The Florida Department of Education requires school districts to establish procedures for parent/legal guardians to seek resolution of certain disputes with a school principal or designee, then, if the dispute remains unresolved, an additional method to attempt to resolve the dispute at the district level.
- Please complete the Request for Resolution form if you have a concern related to the school’s compliance with the Parental Rights in Education requirements. Please state the nature of the concern in writing. By selecting your child's school this form will be sent to the principal of that school.
- The principal, or designee, will review the form and either resolve the dispute or provide the parent/guardian a statement for the reasons for not resolving the dispute within seven (7) days of receipt of the form.
- If not resolved, the parent/legal guardian can submit the Request for Resolution form to the Assistant Superintendent.
- Within 30 days after receipt of the notification, the Assistant Superintendent, or designee, will review the form and either resolve the dispute or provide the parent/legal guardian with a statement for the reasons for not resolving the dispute.
- If a parental complaint involving certain types of disputes is not resolved at the local level by a school principal within seven days, or subsequently, a school district within 30 days, a parent may submit a form to the Florida Department of Education requesting the appointment of a Special Magistrate. If the request is granted, a Special Magistrate would hold a hearing and provide a recommended decision to the State Board of Education on the dispute between a parent and the school district. The State Board of Education would either approve or reject the recommended decision within 30 days.
The types of complaints that parents may request a Special Magistrate are set forth in s.1001.42(8)(c)1.- 6., F.S.:
- In accordance with the rights of parents enumerated in ss.1002.20 and 1014.04, F.S., the school district must adopt procedures for notifying a student’s parent if there is a change in the student’s services or monitoring related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the school’s ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for the student. The procedures must reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children by requiring school district personnel to encourage a student to discuss issues relating to the student’s well-being with his or her parent or to facilitate discussion of the issue with the parent. The procedures may not prohibit parents from accessing any of their student’s educational and health records created, maintained, or used by the school district, as required by s. 1001.22(2), F.S.
- A school district may not adopt procedures or student support forms that prohibit school district personnel from notifying a parent about his or her student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being, or a change in related services or monitoring, or that encourage or have the effect of encouraging a student to withhold from a parent such information. School district personnel may not discourage or prohibit parental notification of and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being. This requirement does not prohibit a school district from adopting procedures that permit school personnel to withhold information from a parent if a reasonably prudent person would believe that disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect as defined in s. 39.01, F.S.
- Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.
- Student support services training developed or provided by a school district to school district personnel must adhere to student services guidelines, standards, and frameworks established by the Department of Education.
- At the beginning of the school year, the school district must notify parents of each healthcare service offered at their student’s school and the option to withhold consent or decline any specific service. Parental consent to a health care service does not waive the parent’s right to access his or her student’s educational health records or to be notified about a change in his or her student’s services or monitoring.
- Before administering a well-being questionnaire or health screening form to a student in kindergarten through grade 3, the school district must provide the questionnaire or health screening form to the parent and obtain the permission of the parent.
More information may be found on the Florida Department of Education’s Parental Rights Page.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a federal law that replaces the previous education law called “No Child Left Behind.” The purpose of ESSA is to provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education and to close educational achievement gaps.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA gives parents certain rights regarding their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when they turn 18 or attend a school beyond the high school level.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a federal law that protects sensitive health information from being disclosed without consent or knowledge.
The Parents' Bill of Rights, is a state law that is designed to address the parental and legal guardian rights as they relate to the upbringing, education, and care of their minor child(ren).
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) is a federal law that provides rights for parents of students including: student participation in surveys, inspection of instructional material, certain physical exams, and the collection, disclosure, and use of personal information for marketing purposes.