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Parents' Bill of Education Rights


Q. Americans have the Bill of Rights to clarify what our constitutional rights are, under the law. Doctors have the Hippocratic Oath. Journalists and lawyers have creeds. The various religions have their doctrinal statements and important prayers or books. But when it comes to parents, we're kind of on our own when it comes to summing up what we believe or what we should be able to do under the law. Is there any document or declaration that might guide parents in knowing what their rights are when it comes to dealing with public schools?


There are such documents, here and there. It might be a wonderful addition to your district's parental involvement program to develop such a document; work with other parents and your school district officials to do so.


The Parents' Bill of Rights for Texas Public Schools is an example. It covers:


         A parent's right to address the school board, see policies, and get on the agenda


         Reasonable access to a principal or other administrator


         The right to request a specific academic class be added


         The right to request that the child take school work above his or her grade level and graduate early


         Access to student records


         Access to the state assessment


         Complete review of all curriculum and teaching materials


         Special rights for parents of children designated as learning-disabled or special-education


         Access to complete public information at a reasonable copying fee


         Requirement for advance written consent for certain controversial lessons and activities


         Right to exempt their child from specific instruction on religious or moral grounds


         Right to withhold information from the student directory


         May not be forced to give a child certain drugs even if an educator recommends it



Homework: See another example of a Parents' Bill of Education Rights from Canada:


By Susan Darst Williams Parental Involvement 44 2008





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