SARASOTA (WWSB) - Florida lawmakers are close to passing a law that would give parents full access to everything involving their child in school.
The “Parents Bill of Rights” was approved in a Senate panel on Wednesday and will now move forward for further consideration.
Officials say it’s a way to make sure parents are in the loop of what’s happening with their kids in school on a daily basis. Aside from getting all the educational information like grades, behavior and tardiness, this bill would allow parents to know things that don’t happen inside the classroom.
“Anything outside that realm it becomes very slipper-slope when you have a government entity withholding information about minor children because they can’t do what they need to do to make the best decisions if they aren’t armed with all the information. You don’t know what could happen, and as a parent, I don’t want my ability to be hijacked to help my child,” Bridget Ziegler, a parent and a Sarasota County School Board member, explained.
Right now, some schools don’t have to tell parents if students are getting birth control or condoms from their counselors, or even if they've expressed the need for mental-health resources.
State Senator Joe Gruters sponsored this bill and is hoping to change that.
“There’s been numerous cases around the state where parents weren’t informed that they’re kids were suicidal, and they ended up going to try and commit suicide. It’s just unacceptable that we have that separation, and this is about empowering families to be able to do the right thing because no one cares more about their children than parents,” State Senator Gruters said.
This bill would allow parents to be involved throughout the whole process.
However, some argue that this can prevent students from reaching out for help because they know their parents will have to find out.
“I think it’s unnecessary. We have always had a great relationship with our parents. I do not know of apparent who has come to a school board meeting or called the school who could not get any information about their student,” Jane Goodwin, the Chair for the Sarasota County School Board told us.
The “Parents Bill of Rights” will continue to be discussed in both the Senate and the House.