Is it possible to get school counsellor records wiped if they contain false information?

Question Details: I was accused of sending death threats to a former friend, after she fabricated 'evidence' of this occurring. Since this never happened, her claim against me was dropped - but our school guidance counsellor became involved and there are school records of this issue which do not state my innocence. Is it possible to get these records wiped?

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Answers by Lawyers

Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

You don't have a right to get these records wiped completely, but you can get your side of the story recorded.

Your school is allowed to hold personal information about its students for the purpose of running the school, and your guidance counsellor probably has good reasons to keep records of a death threat, real or made-up.

However, you are entitled to request that the school corrects your personal information on your file. Your school has an obligation to ensure that your information is accurate, up-to-date, complete, and not misleading.

If your school is not willing to make your requested correction, you may request that your school attaches your requested correction to your record, so that your side of the story will always be read with your records.

In any event, your school can only disclose this information in very limited circumstances (for example, your school may disclose this information to the police if it believes the police need the information to investigate an offence).

If you think your school is not complying with the above principles, it is possible to make a compliant to the Privacy Commissioner. Please click here for more information: privacy.org.nz.

If you would like further information on your rights on this issue, contact your local Community Law Centre to find out about options near you: www.communitylaw.org.nz.

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