Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment and what are my rights as a parent or guardian?
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment is a federal law that provides parents of students with certain rights regarding protected areas of information.
Under the law, school districts are required to inform parents any time a survey, evaluation or analysis is planned that pertains to eight protected areas, which are listed below. This is important because it provides parents and guardians with the opportunity to either provide consent or opt-out their students from these activities before they take place.
What areas of information are protected by PPRA?
Activities protected by PPRA include surveys, evaluations and analysis that relate to:
- 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;
- Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student's parent*; or
- Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program.)
What is NOT considered a PPRA-protected activity?
An important part of providing high-quality student instruction is building relationships with students and personalizing learning experiences based on individual student needs.
PPRA-protected activities specifically include activities where teachers or staff are guiding or leading students to share information in one of the eight protected areas. Sometimes, students offer information with regard to a protected area without any guidance or prompting from a teacher. Those situations are not protected by PPRA.
Other examples of instruction or activities that are not protected by PPRA include:
- General “get to know you” activities pertaining to student interests, where students are not led in any way with regard to eight areas.
- Classroom discussions related to curriculum that do not seek individual or family information related to eight protected areas.
- Open-ended written assignments where students choose to share their own analysis or ideas to prove a point or persuade an audience.
- Questionnaires that include general questions about mood or feelings, and do not specifically target any of the eight protected areas.
What are the responsibilities of Lindbergh teachers and staff?
Maintaining transparency around student instruction is a top priority for Lindbergh teachers and staff. When any of the eight PPRA-protected areas are included as part of a student survey, evaluation, or analysis, families will be notified in advance. This provides a necessary and important opportunity for parents and guardians to understand what we teach, why we do it, what resources are included and how the experience may impact student learning. It also provides parents and guardians with the opportunity to either provide consent or opt-out their students from these activities before they take place.
Lindbergh Schools teachers and staff will complete mandatory professional learning each year that explains the PPRA protected areas, what activities are protected by the law, and when prior communication with families is required.
How will teachers communicate regarding PPRA-protected activities?
Teachers will provide advance communication to parents any time a survey, evaluation, or analysis is planned that pertains to one or more of the eight areas that are protected by PPRA.
Communication regarding PPRA-protected activities must be specific and connect directly to a related assignment, survey or activity. This could happen at the beginning of the school year, prior to a unit of study, or in advance of a specific activity. However, it must always provide parents and guardians with the opportunity to either provide consent or opt-out their students from these protected activities before they take place.
Where can I learn more about PPRA?
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-8520