Wilt Student Privacy Bill Passes House

February 7, 2018

RICHMOND-On Wednesday the House of Delegates passed legislation patroned by Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Broadway) to protect student’s personal information. The bill, HB 1, is a top priority for House Republicans after the most recent election cycle revealed gaps in Virginia’s Freedom of Information law. The current law allowed political groups to obtain student cell phone numbers to send spam text messages to students.

“Schools should not be permitted to release personal contact information for students without permission,” said Delegate Wilt. “While it’s not acceptable for political or marketing purposes, I’m especially concerned that someone could use this information with sinister criminal intent. Given the heightened awareness for protecting personal information in the digital age, this bill is a common-sense way to protect the privacy of our students.”

The bill passed the House with language to prohibit the release of personal student contact information to outside groups, businesses or individuals without the express written permission of students or parents. The bill applies to both public K-12 schools and higher education institutions.

The legislation passed the House of Delegates on a vote of 62-35. Following bipartisan support in the House, the bill will now move to the Senate for consideration.