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Author Topic: What are the father's rights for checking his children out of school?  (Read 2670 times)

stepmom

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Does anyone know what rights a father has on checking his children out of school?

My husband has three children.  Two daughters, one 16 the other 11, and one son who is 7.  He received a phone call from his 16 year old daughter the other day.  She said that her little brother, who is in 1st grade, had swallowed a quarter and was choking on it and throwing up.  So my husband leaves work and rushes up to his school.  When he gets up there he is told that he is not on the emergency contact list and that he cannot check his son or daughter (at the elementary school) out.  They had tried to contact the mother but she goes to college over an hour away and has no cell phone.  There are NO other relatives who live here.  The closest ones are 2 hours away.  My husband does find out that his other DAUGHTER, who is 16 but doesn't have a car, is able to check him out.  What good is that????? She doesn't have a car so what would she be able to do if something happened??????  

Luckily his son finally threw up the quarter and didn't have to be taken to the emergency room.  

My husband's ex didn't put him on the emergency contact list nor the check out list so he can't check his own children out of school.  They have joint custody of the children.  

What are his rights as far as being able to check them out of school?  Does she have complete say so in that matter?  


mistoffolees

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If they have joint custody, either one can make those decisions. You should give the school a copy of the custody agreement showing that he has joint custody and asking to be put on the emergency contact list. If that doesn't work, a lawyer should be able to straighten it out for you.

Ref

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School records
« Reply #2 on: Dec 14, 2006, 07:02:04 AM »
Misto is right. If you have joint custody, you should be able to check him out. Many schools don't know the laws, but once they are educated, they will comply.

On this site (I think in the articles part), it has a standard FERPA letter. FERPA is basically a law that has all the rule to privacy of records, educational and medical, similar to HIPPA. In it it states that schools and medical providers are to provide the same information to non-custodials as they do custodials barring any court order against it such as a restraining order.

Many states have their own version of FERPA, so you may want to start googling. The states can make the law more liberal to non-custodials but can not make it more strict, so once you know FERPA, you really know what the minimum is.

Anyway, the letter on this page can be taylored to your specific situation. If I were to have it to do over again, I think I would have written a warmer letter first instead of using the template. Eventhough it is not their RIGHT to demand proof that you are not restrained by asking for the divorce decree, I recommend you send it anyway. It just saves time.

Send all of this through UPS or Fedex. That way when you call the school you can say, so-and-so signed for the letter I sent you re: emergency contacts. If that doesn't work send a follow-up letter CCing the superintendant. If that doesn't work, you may need to get your lawyer involved OR the schools lawyer. (You can find out who they are by reading the school's board minutes. They have to approve all bills paid) Anyway, if it gets that far, post again and we can help you with that process. Usually, it doesn't get that far.

Dh put in there to have his name and contact information added to the emergency contact listing. He also asked for copies of report cards to be sent to his home and contact information for all teachers and the dates of report cards and progress reports.

He still has to ask for the report cards every time they are due and he emails the teachers about the progress reports, but it is so much better than before.

Best of Luck
Ref

wysiwyg

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RE: School records
« Reply #3 on: Dec 14, 2006, 07:51:58 AM »
Here is my 2 cents.  My husband was not on the emergency contact list either, BECAUSE where it lists the parents, it also says that the parents can check the child out of school, my husband is NCP - BM did not want BF getting the child so she did not list him as the father, the court found her in contempt for proividing the school false information.

My point is this:  READ The enrollment forms, here, every year the parents are to fill these out.  BOTH parents should be listed, and I will bet that there is a clause on that form that says something to the effect that "in the event neither parent can not be contacted please list the emergency contacts."  Our enrollement form takes this a step further and states that the listed parents have authority to remove the sutdent unless there is a court order otherwise that the CP would need to  provide to the school and attached to the school records.  

Perhaps your husband has this right, and as another thought for you to consider, we had to subpoena the re enrollment forms from the school - but when the pricipal was subpoenad to court for testimony, the schools attorney faxed all forms and a written letter that the requested forms were a form that either parent can request and have access to.

JUst fyi!

Kitty C.

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It could be as simple as................
« Reply #4 on: Dec 14, 2006, 11:14:25 AM »
...providing the school with a copy of the CO and 'telling' them to add his name to the list of contacts and for pick-ups as well.  Also, the school should NOT have a minor on the pick up list...it should be an adult who can transport.

Personally, if it would have happened to me, I would have been livid.  If that child had not thrown it up, how long was the school willing to 'wait' until they finally took action, ie. call 911 and get an ambulance there?  The first thing I would have told them is that there would have been a helluva lawsuit filed if they had not taken proper action regarding this emergency and the child would have suffered in any way because of their negligence.  In our district, that sort of situation would have been an immediate 911 call and the school would have contacted the parents to inform them to meet the ambulance at the previously designated hospital (they have to designate one on school info).
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


Hawkeye

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RE: It could be as simple as................
« Reply #5 on: Dec 15, 2006, 06:31:53 PM »
http://www.deltabravo.net/files/info_for_educators.pdf  Here's a link to the flyer, here on SPARC, that you can print out and give to the school superintendent, principal and teachers. Heck, give 'em to the lunch-ladies as well! Be polite, but be firm.  Isn't that the title of Dr. Walter Block's book on child care, Kitty C? I'll have to double check when I get home, I'm in a parking lot at the moment. ;^)

stepmom

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RE: It could be as simple as................
« Reply #6 on: Dec 20, 2006, 10:33:41 AM »
Oh he was definitely livid.  But more than that he was hurt and embarrassed that he couldn't even pick up his own children from school.  All that the principal would tell him was that he needed to take up the issue with the children's mother.  They had just come to stay the weekend with us right before this happened!!!

I agree with you totally and told my husband the same thing.  A lawyer advised us to write the mother a nice letter asking her to put him on the check out list and emergency contact list in case something like this happened again.  He said that if she didn't agree to that then he would give her a call.  So my husband called her and ask her to put him on the list and of course she said no.  We haven't told the lawyer yet but we will be contacting him today. I don't think that he should have had to write a letter or call her.  If he takes his papers to the school will they automatically put him on the list or does the BM have to approve it??

Ref

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If the school is ignorant
« Reply #7 on: Dec 20, 2006, 10:48:19 AM »
they may fight BF on putting his name on the papers. I would bring the parenting agreement, a copy for the school and 2 copies of the FERPA law and any state law that is their version of FERPA.

Talk to the person who handles the records, if they can't help, talk to the principal, if they can't help, go to the super's office and talk to him/her. If that doesn't work, go to the lawyer.  Try to be as nice as possible but firm. You will have to deal with these people for many many years. If they are not understanding just ask for the person above them and thank them for their help.

BM does NOT have to approve it. Chances are she wont and will cause more trouble than anything else. I wouldn't wait on her at all.

Good luck
Ref

Kitty C.

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Exactly, Ref.................
« Reply #8 on: Dec 20, 2006, 07:00:55 PM »
That's the one thing that bugs me............giving the CP WAY too much power.  Stepmom, your DH's atty. gave you some 'bad' advice when he said to write to the BM and basically 'ask her permission'.  The ONLY person you have to ask permission regarding these issues is the JUDGE!

I agree 100% with Ref........take a copy of the CO, FERPA, and any other documentation that will support your position and go directly to the school.  Go up the ladder if you have to, which includes the school's atty. as well.  Remind them EVERY TIME you talk to someone new that they got extremely lucky in this situation, in that your child did not stop breathing and go into arrest.  Make sure it sinks in well that they dodged a HUGE law suit bullet.  And I wouldn't be too sure if it isn't illegal to have a minor on the pick-up list....I'd check into that, too.

They're yanking your chain, including your atty.  You do NOT have to ask BM's permission for SQUAT!  Ever!  If you have a joint legal custody agreement, you have as much say in every issue as she does, period.  When you carry yourself and speak for yourself in that manner, they will soon take you seriously.  It took me a long time (4-5 years) to convince DH that he had as much say in what happened in the life of his child as the mother did.......he now actually believes it in his heart, and you know what?  With that confidence, BM now asks HIM for advice and permission regarding actions with SS!  And she's still CP!
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

wysiwyg

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RE: Exactly, Ref.................
« Reply #9 on: Dec 21, 2006, 06:04:03 AM »
just an thought on this........all this is very good advice, however we had same problem, and have a letter from the principal that their procedure for changing info, names and contact numbers on the school forms is dfone by a phone call or request from the CP.  Meaning all CP had to do is say hey I dont like your name being there and change it back once you have gone to this trouble.  We asked for the records to be flagged in that NONE of my information was to be changed without first contacting me to make sure that it is correct and valid, CP here has 2 contempts on her for provideing false information to the school concerning NCP.

Jade

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RE: Exactly, Ref.................
« Reply #10 on: Dec 21, 2006, 06:16:45 AM »
>That's the one thing that bugs me............giving the CP
>WAY too much power.  Stepmom, your DH's atty. gave you some
>'bad' advice when he said to write to the BM and basically
>'ask her permission'.  The ONLY person you have to ask
>permission regarding these issues is the JUDGE!
>
>I agree 100% with Ref........take a copy of the CO, FERPA, and
>any other documentation that will support your position and go
>directly to the school.  Go up the ladder if you have to,
>which includes the school's atty. as well.  Remind them EVERY
>TIME you talk to someone new that they got extremely lucky in
>this situation, in that your child did not stop breathing and
>go into arrest.  Make sure it sinks in well that they dodged a
>HUGE law suit bullet.  And I wouldn't be too sure if it isn't
>illegal to have a minor on the pick-up list....I'd check into
>that, too.
>
>They're yanking your chain, including your atty.  You do NOT
>have to ask BM's permission for SQUAT!  Ever!  If you have a
>joint legal custody agreement, you have as much say in every
>issue as she does, period.  When you carry yourself and speak
>for yourself in that manner, they will soon take you
>seriously.  It took me a long time (4-5 years) to convince DH
>that he had as much say in what happened in the life of his
>child as the mother did.......he now actually believes it in
>his heart, and you know what?  With that confidence, BM now
>asks HIM for advice and permission regarding actions with SS!
>And she's still CP!

Um, you really need to look up the definition of joint legal.  While I do agree that the ncp should be called and have not have the problems that this ncp is having, NEITHER parent can unilaterally make major decisions on their own.  It's called JOINT legal, not SOLE legal.  And, no, the ncp doesn't have a say in every issue.  The parent with primary physical custody has the most say in the day to day life of the children.  And it is the parent with primary physical custody, according to my lawyer, that the courts usually side with should it get to that point.  Hopefully, they can learn to work together.

Although, after reading these boards, I am very glad that ex and I get along when it comes to the kids.  

BTW, any correspondence the other parent regarding the children should be done by either the lawyer or the other parent.  Stepparents really should stay out of it as they have no say and can sometimes make the situation worse.  



Kitty C.

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RE: Exactly, Ref.................
« Reply #11 on: Dec 21, 2006, 02:27:39 PM »
Joint legal ALSO means that either parent CAN make a unilateral decision in a life-or-death emergency, which this certainly was.  I had joint legal with DS's dad and he had all those rights.  DH has joint legal of SS and he has those rights as well.  I still think the school is running their own agenda on this, requiring everything to go thru the CP only.  That's where the powere struggle rises and the BM knows this and takes full advantage of it.

In the case of my SS, BM is first on the call list.  When he got ill enough that he had to be picked up quickly (but not an emergency to the point of calling 911), the school could not reach BM.  They also tried calling the SF, since they knew he worked at the same plant or would know how to get a hold of her, but no luck.  Then they tried DH, but he was out of cell tower range, so they called me, hoping I could get in touch with DH, which I did.  They followed protocol to a T in regards to the situation and if it had warranted an emerg. trip to the hospital, they would have called 911, got him in an ambulance and let either parent know by whatever means available to meet their child at the designated hospital.

Joint legal in regards to school means BOTH parents should be on the pick-up list if they both live in the area and BOTH should be contacted.  If it's an emergency, the parent reached first is the parent who takes the child and informs the other parent as soon as possible.  
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

 

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