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If you, as a non-custodial parent, have trouble seeing the school records of your child(ren), the school may be in violation of Federal and State law. If it is a public school, or the school accepts federal funds, or is classified as a 501-3 non-profit school and neither of the following two things have occurred:

  1. Your legal status as a parent has not been terminated by a court order.
  2. Your divorce decree denies such access to those records.

The school must, by law allow you (as a Parent) access to your child(ren) school records. Most Texas court orders specifically state your right to the school's information regarding your child.

If your school principal denies you access to school records, inform him/her of Public Law-PL 93-380. PL 93-380 (known as Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 88 Stat. 571 (1974): 20 USCA 1232g, and the implementing regulations thereto, read into the Federal Register on June 171976 found on page 24672 B, Section 99.11) which GUARANTEES your right to view school records in their entirety. Also, the 1983 Texas Legislative Section amended Section 153.073, effective September 1,1983.,requiring schools to allow non-custodial parents access to school records (medical and dental records are also included).

Section 153.073. Rights of Parent at all times. 'A parent appointed as a conservator of a child has at all times the right: of access to medical, dental, psychological, and educational records of the child.'

If the principal still refuses access, contact the School District Superintendent and inform him/her of these laws. Inform him/her that if the records are not provided you will be forced to sue, in Civil Court, for damages. You will, in addition to suing the school district, sue the principal and the superintendent - as individuals. Not because you want to, but the legal system requires you to pursue such action when organizations and individuals do not comply with the law. Do not be afraid to exercise your rights to take an active part in your child(ren) lives.

In addition, write a letter to the school principal informing him/her of your intent to view your child(ren) school records. Inform him/her of the applicable Federal and State laws guaranteeing you of this right. Inform him of your intent to sue him/her (personally) and the school district if he/she fails to comply with your request. Send copies to the School District Superintendent and the Court.

Become involved. Call the teacher. Ask for parent / teacher conferences. Attend PTA Meetings, Volunteer to participate in school activities. VOLUNTEER to be a 'room father.' Show your child(ren) and the school that you are a caring, loving parent, Don't give them a reason to consider you a part-time parent.

Fathers For Equal Rights is such a great help to people in need!
  -- Joe & Rachel B. - Fort Worth, TX

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