Texas Privacy of School Records Laws
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
School records are considered confidential but there have been arguments both in favor and against parents' unfettered access to their children's information. For example, many teachers believe it may be detrimental if certain critical evaluations of students (perhaps "warning" a fellow teacher about behavior problems) were accessed by parents. Nevertheless, Texas privacy of school records laws are quite clear: parents have access to all written records concerning the parent's child.
To learn more about Texas privacy of school records laws, and school records privacy in general, review the table and background information below. See FindLaw's School Privacy section for related topics.
|Who Has Access to School Records?
|Parent has access to all written records concerning the parent's child.
|Penalty for Violation of School Record Privacy Laws
Justifications for School Records Laws
Although one may think that schools and parents would be at odds about disclosing a student's records, there are a few situations in which a school may believe that it is in the student's best interest to not disclose records. Sometimes, teachers keep track of a student's progress, and may take personal notes to remind them to give a student extra help in a subject that the student seems to have trouble with. These may be private notes intended for the teacher's use only, and could contain information about a student's perceived intellectual challenges. If the student or parent finds out that the teacher does not have the utmost faith in a student's academic ability, the relationship between the student and teacher could suffer, harming the student's overall educational progress.
Who has access to student records in Texas?
Parents are required to have access to all written records that concern the parent's child, under Texas law. This means that, regardless of the content of the records, a school must give a parent access to the record. However, this does not mean that the parent will necessarily get to keep the record. The law only provides for "access" to the record, but this also may include access to photocopies (which may have a fee, depending on the school).
Other Student Rights
If you would like to know more about student records laws, there are many Texas attorneys with education law experience who may be able to help. In addition to informing you about when a teacher or school is required to disclose information about your student, and to whom they are allowed to disclose information, an education attorney may be able to help you get student records when a school refuses to disclose them. As well, an education lawyer may be able to help you recover damages for any harm your student has suffered as a result of an improper disclosure to a third party.
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