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Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment


The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) of 1978, 20 U.S.C.A. Section 1232h(c), is a federal law that affords certain rights to parents of minor students with regard to surveys that ask questions of a personal nature. 

It seeks to ensure that schools and contractors make instructional materials available for inspection by parents if those materials will be used in connection with an ED-funded survey, analysis or evaluation in which their children participate.

It seeks to ensure that schools and contractors obtain written parental consent before minor students are required to participate in any ED-funded survey, analysis or evaluation that reveals information concerning:

  • Political affiliations;
  • Mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student and his/her family;
  • Sex behavior and attitudes;
  • Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating and demeaning behavior;
  • Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  • Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians and ministers; or
  • Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).

It seeks to ensure that parents receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of the following:

  • Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
  • Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under state law; and
  • Activities involving the collection, disclosure or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing, or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.

It seeks to ensure that parents can inspect, upon request and before administration or use, the following:

  • Protected information surveys of students;
  • Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any marketing, sales or other distribution purposes; and
  • Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.

At the beginning of each school year, Lexington District One directly notifies parents/legal guardians about PPRA through the district’s Online Registration system or a paper copy of the Online Registration information. The district also posts that information online.

Parents or students who believe their rights under PPRA may have been violated may file a complaint with U.S. Department of Education by writing the Family Policy Compliance Office.

Complaints must contain specific allegations of fact giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation of PPRA occurred.

For additional information or technical assistance, you may call (202) 260-3887 (voice). Individuals who use TDD may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339. Or you may contact the department at the following address:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920