All children need to feel safe and be safe at school. This is especially true for children who have suffered from the effects of domestic violence.
Lawfully restricted access to school records can keep abusive parents from undermining the child's education. Lawful restricted access can keep an abusive parent from finding out:
- where the child and the non-abusive parent live, and,
- where the non-abusive parent works.
Access to school records can only be restricted by court order. Parents, even "non-custodial" parents, are legally entitled to access to school records unless a court order specifically says that they are not.
Being a "non-custodial" parent does not mean that the parent is a bad parent.
School officials, administrators, teachers, and other staff can make schools safe for all children, including children affected by domestic violence, and their non-abusive parents. They can:
- Learn about whether and how the school is supposed to provide school records access for individual parents.
- Work with parents to understand the effect of each order on parental access to school records.
- Adopt strategies to insure compliance with Massachusetts' school records access law.