U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings yesterday released what she called "user-friendly" guidelines to help educators and parents interpret federal privacy laws in an initiative prompted by the mass shooting at Virginia Tech. Concerns about properly balancing privacy and safety concerns have been on the minds of educators nationwide since the April 16 massacre. A panel appointed by Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) found that "widespread confusion" about privacy restrictions led to communications lapses among officials who dealt with mentally ill student Seung Hui Cho before he shot and killed 33 people, including himself.
Guides on Sharing Information Released, Washington Post, October 31, 2007.