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  1. #1
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    Jun 2018
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    Question How to Prevent Abusive Parents from Accessing School Records

    Demographic/Geographic info: located in suburban Missouri. My high school is a public one, part of a K-12 district. I'm also planning to attend a four-year university after high school.

    Hey there everyone.

    I turn 18 in a little less than a month. I've grown up in an emotionally/psychologically and physically abusive home for my entire life, something that is well-documented by numerous mental health professionals and my school's social worker/crisis interventionist. I'm working on putting together my escape/exit plan, and hope to be out of my home by the end of August 2018 (I have steady employment, and am doing well in school- I essentially raised myself). Not only do I plan on leaving my abusive home soon after reaching the age of majority, but I also do not want my abusive mother to have any access to my school or medical records whatsoever after I am gone from the home & am of legal age.

    This school year, I'll be a senior in high school, and will be 18 before starting the academic year. In MO, you're typically 17 or 18 as a senior, so there are a fair amount of 18 year old seniors- though the majority of them have normal relationships with their parents and live under the same roof, thus making "who has access to my records" not an issue in most students' daily lives.

    I'm somewhat familiar with the process of transferring the 'ownership', per se, of medical records from parent to child upon turning 18, and it largely seems more simplified (once child turns 18, is considered a legal adult and thus in control) when compared to school records.

    Legally, I know that I have the right upon turning 18 to be the sole accessor of my academic records, but how exactly do I go about the process of officially barring my birthgivers from being able to pull my records, having access to InfiniteCampus (our online grade portal), having access to report cards, etc?

    I've done a bit of digging into the ins-and-outs of FERPA, and have some knowledge regarding independent vs. dependent status in regards to the parent-child relationship. When I file for FAFSA later this year, I'll be eligible to file as independent- perhaps FERPA operates in the same manner, i.e. independent status = parents are not considered in the equation. (Please, of course, correct me if I'm wrong here.)

    I've looked far and wide through my school district's website and manuals in a search for info on this specific situation, but haven't found anything. I know that this is probably more of an issue that I should take up with my school's administration in specific, but I want to ensure that I know the legal rights that I have to academic privacy.
    Please feel free to ask questions if you need more info in order to find a solution/recommendation. Anything and everything helps.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: How to Prevent Abusive Parents from Accessing School Records

    Quote Quoting rubyredwoods
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    I know that this is probably more of an issue that I should take up with my school's administration in specific
    That's exactly what you should do. Go in to the admin office and ask what it takes to keep your records private.

    Quote Quoting rubyredwoods
    View Post
    but I want to ensure that I know the legal rights that I have to academic privacy.
    What difference does it make? If the school person says no what are you going to do, hire a lawyer for $300 per hour, stew over it, come back and ask what are my rights?

    One of the things that you need to develop when you become an adult is priorities. This is not one of them. You'll have a lot more and bigger problems trying to survive out there as an 18 year old with only a high school education.

    Put your parents and this issue in your rear view mirror and let them disappear into the distance.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: How to Prevent Abusive Parents from Accessing School Records

    Independent student status requires more than you think. I do not think you are going to be able to get that status. But, I might be wrong. Someone here will know for sure.

    Even after you move out. You might still need your mother's permission for things like school trips.

    If your home life was so abusive. The state would have removed you and put you in foster care

  4. #4
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    Jan 2015
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    Default Re: How to Prevent Abusive Parents from Accessing School Records

    One thing that I consistently notice about young posters who come here wanting to breathe free. They have a tremendous amount of respect for, and think it carries a tremendous amount of weight that they "make good/excellent/superior grades" or "am in college prep classes" As you mature and get further away from high school world, or even from college, you discover that being a good student isn't the same exciting promise filled credential in real life that it is in school settings. To be blunt, no one cares. It isn't important.

    Also, be careful about throwing around the "my parents are Sooooo abusive" card. If this were true, this had been determined and you were dealing with the social services networks, you would be in foster care. If your mother is truly an abusive parent who doesn't care about you, she won't pursue you when you move out legally. Your crisis interventionist/school counselor type person who is actively involved in this situation should be able to answer the question about school records for you, it would seem.

    Don't tell adults you have "raised yourself" until you have been out there taking care of yourself for a few years. You'll eventually come to the realization that getting back and forth to school and work on your own does not mean you're independent. You grew up this close to majority with a roof of some sort over your head and transportation provided, probably from a home with utilities and running water and cable service, some amount of food and clothing provided. "Being on my own" is not something you've done since you were old enough to walk and talk.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2018
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    Missouri
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    Default Re: How to Prevent Abusive Parents from Accessing School Records

    Quote Quoting comment/ator
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    One thing that I consistently notice about young posters who come here wanting to breathe free. They have a tremendous amount of respect for, and think it carries a tremendous amount of weight that they "make good/excellent/superior grades" or "am in college prep classes" As you mature and get further away from high school world, or even from college, you discover that being a good student isn't the same exciting promise filled credential in real life that it is in school settings. To be blunt, no one cares. It isn't important.
    It is important, though. In order to be able to attend any well-known college (regardless of whether public or private) without being saddled with student debt for the rest of your adult life, you have to make high enough grades to earn a sizable scholarship. College is my way out, so of course I want to earn the highest grades possible; however, I was only citing making good grades as an example to back up my point that I'm leaving my home due to circumstances of out of my control, not because I'm some dumbass teenager who's running away on a whim because mommy and daddy grounded them for the weekend for getting blackout drunk at a high school party.

    Also, be careful about throwing around the "my parents are Sooooo abusive" card. If this were true, this had been determined and you were dealing with the social services networks, you would be in foster care. If your mother is truly an abusive parent who doesn't care about you, she won't pursue you when you move out legally. Your crisis interventionist/school counselor type person who is actively involved in this situation should be able to answer the question about school records for you, it would seem.
    Cute attempt at mockery with telling me to not throw around "the 'my parents are soooo abusive' card". Your claim that I'd be in foster care if it was true is also a total farce. Social services across the nation are weak as it is, and in Missouri especially so; thus, actual functioning reporting and investigation into child abuse is incredibly touch-and-go at best. Furthermore, social services have the aim of "reuniting" families, and considering the fact that my family has been sent to group therapy multiple times with no improved outcome, I think it's clear at this point that the government isn't going to swoop in and magically save me. Every case of abuse is different. My mother will very likely come after me once I'm away from the home, as having me as a object under her control is the crux of her abusive mentality.

    Don't tell adults you have "raised yourself" until you have been out there taking care of yourself for a few years. You'll eventually come to the realization that getting back and forth to school and work on your own does not mean you're independent. You grew up this close to majority with a roof of some sort over your head and transportation provided, probably from a home with utilities and running water and cable service, some amount of food and clothing provided. "Being on my own" is not something you've done since you were old enough to walk and talk.
    Cool. Never said that school and work solely make me independent. I'd suggest doing some research on what "parentification" is before you pass judgement on whether or not someone can say that they've successfully been on their own. Abuse causes people to be forced to grow up incredibly quickly. I shouldn't even have to tell you that.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: How to Prevent Abusive Parents from Accessing School Records

    School employees are mandatory reporters. If a case is bad and falls through the cracks. Additional reports from school staff are made to CPS.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2015
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    Default Re: How to Prevent Abusive Parents from Accessing School Records

    So, OP, it seems that you didn't really grasp the intent behind Commentator's post. In fact, you went the other way. So, in simpler terms:

    1) No one will care about your high school grades with the exception of a college admissions board and they don't look at those as closely as they used to. It's also about what classes you took.
    2) You are extremely unlikely to be able to exclude your parents from the FAFSa until you're 25. It's that simple.
    3) Many teens, mine as well, I'm sure, want to believe that their parents were abusive in some way or another. Quite honestly, if it were bad it would've been noted by a mandatory reporter, if you didn't bring it up, and CPS would've been called. Teachers, counselor, doctors, they all receive training on what to look for and many are proactive about it. Many teens here play that card and, frankly, we're pretty jaded about that. Especially since many here grew up in a time when Board of Education was a board AND a group of people. Parents used belts or switches, wooden spoons, etc and it was just the way it was.
    4) I have no interest in "parentification". You didn't raise yourself. You didn't provide your roof, food, water, clothes, internet, transportation, medical care, money for all of the things that I just don't have the time to list...on your own. Someone provided them. Parents are the usual bet, but some Olympian god is also a possibility, which would probably make you a demigod, but that's very unlikely. You didn't raise yourself and it's insulting to all around you when you breezily toss that off.

    So, in the end, you are doomed to wend your way through the trials and tribulations as the rest of us do. If you decide to exclude your parent they may choose to not cooperate with you, you could find yourself with no home upon 18, no money for school (sizable scholarships and the like being not the norm) and really learning what it is to take care of yourself.

    Cheers. Ciao, Vaya con Dios, Shalom, Good night.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  8. #8
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    Apr 2014
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    186

    Default Re: How to Prevent Abusive Parents from Accessing School Records

    Why will be independent for FASFA? You are not declared homeless, not married or a vet, living with your parents when you turned 18 and not emancipated. See this for guidance -
    https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/f...out/dependency
    Most teenager’s financial exit plan fall short of the reality of affording to live on their own, like housing, food, transportation, cell phones, internet, etc. I wish you luck but your life will likely be harder than you imagine. Working enough to truly pay your way, going to school and homework for top grades is a lot of hours in a day. Plus good grades and high test scores are a dime a dozen these days, getting in and getting grants/scholarships for college are not a given.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2015
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    Default Re: How to Prevent Abusive Parents from Accessing School Records

    Having worked in social work and behavioral psych I am quite well acquainted with difficult family situations. Many of them are simply unbelievably bad. People in the helping professions have heard a lot about negative family situations. But it will be to your advantage if you do not announce yourself as having been abused, parentified or emotionally battered and throw around the latest jargon about your abuse in your quest for independence. Announcing at not quite 18 that you have "raised yourself" screams immaturity. Let people notice this if they will, don't try to tell them

    When you "age out" which is the term you need to be working on, you'll need the help of a great many school administrators and social workers and such. The way you are presenting broadcasts immaturity and lack of a bigger picture to all those who may be in position to help you with your life moving forward. You'll have a great many more problems to deal with than how to keep your parents from looking at your school records. If college is in your future, any FAFSA help, getting yourself into independent status for financial assistance will be a serious issue. And many grants, aids and scholarships BEGIN by requiring the student to complete the FAFSA in order to determine if they qualify for that help first before they can consider you for any other aid. As I said, the only thing I can possibly think that you are worried about is that your mother could see how you were doing in school and use this as a way to verbally abuse you. If you are away from her you will be having no contact with her, and therefore it won't be an issue anymore. Or perhaps you are worried, as I said before, about her finding out where you are, which she probably will do anyway if she wants to badly enough. You'll have to deal with that. But what you're so worried about here, their access to your school records, isn't going to be a big problem.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to Prevent Abusive Parents from Accessing School Records

    Scholarships aren't that easy to get even with the best grades in the world. Yes it helps for college - but it doesn't mean squat AFTER college. That's the point. Also - the grades don't matter in your point either way.

    Well let your mom come at you after you are the age of majority there isn't much she can do. You call the cops on her if she does.

    I think you need to check yourself at the door. Yes abuse does cause people to grow up and causes trauma. My mom was emotionally abusive and gone most of the time to see this guy she was cheating on my dad with. Luckily we had our dad. But we had to start stepping up on things like laundry and other chores with our mom gone and our dad working all the time. I helped out with taking care of younger siblings. I wasn't "on my own" though. You weren't either. You still had a place to stay and food and all that. Being on your own would have been your parents kicked you to the curb and you took care of everything on your own. I've been on my own since I graduated high school. More so after college.

    I'm sorry for what you've dealt with but lashing out at strangers will not help you.

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