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Policy & External Affairs • Andrew Johnson Tower, 9th Floor • 710 James Robertson Parkway • Nashville, TN 37243 1
Chapter 644 of the Public Acts of 2016 requires the department to annually compile a list of state laws related
to the rights of students and their parents or legal guardians. This document includes a summary of the state
laws that provide explicit rights to parents, legal guardians, or students and does not include all the legal
protections and privileges afforded to students and their parents or legal guardians.
T.C.A. § 49-1-704.
Parents and guardians have the right to inspect and review their children's education records maintained by
the school. Parents and guardians have the right to request student data specific to their children's
educational records. LEAs shall provide parents or guardians with a copy of their children's educational
records upon request.
T.C.A. § 49-1-705.
Students shall not have to provide data to their school or LEA on their political affiliation; religion; voting
history; and firearms ownership.
T.C.A. § 49-1-706.
Parents must provide written consent prior to a state agency or educational institution collecting any
individual student biometric data, student data relative to analysis of facial expressions, EEG brain wave
patterns, skin conductance, galvanic skin response, heart-rate variability, pulse, blood volume, posture, and
T.C.A. § 49-1-1106.
Parents or other caretakers of children in the care of a child care program certified by the department of
education shall be permitted to visit and inspect the facilities and observe the methods for the care of their
children at any time during which the children are in the care of the program and, except those records of
other children and their parents or caretakers, shall further be permitted to inspect any records of the
program that are not privileged, or are not otherwise confidential, as provided by law or regulation, and the
parents' or caretakers' access for these purposes shall not be purposely denied by the program.
T.C.A. § 49-2-124.
Parents may refuse to consent to the administration of a psychotropic medication to a student or to a mental
health screening, evaluation, testing or examination of a child or student.
T.C.A. § 49-2-129.
No school administrator, teacher, or other employee of an LEA shall require a student or the student's parent
to provide information on firearm ownership by the student's family. No school administrator or other
employee of an LEA shall require a teacher or other school employee to provide information on firearm
ownership by the teacher or school employee. Any information on firearm ownership that is voluntarily
provided by a student, parent, teacher, or LEA employee shall not be the basis for adverse disciplinary action
against a student or adverse employment action against a teacher or LEA employee.
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Policy & External Affairs • Andrew Johnson Tower, 9th Floor • 710 James Robertson Parkway • Nashville, TN 37243 2
T.C.A. § 49-2-211.
Every LEA shall have a policy that allows a parent or legal guardian access to review all surveys, analyses or
evaluations, prior to being administered to the parent or legal guardian's child. The policy shall enable a parent
or legal guardian to opt their student out of participating in a survey, analysis, or evaluation. The policy shall
require a parent, legal guardian or student, in the case of students eighteen (18) years of age or older, to
provide written consent before the collection of individual student biometric data. The LEA shall also disclose
to the parent or legal guardian of the student the purpose for the survey, analysis, or evaluation materials as
well as who will have access to the results.
T.C.A. § 49-3-310.
No board of education of any public school system shall require any pupil or parent to purchase any textbook
or instructional materials except in cases where the pupil or parent damages, loses or defaces the textbook or
instructional materials either through willful intent or neglect. Parents or pupils may voluntarily purchase
textbooks and instructional materials.
T.C.A. § 49-5-1003.
Educators shall not disclose information about students obtained in the course of professional service, unless
disclosure serves a compelling professional purpose or is required by law.
T.C.A. § 49-6-901.
A copy of a student's report card shall be furnished by the LEA to the parent or parents of the student.
T.C.A. § 49-6-902.
Any parent who does not have custody of a child, or in the case of parents having joint custody of a child, the
parent not residing with the child, or in the case of a child in the custody of a legal guardian, both parents, may
request in writing that a copy of the child's report card, notice of school attendance, names of teachers, class
schedules, standardized test scores and any other records customarily available to parents be furnished
directly to the noncustodial or nonresident parent.
T.C.A. § 49-6-1004.
A period of silence of approximately one (1) minute shall be maintained at the beginning of each school day. A
teacher shall not indicate or suggest to the students any action to be taken by them during this time.
Students may voluntarily participate in prayer and no teacher or other school authority may prescribe the
form or content of any prayer. Nonsectarian and nonproselytizing voluntary benedictions, invocations or
prayers that are initiated and given by a student may be permitted during school-related noncompulsory
student assemblies, school-related student sporting events and school-related commencement ceremonies.
T.C.A. § 49-6-1031.
No school shall permit a student to become a member or participate in any activities of a club or organization
if the parent or legal guardian of such student has tendered a written communication prohibiting such student
from such membership or participation. In order to be valid, the written communication shall be signed and
dated by the parent or legal guardian.
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Policy & External Affairs • Andrew Johnson Tower, 9th Floor • 710 James Robertson Parkway • Nashville, TN 37243 3
T.C.A. § 49-6-1305.
LEAs shall notify parents or legal guardians of students whom the LEA anticipates will be present for family life
instruction in sex education that: The LEA is using a family life curriculum that meets the requirements of state
law; and The parent or legal guardian shall have the right to examine the grade level instructional materials
and confer with the student's instructor, school counselor or principal, as designated by the LEA, regarding any
or all portions of family life. A parent or guardian who wishes to excuse a student from any or all portions of
family life shall submit a request, in writing, to the student's instructor, school counselor, or principal. A
student who is excused from any or all portions of family life shall not be penalized for grading purposes if the
student satisfactorily performs alternative health lessons.
T.C.A. § 49-6-1306.
A parent or legal guardian of a student enrolled in family life may file a complaint with the director of schools if
the parent or legal guardian believes that a teacher, instructor, or representative of an organization has not
complied with the requirements of that law.
If a student receives instruction by an instructor or organization that promotes gateway sexual activity or
demonstrates sexual activity then the parent or legal guardian shall have a cause of action against that
instructor or organization for actual damages plus reasonable attorney's fees and court costs (this does not
apply to instruction from teachers employed by the LEA).
T.C.A. § 49-6-1504.
Upon the expulsion of a student charged with a violent felony or violent felony delinquency, or a student
convicted, adjudicated, or that admits guilt in court with respect to a violent felony or felony delinquency, the
director of schools shall immediately give written or actual notice to the parent or guardian and the student of
the right to appeal the decision to expel or remand the student to an alternative school. All appeals shall be
filed, orally or in writing, within five (5) days after receipt of the notice and may be filed by the parent or
guardian, the student, or any person holding a teaching license who is employed by the school system if
requested by the student.
T.C.A. § 49-6-1506.
A student or student’s parent may request in writing within five (5) days after receipt of written notice of a
disciplinary hearing by the disciplinary hearing authority that the hearing be conducted as an open meeting.
T.C.A. § 49-6-1601.
Principals or other designated persons shall provide to parents or legal guardians all school information and
records relevant to any reports of alleged abuse or sexual abuse, if requested by the parent or legal guardian;
provided, that the information is edited to protect the confidentiality of the identity of the person who made
the report, any other person whose life or safety may be endangered by the disclosure and any information
made confidential pursuant to federal law or § 10-7-504(a)(4).
T.C.A. § 49-6-1802.
An LEA shall treat a student's voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible
subject in the same manner in which the LEA treats a student's voluntary expression of a secular or other
viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject and may not discriminate against the student based on a
religious viewpoint, if any, expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject.
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Policy & External Affairs • Andrew Johnson Tower, 9th Floor • 710 James Robertson Parkway • Nashville, TN 37243 4
T.C.A. § 49-6-1804.
Students may express their written beliefs about religion in homework, artwork, and other written and oral
assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of the student's submissions. Homework
and classroom assignments shall be judged by ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance and
against other legitimate academic concerns identified by the LEA. Students may not be penalized or rewarded
based on the religious content of the student's work.
T.C.A. § 49-6-1805.
Students may organize religious student groups, religious clubs, "see you at the pole" gatherings, or other
religious gatherings before, during, and after school to the same extent that students are permitted to
organize other non-curricular student activities and groups. Religious groups shall be given the same access to
school facilities for assembling as is given to other non-curricular groups without discrimination based on the
religious content of the students' expression. If student groups that meet for nonreligious activities are
permitted to advertise or announce meetings of their groups, then the LEA may not discriminate against
groups that meet for prayer or other religious speech. An LEA may disclaim school sponsorship of non- curricular groups and events in a manner that neither favors nor disfavors groups that meet to engage in
expressions of faith or religious speech.
T.C.A. § 49-6-2211.
Every student shall be permitted to take any textbook or instructional materials specifically issued to the
student home for the purpose of studying the textbook or instructional materials.
T.C.A. § 49-6-2904.
Students have the right to voluntarily pray in a public school, express religious viewpoints in a public school,
speak to and attempt to share religious viewpoints with other students in a public school, possess or distribute
religious literature in a public school, and to be absent to observe religious holidays and participate in other
religious practices. The participation in these activities must be in accordance with LEA policies.
T.C.A. § 49-6-3001.
A parent or guardian may withdraw a child from a public school for a good substantial reason; provided, that
within thirty (30) days the parent or person having legal custody of the child places the child in a public school
designated by the local board of education or in a non-public school.
A parent or guardian who believes that a child is not ready to attend school at the designated age of
mandatory attendance may make application to the principal of the public school that the child would attend
for a one (1) semester or one (1) year deferral in required attendance.
A person designated as a caregiver with the power of attorney for care of a minor child pursuant to title 34,
chapter 6, part 3 shall have the right to enroll the minor child in the LEA serving the area where the caregiver
resides. The LEA shall allow a caregiver with a properly executed power of attorney for care of a minor child,
pursuant to title 34, chapter 6, part 3, to enroll the minor child, but may require documentation of the minor
child's residence with a caregiver or documentation or other verification of the validity of the stated hardship
prior to enrollment. Except where limited by federal law, the caregiver shall be assigned the rights, duties and
responsibilities that would otherwise be assigned to the parent, legal guardian or legal custodian pursuant to
this title. If at any time the parent or legal guardian disagrees with the decision of the caregiver or chooses to
make any educational decisions for the minor child, then the parent must revoke the power of attorney and
provide the LEA written documentation of the revocation.