Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01) Tuesday introduced the ‘‘Parents’ Right to Know Act.” The legislation, if enacted, would ensure parents have access to their children’s school medical and counseling records.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) forbids parental access to student health information in the absence of written consent from the student, as stated in guidelines released by President Joe Biden’s Department of Education in April 2023.
Parents and guardians are now unable to access the information that mental health professionals in schools are providing to students due to the Department of Education’s guidelines.
Gaetz’s bill would counteract the Biden administration’s guidance by amending the General Education Provisions Act to allow parents a right to access medical and counseling records of their children, except as prohibited by an active state protective order.
The bill states, “All medical or counseling records pertaining to a student shall be available for inspection by a parent of such student, upon request, unless the inspection of such record by the parent is prohibited by a protection order.”
“The federal government should not be inhibiting parents’ ability to see records that could affect their children’s upbringing. My bill reinforces the right for parents to access medical and counseling records of their children, lifting the veil of secrecy in Biden’s Education Department,” said Gaetz.
Gaetz reaffirmed in his remarks that parents have the right to access their children’s medical records after the bill was introduced.
“Parents don’t just have a ‘right’ to know what’s happening in their children’s lives at school – they have a non-negotiable claim to it,” said Gaetz.
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