Parent Participation

Module 7

"Parents" are an extremely important role in the child's education process. They are the child's advocate, their voice, and they are the ones who fight to get access to education.

Not every "parent" is biological, but by having someone either biological, adoptive, or assigned by the courts allows the child to always have someone by their side, to stick up, fight for them and to have their best interest at heart. It's someone by their side to help them become successful.

Definition of a Parent

  • A Natural, Biological Parent
  • Adoptive Parent
  • Foster Parent
  • A guardian
  • An individual acting in the place of a natural or adoptive parent
  • An individual assigned to be a surrogate parent ( a surrogate parent is someone who is not an employee of the SEA, LEA, or an agency involved in the child's education and care).

Confidentiality of Records

To protect the families privacy and right to claim confidentiality of records; Congress in 1974 passed the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which is also known as the Buckley Amendment. This act states that education institutions receive federal funding if they have a policy to release records without written consent of the parents.

Since some families have children where there is medical involvement, Congress passed an additional law of confidentiality: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPPA prevents medical members from sharing information with anyone other than the parents unless ordered to do so.

Regardless of whether the child is covered under FERPA or HIPPA the parents have a right to the records until the child reaches age of majority.

Age of Majority

Age of majority is the age in which a child as become an adult and is no longer considered a minor, it typically happens between 18-21. In Nebraska the age of majority is 19 years old.

When the child approaches age of majority, not later than 1 year before IEP meeting must include a statement that the child is aware and informed of their rights and if their rights will transfer to him or her at this age.

However, if the child is not able to act and be responsible on their own for their rights , then its the states responsibility to either appoint the parent as responsible or assign an appropriate individual to act on behalf of the child.