Do I have a right to observe the class before agreeing (or not agreeing) to a placement for my child? The special ed director said I cannot observe the class because of confidentiality issues with the other children.
Some schools take the position that parents and/or their representatives cannot observe a child in the classroom because this would violate the privacy of other children.
Do all public school students have privacy rights? Do children with disabilities have different privacy rights that require schools to educate them in secret?
Does the the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act provide a right for parents to observe their children’s classrooms or proposed placements?
Does the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibit parents or their professional representatives from observing a child in a special education or regular classroom?
What do you think?
For answers to these and other questions about confidentiality and student privacy (and useful strategies if you encounter this problem), read Parent Observations v. Student Confidentiality by Pete and Pam Wright at
You’ll also learn about parental rights to observe your child’s classroom from an unexpected source – the No Child Left Behind Act!
Recommended Resource: In response to requests from the Education Law Center, the U. S. Department of Education clarified parental observations of children under the IDEA and student confidentiality under FERPA.