Parental rights

Many students and parents may wonder what rights they have regarding official records once the school year has started. Unlike in high school, parents may not have the ability to ask for information regarding their student unless specific paperwork has been filed. Unfortunately, crimes are committed on campus either relating to drugs or alcohol. Under the High Education Act Amendments of 1998, universities are allowed, but are not required that parents to be notified if a student is under twenty-one and has any alcohol or drug violations. This amendment includes Western, and parents will be notified if a student falls under this category. If such a problem occurs, only the disciplinary proceedings and facts that support them will be told to the parent. Parents will also be notified if any drug or alcohol violations requiring medical treatment or threat to the health of another person. Also if the student is under twenty-one or it is their second offence with drugs and alcohol, the parents will be notified along with other actions including a letter to judicial affairs. Athletic events also carry a set of rules regarding sportsmanship for the athletes and ethical behavior of the fans. NCAA polices holds Western accountable for any actions of their fans towards the officials, players of the other team and opponent fans. These actions include vulgar language, signs or flags towards anyone. Students will first be given an oral warning, then a written warning which will lead to a student being reprimanded. If further action must be taken, a student will be ejected from a game and/or unable to purchase tickets for any game. The final actions to be taken will be confiscation of student ID’s and the misconduct will be filed to the Student Development Office. Parents will be notified when students, whether a player or fan, are involved in such acts regardless of age. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of all students’ private records. Before a Western official may discuss the student’s records with parents or employers, the student must sign and submit a release form. No parent of any student will be allowed to view this file unless they have been given permission. The student’s records include grades at the five weeks and end of the semester, any violation of the Code of Student Conduct, class attendance, and financial aid information. In order for a parent to discuss student records over the phone, they must complete a different form and be able to prove the student’s and parent’s identity. A security code will be given to the parent and a different one to the student which will allow both to view the records. Absolutely no records will be discussed or viewed without these access codes. Also, no forms will be accepted if they are faxed or e-mailed. All information is given in confidentiality and is protected under state and federal law. Though coming to a university may permit students more freedom, the consequences of their actions will have a greater effect. Parents may be contacted through a letter, and students are encouraged to inform their parents of any violations before the parents receive the letter.