Students » 18-year-old Rights

18-year-old Rights

When your student attains adult status at the age of 18, he/she is granted by law the right to sign all legal documents related to his/her education and to represent himself/herself in all educational matters. Under certain circumstances, the parent or guardian of an 18-year-old student may no longer receive notice of absences or other official communications from the school without the specific authorization of the student. California Education Code 46012 states: “For purposes of any procedure for verification of absences from school, a student 18 years of age or over, with respect to his absences from school, shall have all the responsibilities and powers which, in case of a minor, would be charged to the parent, guardian, or other person having charged or control of the minor.” Students receiving special education services are provided adult status in compliance with California Education Code 56041.5, which provides for notification to both the individual and the parent of the individual of procedural safeguards.

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that applies to all educational agencies and institutions (e.g., schools) that receive funding under any program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Once a student reaches 18 or attends a postsecondary institution, he or she becomes an “eligible student,” and all rights formerly given to parents under FERPA transfer to the student. However, FERPA provides ways in which a school may—but is not required to—share information from an eligible student's education records with parents, without the student's consent. Those include:

If the student is claimed as a dependent for tax purposes.

If a health or safety emergency involves their son or daughter.

If the student is under age 21 and has violated a law or policy regarding the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.

A school official may generally share with a parent information that is based on that official's personal knowledge or observation of the student.

By written notice to the school, an 18-year-old student may delegate their rights to their parent(s)/guardian(s) to retain access to all educational rights. In an effort to keep you included in your student’s educational progress, an authorization for your student to delegate education rights is included. Please review this authorization with your student if they wish to consent on or after their 18th birthday. All signed authorizations should be returned to Westview Attendance and records will be updated to reflect your 18-year-old student’s decision. If the student does not submit an authorization letter, we will assume the rights are not delegated to the parent.