District Procedures to Reinforce Parental Rights in Education under § 1001.42 (8)(c), F.S
Charlotte County Public School District believes that parents have a fundamental right to be involved in and to guide educational decisions for their children. The procedures listed below are designed to provide a pathway for parents to communicate concerns outlined in § 1001.42 (8)(c), F.S. and include district-sponsored charter schools.
School personnel shall notify a student’s parent, as soon as reasonably possible, if there is a change in services or monitoring related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being. Parental notification shall be documented by school-based mental health staff within the Student Information System.
Exception – Withholding of Information
School personnel are permitted to withhold information about a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being from the parent IF a reasonably prudent person would believe that the disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment or neglect, as those terms are defined in F.S. 39.01. When information is withheld from a parent on this basis, the specific circumstances should be documented in the student’s record. (F.S. 1001.42(8)(c)2.)
A parent may notify the Principal of a concern under F.S. 1001.42(8)(c), about any of the following:
- The required notice regarding a change in the student’s services or monitoring related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the schools’ ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for the student; also, the requirement for School District Personnel to encourage a student to discuss with their parent issues related to his/her well-being. Parents may not be prohibited from accessing any of their student’s education and health records created, maintained, or used by the school district, as required by s. 1002.22(2).
- The requirement that School District personnel may not discourage or prohibit parental notification of and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being.
- The prohibition of classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity in prekindergarten through grade 8, except when required by ss. 1003.42 (2) (n)3. and 1003.46. If such instruction is provided in grades 9 through 12, the instruction must be age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.
- The requirement that student support services training adhere to student services, guidelines, standards, and frameworks established by the Florida Department of Education.
- The requirement that, at the beginning of each school year, the District notify parents of each healthcare service offered at their child’s school and of the option to withhold consent or decline any specific service.
- The requirement that the District provide a copy of a well-being questionnaire or health screening form to the parent and obtain the permission of the parent before administering the questionnaire or health screening form to a student in kindergarten through grade 3.
Procedures for Addressing Parental Concerns about Parental Rights
A parent should contact the School Principal with their concern in writing about any of the issues listed above. The school principal will investigate the matter and notify the parent in writing of the outcome of the investigation within seven (7) calendar days after notification by the parent. If it is determined that Parental Rights were violated, the school principal shall also identify what corrective action(s) have been taken to remedy the concern. If the parent notifies the Principal of their child's school that their written complaint still remains unresolved, the Principal shall notify the Assistant Superintendent of School Support.
If the concern is not resolved at Step 1, the parent or guardian may appeal the principal’s decision in writing to the District Assistant Superintendent of School Support. The Assistant Superintendent of School Support, or other designated district personnel, will review the case and will notify all parties in writing of the decision and the reasons for such decision within thirty (30) calendar days after notification by the parent that the concern remains unresolved. If it is determined that Parental Rights were violated, the Assistant Superintendent of School Support, or other designated district personnel, shall identify what corrective action will be taken to remedy the concern or provide a statement of the reasons for not resolving the concern.
If the concern is not resolved by the district, a parent may request for appointment of a special magistrate from the Commissioner of Education. The parent must complete Form No. SM-1 to initiate this process if their child attends a traditional public school. Charter school parents must complete Form No. CSSM-1 to initiate this process if their child attends a district-sponsored charter school.