“This is going on your permanent record!”
I scan microfiche for a living. I have seen all types of microfiche containing various documents. Such examples include medical records, land records, police records, building blueprints, sewer maps, aerial photographs, military personal records, National Archives, registers, newspapers, accounting and payroll records, marriage licenses, court transcripts, and countless other types of documents. In fact, almost anything that was created on paper documents has made it to microfiche at one point.
Where Are Your Permanent Records, Anyway?
If you have ever wondering if your school permanent record really existed, I could vouch that it does. The majority of schools keep them on hard paper which look like folders, like a thin cardboard. Alternatives include microfilm reels or microfiche. The last couple of decades if schools allocate funds in their budget, they can have the paper, microfilm, and microfiche scanned to digital image, indexed by student name. Once digitized, the school can store the PDFs or TIFFs on their computers and/or server. Depending on state law, the paper, microfilm, or microfiche can be shredded or incinerated to save space in the school. So your permanent record will live on with the potential of unlimited copies- truly permanent (until the end of civilization, at least).
What is On Your Permanent Records?
Depending on the local laws, your permanent record has your biographical information, such as name, date of birth, social security number, place of birth, parent’s names and telephone numbers, photo, date of registering and leaving, teachers’s names, grades, and standardized test results. There have been fear-mongering articles about data collection of pregnancies, mental health, and economic status, but I have not seen those on school permanent records. I have seen psych evaluations and write-ups, but not in school permanent records.
What About The Bad Stuff?
That’s all I’ve seen in decades of converting school records to digital images. If you were expelled, obviously that would have been noted because you it meant you were transferred out to another school. If you were suspended, a note is made. However, if you had detention, were disciplined, yelled out, had a parent come up to settle an issue, talked during a firedrill, or other standard childhood mischief, don’t worry about it. In fact, for the most part only you have legal access to these records anyway.
So if a teacher or principal ever threatened you by saying your misbehavior was placed in your permanent record, it was just a threat of punishment. 99% of the information contained in your school permanent records are your boring contact information, grades, and test scores, which you need to transfer to another school or apply to a college/university.