Sometimes a school will ask one or both parents to sign a "Confidentiality Agreement". Here's how to politely decline this restriction on your rights.
The school may do this so they don't get caught in the middle of disputes between you and your ex, or they may do this as a way to exclude or inhibit one parent's access to information. We feel that where schools are concerned, a confidentiality agreement is generally a bad idea. Communication between parents and teachers should consist of open and honest exchanges, and information shared at any legitimate meeting regarding the education, development, or welfare of a child should be available to both parents. Also worth noting is that an atmosphere of secrecy (often masquerading as "confidentiality") encourages false allegations and often facilitates improper comments or communication being made.
Use this letter (suitably modified to fit your circumstances) to gracefully refuse to sign such an agreement. Send a copy to the principal and your attorney. If you feel it's necessary, you may also send a copy to the principal's supervisor. Don't forget to keep a copy for your records.
[Date] TO: [Name of school] [Address of School/office etc.] City, State, ZIP
ATTN: [Principal's name]
RE: Confidentiality Agreement
Dear [Mr./Ms.] [Principal's name],
Thank you for your concerns regarding confidentiality during meetings with school officials. Please rest assured that I understand your position and share in your concerns.
I am certain you wish all meetings, formal or informal, to consist of an open and honest exchange between parents and teachers. Information shared at any legitimate meeting regarding the education, development, or welfare of my child should be available to both parents, as we both have an equal concern for our child’s welfare.
I believe a confidentiality agreement would negatively compromise the communication of legitimate concerns your institution may have, concerns that would necessarily require the coordinated and cooperative efforts of both parents to resolve. Certainly, I can not imagine any subject I would approach a school official about that I would not also wish to discuss with my child's [mother/father].
(This next portion is optional and may or may not apply to you. If not, delete and/or modify it appropriately.) In addition, since I have previously had some direct experience with false accusations flourishing in an atmosphere of secrecy or confidentiality, I am forced to refrain from participating in any process that might promote this kind of problem. My legal counsel is also instructing me at this time not to sign the Confidentiality Agreement.
Thank you again for your concern regarding our confidentiality, but I am unable at this time to enter into any agreement that might encourage the above-mentioned behavior or that might restrict the exchange of information between myself and the school or my child's [mother/father].
cc: [your attorney] cc: [name of the Principal's superior]
NOTE: Depending upon the circumstances, you may want to mail this 'Certified' and 'Return Receipt Requested'. When doing so, make sure to put the Certified Number at the top of the letter.