Parental Bill of Rights
In accordance with Chapters 1001, 1002, 1003, 1006, 1008 and 1014, F.S., the parental bill of rights from the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions, Hillsborough County Public Schools supports the parental rights to protect and ensure the well-being of all students. The information below represents the policies and related information most applicable to the rights of all parents and guardians.
1. All parental rights are reserved to the parent of a minor child in this state without obstruction or interference from the state, any of its political subdivisions, any other governmental entity, or any other institution, including, but not limited to, all of the following rights of a parent of a minor child in this state:
- The right to direct the education and care of his or her minor child.
- The right to direct the upbringing and the moral or religious training of his or her minor child.
- The right, pursuant to s. 1002.20(2)(b) and (6), to apply to enroll his or her minor child in a public school or, as an alternative to public education, a private school, including a religious school, a home education program, or other available options, as authorized by law.
- The right, pursuant to s. 1002.20(13), to access and review all school records relating to his or her minor child.
- The right to make health care decisions for his or her minor child, unless otherwise prohibited by law.
- The right to access and review all medical records of his or her minor child, unless prohibited by law or if the parent is the subject of an investigation of a crime committed against the minor child and a law enforcement agency or official requests that the information not be released.
- The right to consent in writing before a biometric scan of his or her minor child is made, shared, or stored.
- In accordance with s. 1002.20(3)(b), the right of a parent to exempt his or her minor child from immunizations.
- Student Services personnel will notify parents 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. Student services personnel will always encourage students to share information with parents and offer support in sharing that information.
- Student Services Personnel (School Counselors, School Psychologists, School Social Workers)
- Student services personnel uphold the professional and ethical standards and guidelines of their respective professional organizations: American School Counselor Association, National Association of School Psychologists, and National Association of Social Work.
- Student services personnel, who are in a counseling relationship with a student, have an ethical and legal obligation to keep information contained within that relationship. Confidentiality is the ethical and legal term ascribed to the information communicated within the counseling relationship, and it must be maintained unless keeping that information confidential leads to foreseeable harm. “Serious and foreseeable harm is different for each minor in the school setting and is determined by students’ developmental and chronological age, the setting, parental rights and the nature of harm” (ASCA, 2016, A.2.e).
- Exceptions to confidentiality exist, and students should be informed when situations arise in which student services personnel have a responsibility to disclose information obtained in counseling relationships to others to protect students, themselves or other individuals. These situations include:
- Threat to harm self
- Threat to harm others
- Any form of child abuse
- The counseling relationship between students and student services personnel requires an atmosphere of trust and confidence. Students must trust the student services personnel to be able to enter into a meaningful and honest dialogue with them (Iyer & Baxter-MacGregor, 2010). However, students should be informed that exceptions to confidentiality exist in which student services personnel must inform others (including the parents) of information they obtained in the counseling relationship to prevent serious and foreseeable harm to students themselves or others and if it is legally required.
- Student Services Personnel (School Counselors, School Psychologists, School Social Workers)
- The right to consent in writing before the state or any of its political subdivisions makes a video or voice recording of his or her minor child unless such recording is made during or as part of a court proceeding or is made as part of a forensic interview in a criminal or Department of Children and Families investigation or is to be used solely for the following purposes:
- A copy of the district's Media Release form is available in English and Spanish. Please contact your child's school for more information or questions.
- A safety demonstration, including the maintenance of order and discipline in the common areas of a school or on student transportation vehicles;
- A purpose related to a legitimate academic or extracurricular activity;
- A purpose related to regular classroom instructions;
- Security or surveillance of buildings or grounds; or
- A photo identification card.
- The right to be notified promptly if an employee of the state, any of its political subdivisions, any other governmental entity, or any other institution suspects that a criminal offense has been committed against his or her minor child, unless the incident has first been reported to law enforcement or the Department of Children and Families and notifying the parent would impede the investigation.
2. This section does not:
- Authorize a parent of a minor child in this state to engage in conduct that is unlawful or to abuse or neglect his or her minor child in violation of general law;
- Condone, authorize, approve, or apply to a parental action or decision that would end life;
- Prohibit a court of competent jurisdiction, law enforcement officer, or employees of a government agency that is responsible for child welfare from acting in his or her official capacity within the reasonable and prudent scope of his or her authority; or
- Prohibit a court of competent jurisdiction from issuing an order that is otherwise permitted by law.
3. An employee of the state, any of its political subdivisions, or any other governmental entity who encourages or coerces, or attempts to encourage or coerce, a minor child to withhold information from his or her parent may be subject to disciplinary action.
4. A parent of a minor child in this state has inalienable rights that are more comprehensive than those listed in this section, unless such rights have been legally waived or terminated. This chapter does not prescribe all rights to a parent of a minor child in this state. Unless required by law, the rights of a parent of a minor child in this state may not be limited or denied. This chapter may not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life.
School District Notifications on Parental Rights
Each district school board shall, in consultation with parents, teachers, and administrators, develop and adopt a policy to promote parental involvement in the public school system. Such policy must include:
- Board Policy 9210 Parent Organizations
- Board Policy 9211 Parent Organizations, Booster Clubs, and Other Fund-Raising Activities Board
- Board Policy 9140 Advisory Committees
- Board Policy 2261.01 Parent Participation in Title I Programs
- A plan, pursuant to s. 1002.23, for parental participation in schools to improve parent and teacher cooperation in such areas as homework, school attendance, and discipline.
- A procedure, pursuant to s. 1002.20(19)(b), for a parent to learn about his or her minor child's course of study, including the source of any supplemental education materials.
- Procedures, pursuant to s. 1006.28(2)(a)2., for a parent to object to instructional materials and other materials used in the classroom. Such objections may be based on beliefs regarding morality, sex, and religion or the belief that such materials are harmful. For purposes of this section, the term "instructional materials" has the same meaning as in s. 1006.29(2) and may include other materials used in the classroom, including workbooks and worksheets, handouts, software, applications, and any digital media made available to students.
- Procedures, pursuant to s. 1002.20(3)(d), for a parent to withdraw his or her minor child from any portion of the school district's comprehensive health education required under s. 1003.42(2)(n) that relates to sex education or instruction in acquired immune deficiency syndrome education or any instruction regarding sexuality if the parent provides a written objection to his or her minor child's participation. Such procedures must provide for a parent to be notified in advance of such course content so that he or she may withdraw his or her minor child from those portions of the course.
- Procedures, pursuant to s. 1006.195(1)(a), for a parent to learn about the nature and purpose of clubs and activities offered at his or her minor child's school, including those that are extracurricular or part of the school curriculum.
- Procedures for a parent to learn about parental rights and responsibilities under general law, including all of the following:
- Pursuant to s. 1002.20(3)(d), the right to opt his or her minor child out of any portion of the school district's comprehensive health education required under s. 1003.42(2)(n) that relates to sex education instruction in acquired immune deficiency syndrome education or any instruction regarding sexuality.
- A plan to disseminate information, pursuant to s. 1002.20(6), about school choice options, including open enrollment.
- In accordance with s. 1008.22, the right of a parent to review statewide, standardized assessment results.
- In accordance with s. 1003.57, the right of a parent to enroll his or her minor child in gifted or special education programs.
- In accordance with s. 1006.28(2)(a)1., the right of a parent to inspect school district instructional materials.
- In accordance with s. 1008.25, the right of a parent to access information relating to the school district's policies for promotion or retention, including high school graduation requirements.
- In accordance with s. 1002.20(14), the right of a parent to receive a school report card and be informed of his or her minor child's attendance requirements.
- In accordance with s. 1002.23, the right of a parent to access information relating to the state public education system, state standards, report card requirements, attendance requirements, and instructional materials requirements.
- In accordance with s. 1002.23(4), the right of a parent to participate in parent-teacher associations and organizations that are sanctioned by a district school board or the Department of Education.
- In accordance with s. 1002.222(1)(a), the right of a parent to opt out of any district-level data collection relating to his or her minor child not required by law.
A district school board may provide the information required in this section electronically or post such information on its website.
A parent can notify the principal, or his or her designee, regarding concerns under HB 1557 at his or her student’s school. If a concern is not resolved by the school district, a parent may: (I) Request the Commissioner of Education to appoint a special magistrate who is a member of The Florida Bar in good standing and who has at least 5 years’ experience in administrative law. The special magistrate shall determine facts relating to the dispute over the school district procedure or practice, consider information provided by the school district, and render a recommended decision for resolution to the State Board of Education within 30 days after receipt of the request by the parent. The State Board of Education must approve or reject the recommended decision at its next regularly scheduled meeting that is more than 7 calendar days and no more than 30 days after the date the recommended decision is transmitted. The costs of the special magistrate shall be borne by the school district. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules, including forms, necessary to implement this subparagraph. (II) Bring an action against the school district to obtain a declaratory judgment that the school district procedure or practice violates this paragraph and seek injunctive relief. A court may award damages and shall award reasonable attorney fees and court costs to a parent who receives declaratory or injunctive relief.