The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) provides parents/guardians with certain rights regarding the conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. In particular, if a survey is funded in whole or part by the U.S. Department of Education, parents/guardians have the right to consent before students are required to complete a survey that asks about any of the following protected areas:
- Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parents/guardians;
- Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
- Sexual behavior or attitudes;
- Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
- Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
- Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
- Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; or
- Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
Parents/guardians will also receive a notice and an opportunity to opt students out of the following:
- Any other survey that asks about the above protected areas;
- Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attending school or school functions, with the exception of physical exams or screenings required or permitted by state law (e.g. hearing, vision, or scoliosis); and
- Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
Parents/guardians have the right to inspect any surveys that ask about the above protected areas, as well as surveys created by third parties that are used to collect personal information from students for marketing purposes, and instructional materials used as part of the curriculum.
These rights transfer from the parents/guardians to a child who is at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.
Anyone who believes their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202