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Colorado May Ease Student Health Privacy Rules

Hughes Law March 8, 2016

School personnel in Colorado would have wider access to medical treatment records of students under a proposed bill whose proponents say would help tip off educators to warning signs of a potential school shooting.

In Colorado and other states, private therapists and counselors treating a student may share with schools confidential treatment records about a patient who poses a specific, imminent safety threat.

The Colorado bill would permit therapists to tell school officials about a student who may not represent such an immediate risk. School personnel could be alerted about behavior that “creates a dangerous environment in a school that may jeopardize the safety or well being of students, faculty, staff, parents, or the general public,” says the legislation summary.

The actual bill text defines that standard as an “articulable and significant” threat. “Disclosures may only be made to appropriate school district personnel and must remain confidential,” it states.

Therapists directly employed by school districts are already permitted such latitude under a federal law that governs education records.

Excerpt from article written by Jacob Gershman on The Wall Street Journal Law Blog. To read the full article go to