HCPSS MPIA Request #2023-112

Amanda Engel
WMAR-2 News
Requested Information
The number of students in the 2022-2023 academic year who have died, broken down by date of death, age of student and cause and method of death (looking at deaths by gun violence vs. other means and homicides, suicides, accidents or illness).
Date Received
Response Notes

Responsive to this request, data maintained by HCPSS related to student deaths would be the number who have been withdrawn from the school system for the reason of death since the first day of school for the current 2022-2023 year to date:

W43- Death
Howard = 2

HCPSS must protect against the potential disclosures of personally identifiable information about students as required by both the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which restricts access to student records, and MPIA GP § 4-313, which prevents disclosure of school district records pertaining to individual students. In accordance, HCPSS follows the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the National Center for Education Statistics’ guidelines for protecting student privacy in public reporting and suppresses the following from responsive records: populations that fall below 10; percentages that are less than or equal to 5, or greater than or equal to 95; categories directly related to specific student records; and/or information that can reasonably identify an individual student or reveals information from an individual student’s record or could do so when combined with other publicly accessible data. The above system-wide data reflects similar annual counts reported by MSDE: https://www.marylandpublicschools.org/about/Documents/DCAA/SSP/20212022Student/2022_Summary%20of%20Attendance.pdf. Given the population size, additional information such as student age and school have the potential to identify individual students. Moreover, while the data noted above indicates reason for withdrawing, additional information regarding the date and manner of death is shared at parent/family discretion and would require access to and review of private student files.

*Some request language is summarized to include the requester's specific document requests and legally protected information (such as personally identifiable information of a student) or personal, defamatory and malicious content removed at the discretion of the school system.

**Responses containing legally protected information available only to the person of interest are omitted from the above report.

***Howard County Public Schools reserves the right to remove erroneous or outdated documents from this site.