I am in a bad situation with a professor. He shared my grades and my classmates grades with the class. He had our names and everything put up on a projector!!!! He even scrolled through it slowly so we could find our name and see what we are getting in the class... It was like everything...I was horrified. Basically he took all of his classes and put them into one file and then put that on a overhead projector to show us our grades. I think he did this for each of his classes... All of our names, etc... are in there too... so we can see who got what for all of his classes.

there have been lots of problems... he is very forgetful and makes a lot of mistakes in grading. Students catch him all the time... and he fixes the stuff but we have to catch him. I don't want to go on about this, but mostly sharing our grades with the class...

I'm sorry if this is confusing. I'm very flustered!!! English is also not my best language.

I don't know what I am supposed to do. Is this okay? I felt very uncomfortable and upset when this happened. I thought my grades were private?

Thnx for help!!


The proposed duplicate is a different situation with a favorable outcome. Additionally it was something he could stop. This has already happened and IDK what to do.

  • I do appreciate the link. The situation seems very different to me. This was much more extremely and has already happened.... Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 1:22
  • Exactly what difference do you see? "It [] already happened" in the duplicate as well. And it can't be more extreme - the grades being shared openly is as extreme as the violation can get, short of printing them in a newspaper.
    – Nij
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 1:27
  • I have always understood this to be illegal. Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 1:48
  • 1
    To put in perspective, when I was in an Italian university it was absolutely common to print exam results (or graduatories to phd or whatever) on public boards (wooden ones). Typically you waited for someone of the assistant to go up and pin the sheets to the board to know your grade. Typical for written exams. It was not a violation of any law.
    – Francesco
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 10:58
  • 1
    Is he from Russia? It is normal practice here in Russia. It is always hard to learn all those quirks that are meaningless in one place and a big deal in another. Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 11:21

2 Answers 2


This is a clear violation of FERPA. Bring this up to your department head or a dean of your college.

To prevent this from happening, any identifying information should have been removed. Your name (and if were there, a student ID number) should have been redacted.

As this has already happened, I would promptly report it to the appropriate campus administration.

  • Typically a student would talk to department head, but it is also a good time to check your university's website. In a larger university, there will be an ombudsman or similar person available to discuss grievances. Or perhaps check the site of the Student Affairs offices or Grad School offices to see if they have similar person. Best practice in any case is to be polite and concerned, wanting an apology or acknowledgment of it being impropoer, but realistically the practical outcome you are aiming for is that univ admin educate the professor so it doesn't happen again.
    – Carol
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 12:56

That's terrible! I'm quite sure that showing students' names and grades to the whole class is a violation of FERPA, the federal laws in the U.S. that protect student privacy. (I assume "American" in your question title means "U.S.") See for example http://www.emich.edu/registrar/registration_info/FERPA/Faculty%20FERPA.pdf Moreover, it's pretty obviously a bad thing to do, for reasons of student privacy, interactions between students, etc. What should you do? You could (1) talk to the professor, or (2) contact the department head. As a professor, I'd prefer (1) if it were me -- though I can't imagine being as clueless as your professor! However, I have to instead recommend (2), to preserve your anonymity with respect to the professor. Inform the department of what has happened, and politely note that the professor may be unaware of policies and norms about student privacy.

  • There are several institutions that are not in the US but have the name of American University. There is one in Beirut, Lebanon for example. Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 14:50

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