Non-Custodial Parents and their Children's School
Alabama schools need to be made aware that discrimination against divorced parents merely for being "non-custodial" parents is wrong and illegal. Schools that exclude non-custodial parents are violating their civil rights. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Law spells out your rights and is available off the web at: http://www.acfc.org/legal_citations.htm
Go to the section "Constitutional / Parental Rights": U.S. Code 34 CFR 99: Family Educational Rights and Privacy (FERPA), July 1, 1997. This section of the U.S. Code spells out your rights as a parent for access to school records. Available in PDF and HTML format.
Even noncustodial parents have a First Amendment right to free association, and a Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the law. Parental participation in school activities is neither an issue of custody nor visitation, but a matter between the school and each individual parent.
The U.S. Department of Education published a report in which it recommended active participation by nonresident fathers. The report found, "Children are more likely to get mostly A's, to enjoy school, and to participate in extracurricular activities if their non resident fathers are involved in their schools than if they are not." The report laments that the majority of nonresident fathers are not involved in their children's schools.
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