Schools need to retain their e-mail

* E-mail archiving in elementary and secondary schools

Last week, Waterford Technologies released the results of a survey it conducted on e-mail archiving in elementary and secondary schools. The survey, conducted with administrators of K-12 schools, teachers and parents, offered some interesting findings.

Last week, Waterford Technologies released the results of a survey it conducted on e-mail archiving in elementary and secondary schools. The survey, conducted with administrators of K-12 schools, teachers and parents, offered some interesting findings:

* 62% of school administrators revealed they do not have a district policy regarding e-mail communications between themselves and teachers.

* 68% of these administrators revealed they do not have a policy regarding e-mail communications between themselves and parents.

A CommVault survey published in June 2007 found that roughly four out of five IT admins at K-12 schools were not sure about their district’s policies for retaining electronic records. The survey also revealed that 90% of schools had not yet created a plan to be in compliance with the new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). (Compare Network Auditing and Compliance products)

In addition to the FRCP, individual states are updating their own rules of civil procedure to take into account Electronically Stored Information (ESI). As of today, roughly one-half of U.S. states have adopted new ESI rules or they are considering doing so. For more information on the importance of e-discovery, you can download a white paper we published on the subject here.

The findings of these surveys are quite revealing given that there are many Federal and state requirements to preserve e-mail communications, not to mention the growing body of legal opinion that strongly supports the notion that e-mail should be preserved for legal discovery purposes. Schools are no exception – just like any business, they need to preserve e-mail and other electronic content for purposes of legal discovery.

The adoption of unified communications will make e-discovery in schools that much more important given the addition of new content types into the mix of discoverable ESI – electronically stored faxes, voicemails, videos and the like.

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