Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) gives parents and students (18 years or older or emancipated) certain rights when a school conducts student surveys, collects and uses information for marketing purposes, and administers certain physical exams to students. These rights are as follows:

Parental Consent is required before students can be given a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas ("protected information survey"), if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the US Department of Education –

  • Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
  • Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
  • Sex behavior or attitudes;
  • Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
  • Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  • Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
  • Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
  • Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.

Parents must receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of –
  • Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
  • Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
  • Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law; and

Parents may inspect the following, upon request and before administration or use –
  • Protected information surveys of students;
  • Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and
  • Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.

The Providence Public School District has adopted a policy to protect student privacy in the administration of protected information surveys and the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes. Providence Schools will directly notify parents of these policies at least annually at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes.

The District’s Office of Research, Planning and Accountability reviews all internal and external requests to conduct surveys to ensure that ethical procedures are documented and PPRA is followed. PPSD will also directly notify parents of students who are scheduled to participate in specific activities or surveys and will provide an opportunity for the parent to opt his or her child out of participation of the specific activity or survey.

Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:
Family Policy Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920.