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Page history last edited by Wesley Fryer 14 years ago


In December 2006 amendments were added to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) in the United States which mandate email archiving in some circumstances for school districts. The intent of the law was to provide documentation of network abuse and misuse. Specifically, the law was intended to prevent the intentional destruction of documents relating to ongoing litigation. The Enron debacle highlighted the need for electronic documents to be preserved for use in legal proceedings. According to e-Discovery laws, school districts should and must according to the law make good faith efforts to archive electronic communications on the district’s email server. Districts are NOT required to archive every outbound packet of data which is created by students, teachers, and other district staff members in-district.


How do some school administrators invoke e-Discovery to block web 2.0 sites?

Some school administrators cite FERPA as the reason webmail sites (like GMail and Yahoo Mail) must be blocked, instant messaging websites must be blocked, and other web 2.0 sites are blocked.


What Does e-Discovery Require?

When litigation concerning particular students or district staff is ongoing or expected, district personnel are required and expected to take reasonable steps to archive official communications. This includes analog/paper based communications as well as official, school-provided email communications.


e-Discovery does not:

  • Require all schools to block all types of webmail
  • Require schools to block GMail
  • Require schools to block Yahoo Mail
  • Require schools to block Skype
  • Require schools to block other web 2.0 sites


What is the Takeaway Here?

e-Discovery requires school officials take reasonable steps to archive electronic and paper-based communications which are created in the normal course of work, including official school email. School officials are NOT required to block any web 2.0 sites or services because of the law.


Additional Resources Relating to e-Discovery

  1. "eDiscovery requirements and archiving student email."  Moving at the Speed of Creativity. Wesley Fryer. 3 February 2010.
  2. "Schools are NOT required by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) to block all web 2.0 sites." Moving at the Speed of Creativity. Wesley Fryer. 26 September 2008.
  3. "The Recent E-Discovery Amendments To The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure And Communicative Technologies In School Districts (Intro)." EdJurist Blog. Scott Baueries. 25 September 2008.
  4. "The E-Discovery Amendments And Electronic Technologies In Schools (Email And Local Documents.)" EdJurist Blog. Scott Baueries. 9 October 2008.
  5. "Discovery Rules And State Education Laws." EdJurist Blog. Scott Baueries. 11 December 2008.
  6. The EdJurist Blog


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