Wisconsin: Concerned Parents in North Fond du Lac Say School Board Candidate Tera McCarthy Engages in Child Privacy Violations (FERPA)

By concerned parents,

On Tuesday, April 5, 2022 voters in North Fond du Lac WI will head to the polls to elect three new school board members. One of the candidates in that race, Tera McCarthy, owes the voters some answers first. Tera and/or her husband Thomas have been identified as the admins who run the anonymous public Facebook page labeled “The TRUTH Behind the District.” which they use to undermine the exact school district which they hope to represent.

On this public Facebook page they share videos from the Horace Mann High School, Bessie Allen Middle School, and Friendship Learning Center Elementary School campuses that include images of minor children without parental consent. The voters of North Fond du Lac would like to know why a school board candidate is publicly sharing videos of minors on campus without parental consent in violation of FERPA child privacy laws. 

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act that protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA applies to all schools that receive funding from certain U.S. Department of Education programs. North Fond du Lac public schools would definitely be in this category.

Should someone whose racism and ignorance are so apparent and so easily set off be trusted to represent the best interests of all students in her district? A school board member should definitely know about FERPA child privacy laws and it is very clear that Tera McCarthy definitely does not.

Above: Highlight reel of Tera McCarthy For North Fond du Lac School Board

Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. A photo or video of a student becomes part of their education record when the photo or video is:  (1) directly related to a student; and (2) maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. FERPA regulations do not define what it means for a record to be “directly related” to a student. This is generally decided on a case-by-case basis based on context and circumstances.

The above video which is now edited was originally posted online and unedited by Tera McCarthy For North Fond du Lac School Board in a clear violation of FERPA child privacy violations at the North Fond du Lac Bessie Allen Middle School.

Some  ways a photo or video could become part of a student or students’ record (the same photo or video can become a record for more than one student) is if it contained a depiction of an activity that:

  1. shows a student in violation of local, state, or federal law;
  2. shows a student getting injured, attacked, victimized, ill, or having a health emergency;
  3. The person or entity taking the photo or video intends to make a specific student the focus of the photo or video;
  4. The audio or visual content of the photo or video otherwise contains personally identifiable information contained in a student’s education record; or
  5. resulted in an educational agency or institution’s use of the photo or video for disciplinary action involving a student.
The above video which is now edited was originally posted online and unedited by Tera McCarthy For North Fond du Lac School Board in a clear violation of FERPA child privacy violations at the North Fond du Lac Friendship Learning Center Elementary School.

It is important to stress that Tera McCarthy did not have permission from the other students’ legal guardians to film their children or publish the footage publicly on the internet in an unedited format. She likely only took the footage down after receiving negative attention toward her school board campaign, and that she likely still has the footage. While that footage is in her custody, there’s no way to control future publication, alteration, or other kinds of unauthorized use by Tera or unknown others on unknown platforms. It should also be stressed that Tera McCarthy’s unethical behavior was discovered and copies of her videos were made prior to her scrambling to remove the evidence of her childish behavior. All of these videos have now been edited to protect the privacy of these children. Tera McCarthy failed to protect these children and their privacy, she appears to only be concerned with drawing attention to her personal temper tantrum as she published these videos of your children on the internet. To think that Tera McCarthy now wants to make even more decisions for your child’s safety is hardly laughable. 

The above video which is now edited was originally posted online and unedited by Tera McCarthy For North Fond du Lac School Board in a clear violation of FERPA child privacy violations at the North Fond du Lac Horrace Mann High School.

No Parent would not want someone like Tera having video footage of their child without their consent and without any way of knowing or controlling what she or others might do with that video. Tera tries to brand herself as just an everyday person by admitting that she is inexperienced and uneducated, but instead she’s shown a serious lack of judgment, responsibility, and duty of care toward students of the very district she wants to serve.

On top of Tera being irresponsible with her filming and posting habits, her motives are incredibly suspicious. She was clearly filming her daughter to claim victimhood over school mask policies, and she’s clearly willing to be continually abrasive, argumentative, and disruptive to the point of law enforcement being called to remove her. Is that what we can expect out of her at school board meetings that don’t go her way?

The above video which is now edited was originally posted online and unedited by Tera McCarthy For North Fond du Lac School Board in a clear violation of FERPA child privacy violations at the North Fond du Lac Horrace Mann High School.

We know from Tera’s past behavior that she wants to oppose school leadership, defy school policies that don’t suit her, and that she’s willing to accept civil charges against herself. We know that she’s willing to film students and post the footage without consent or permission. We also know that she engages in “anti-CRT” rhetoric. We know that Tera refused to allow one of her kids to participate in classroom activities involving the children’s fiction book “New Shoes” by Susan Lynn Meyer about anti-Black discrimination during the 1950’s South. We know that she removed her child from that classroom activity not because she had read the book or knew anything about it, but because it sounded like Critical Race Theory to her. 

The above video which is now edited was originally posted online and unedited by Tera McCarthy For North Fond du Lac School Board in a clear violation of FERPA child privacy violations at the North Fond du Lac Horrace Mann High School.

Tera McCarthy was also questioned on her inappropriate actions by Local Fond du Lac WI Mainstream Media KFIZ. Tera has shown no personal accountability for her actions and the fact that she is undermining the exact same school district which she hopes to represent with a creepy troll page that she runs and where she posts images of minor children while they should be safe on their own campuses. In this news article Tera Mccarthy simply dodges all questions regarding her inappropriate actions. In the past Tera has stated that she does not hide from what she stands for, or her past actions but she clearly has no personal accountability and her words have been proven to just be empty ended statements and nothing more.  

The above video which is now edited was originally posted online and unedited by Tera McCarthy For North Fond du Lac School Board in a clear violation of FERPA child privacy violations at the North Fond du Lac Friendship Learning Center Elementary School.

Please keep your children safe North Fond du Lac, and choose very wisely on who you want to represent your school district and your child’s best interest on Tuesday, April 5th 2022.

Please Read More: Tera McCarthy For North Fond du Lac School Board 

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