may, in his/her professional judgment, treat information received from a student as confidential or at other times decide to disclose what was learned to the school administration, student’s parents, law enforcement officers, child protective services, the county health department or other staff members. The staff member should advise the student regarding the limitations and restrictions regarding confidentiality. The student should be encouraged to reveal confidences to his/her parents. If the staff member intends to disclose the confidence, the student should be informed prior to such action.

The following guidelines are established to assist staff members in making appropriate decisions regarding confidential information and/or communications:

    1. Information contained in the student's cumulative record folder is confidential and is only accessible through the custodian of student records. Information secured through the authorization of the records custodian shall remain confidential and be used only for the purpose that its access was granted.
    2. School staff members including counselors (except licensed psychologists) do not possess a confidentiality privilege.
    3. A staff member is expected to reveal information given by a student when there is a reasonable likelihood that a crime has been or will be committed, (e.g., child abuse, sale of drugs, suicidal ideation).
    4. A staff member shall exercise professional judgment regarding the sharing of student disclosed information when there is reasonable likelihood that the student's welfare may be endangered.
    5. A staff member is encouraged to assist the student by offering suggestions regarding the availability of community services to assist a student in dealing with personal matters, (e.g. substance abuse, mental illness, sexually-transmitted diseases, pregnancy). The staff member should encourage the student to discuss such matters with his/her parents. Staff members are encouraged to discuss problems of this nature with the school principal prior to making contact with others.

Cross References:

Board Policy 


Substance Abuse Program


Guidance and Counseling


Student Records


Public Access to District Records


Personnel Records

Legal References:



Reports--Duty and authority to make



Responsibility for reporting to and cooperating with the local health department


First Reading Date: December 18, 2001

Adopted by the Board: July 16, 2002

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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