Section 401-A of P.L. 304, No. 66 of June 29, 1953 known as the Vital Statistics Law of 1953, deals with missing children registration. It applies to any last known school which the missing child attended. Missing children include individuals under 18 years of age who are reported to a law enforcement agency as abducted, lost, missing or runaways.
The law requires a "Missing Child" notation be placed upon the school records of students whom law enforcement agencies reported as missing to school officials.
If a school receives a request for information from a record which has a “Missing Child” notation, it shall not release any information from the record to the requester without contacting the investigating law enforcement agency, as defined in 35 P.S. §450.401-A, to coordinate the response. When the request for information is oral, the school shall make an effort to obtain information to identify the person making the request. School personnel shall coordinate the response to the request with the investigating law enforcement agency.
Each school district should review current school board policies or develop new ones which will establish procedures and guidelines for school personnel to handle requests for information, and provide in-service training on such policies for student record personnel.
35 P.S. §450.401-A
35 P.S. §405.404-A
School Services Unit Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education 333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA17126-0333 Phone: 717-787-4860 | Fax: 717-214-4389