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#101
Old 07-05-2018, 11:58 AM
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It seems to me like another example of the parents blaming the school for their kid's shortcomings. Another example of the "My kid failed" versus "You failed my kid" mentality.

That's the biggest reason why I didn't go into education. I would have enjoyed actually teaching. Not dealing with parents.
#102
Old 07-05-2018, 12:14 PM
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Parents Upset: School Did Not Notify Them Their Daughter Was Not Graduating

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
Why would it possibly not be allowable to state what the law is?


I believe (IANAL) it would be allowable under FERPA to say “we cannot provide any information about any over-18 student one way or another without their prior direct written consent”, but OTOH “we cannot answer because this student has invoked her FERPA rights and specifically requested so” could be argued to be revealing something’s not right.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 07-05-2018 at 12:14 PM.
#103
Old 07-05-2018, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
As a parent, seeing an "N/A" on the website would make me think there was a data or systems issue. It wouldn't have occurred to me that my kid had specifically asked that that grade, and only that grade, be kept from me. Ergo, I would have emailed the school just like the parents in question did, and I sure would have appreciated a response, even if it were just "the data/system is correct, talk to you daughter." Or whatever response they felt they could give within the confines of the law.

As someone else said upthread, ghosting them doesn't seem like best practice. I don't know if it rises to the level of unethical, but I would certainly be upset with the school. I'd be more upset with my daughter, but the school wouldn't escape my ire.

eta: And the article linked in the OP that encourages the school to skirt the law, that's an idiotic idea. Who would write that?
Yeah. After her 18th birthday all of her grades should have said "unavailable" with a one sentence explanation that students over 18 need to give their written consent to have parents continue to view their grades. If it's a privacy issue, all the grades should be concealed, not just the bad one. And "N/A" is a terrible way to put it.

They also should've answered the email with that same explanation.
#104
Old 07-05-2018, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
Why would it possibly not be allowable to state what the law is?
I'm sure it's allowable - I think the the problem with is with the bolded part : "we are unable to provide the grades to parents of adult students (18) who have chosen to keep this information confidential." . I don't see any reason why they couldn't have answered in a generic way that doesn't even confirm that the person in question is currently a student. They didn't even have to mention consent in the answer - they could simply have said "We are legally prohibited from disclosing information to anyone other than your daughter as she is over 18"



I'm with spifflog about the lack of response. It's inconceivable that the school would have simply hung up on the parents without a word if they had asked for the information in a phone call.They might have stopped answering the calls if the parents were psycho-calling to the point where staff recognized the phone number, but in my experience that takes more than two calls. On some level, I understand why people treat emails and voice mails differently than phone calls (because the other person is actually on the line with a phone call) but on another level, I don't - It's not significantly more time-consuming to answer an email than it is to have a phone conversation, and unanswered emails are likely to result in a phone call at some point.

There's definitely a bigger problem that the English grade, though. It just hit me today that although the school wouldn't disclose the grade because the student didn't give permission, they apparently had no problem telling the columnist that the student often didn't show up although they encouraged her to attend class and take tests. The spokeperson also told the columnist that the student was told that she could walk at graduation and no one other than she and her family would know that she didn't receive a diploma. It seems that she must have agreed to allow the spokesperson to disclose this information to the columnist. Which to me suggests that she is not happy that her parents went to the media about this.

Last edited by doreen; 07-05-2018 at 01:45 PM.
#105
Old 07-05-2018, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
Yeah. After her 18th birthday all of her grades should have said "unavailable" with a one sentence explanation that students over 18 need to give their written consent to have parents continue to view their grades. If it's a privacy issue, all the grades should be concealed, not just the bad one. And "N/A" is a terrible way to put it.

They also should've answered the email with that same explanation.
My understanding is that the student specifically advised the school that her parents were permitted to see all grades except English. (I'm somewhat local to Arlington and was told this by a parent who belongs to the Yorktown PTA, though, so it may well be a misunderstanding on that person's part.)
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Last edited by Bricker; 07-05-2018 at 01:52 PM.
#106
Old 07-05-2018, 02:40 PM
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I am baffled why they’re angry with the school. Ask her yourself. If she won’t tell you, well, that’s your issue, and has nothing to do with the school or it’s application of protocols, in my opinion.

Involving the school will only bring you up against the VERY same issue; she’s an adult now and doesn’t have to tell you. It’s still their issue with her, to my eyes.
#107
Old 07-05-2018, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
The Washington Post article linked above expresses the belief that the school should have figured out a way to defeat the law:

I have no idea what the Post's reaction might be if the school had responded, "We can't tell you a thing, but nudge nudge wink wink dont invite relatives to graduation, unless it's a Classy English invitation that needs improvement, if you know what I mean," and the student had sued for damages under FERPA, but I can easily imagine an article that criticizes the school for violating the spirit, and possibly the letter, of the law.
Slight nitpick, it was a column in the Washington post, not an article. If the Student had sued, the Posts response would have been to write a factual article about it without comment. As to what Jay Mathews response would have been, that might be a more relevant question.

Its a small thing but it gives the impression, mistakenly on your part I hope, that the news arm of the Washington Post had drawn this opinionated conclusion. Which irks me the same way that political ads that say "Obama administration is hopelessly corrupt -Washington Post" as if it were factual reporting when in fact it appeared in an OP-ed by George Will that was published in the post.
#108
Old 07-05-2018, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Godot View Post
Slight nitpick, it was a column in the Washington post, not an article. If the Student had sued, the Posts response would have been to write a factual article about it without comment. As to what Jay Mathews response would have been, that might be a more relevant question.

Its a small thing but it gives the impression, mistakenly on your part I hope, that the news arm of the Washington Post had drawn this opinionated conclusion. Which irks me the same way that political ads that say "Obama administration is hopelessly corrupt -Washington Post" as if it were factual reporting when in fact it appeared in an OP-ed by George Will that was published in the post.
Very valid point -- thanks for the correction.
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#109
Old 07-06-2018, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doreen View Post
I'm sure it's allowable - I think the the problem with is with the bolded part : "we are unable to provide the grades to parents of adult students (18) who have chosen to keep this information confidential." . I don't see any reason why they couldn't have answered in a generic way that doesn't even confirm that the person in question is currently a student. They didn't even have to mention consent in the answer - they could simply have said "We are legally prohibited from disclosing information to anyone other than your daughter as she is over 18" ...
If that is the letter of the law. If permission is assumed for a High School student over 18 barring opt out or revocation of that permission then saying such is not accurate. But whatever the law is stating it was the appropriate response.

Is it standard that all High School grades of all students 18 and over are not visible to parents without a signed student permission on record?
#110
Old 07-06-2018, 02:37 PM
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Parents Upset: School Did Not Notify Them Their Daughter Was Not Graduating

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
If that is the letter of the law. If permission is assumed for a High School student over 18 barring opt out or revocation of that permission then saying such is not accurate. But whatever the law is stating it was the appropriate response.



Is it standard that all High School grades of all students 18 and over are not visible to parents without a signed student permission on record?

There are some exceptions ( like for students who meet IRS definition of dependent-which I suspect would require the school to have a copy of the parental tax return) but in general, written consent is required. It’s not a case where consent is assumed unless the student opts out.






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Last edited by doreen; 07-06-2018 at 02:41 PM.
#111
Old 07-06-2018, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
I really, really wish school districts would publish some sort of document setting out exactly what changes when a student turns 18
FTR this is required when a student has an IEP (But in Colorado the age of educational majority is 21 not 18)
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#112
Old 07-06-2018, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
And what does the school say when they follow your advice, and then the kid sues them for violating FERPA? The daughter's argument writes itself: I wanted my grade to be confidential and I wanted my request to be confidential, both rights I am entitled to under FERPA.
Wait, are we sure the REQUEST itself is confidential?
And even if it is, how is "I cannot disclose that information. You'll need to speak to your daughter." a FERPA violation?
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#113
Old 07-06-2018, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doreen View Post
There are some exceptions ( like for students who meet IRS definition of dependent-which I suspect would require the school to have a copy of the parental tax return) but in general, written consent is required. Its not a case where consent is assumed unless the student opts out. ...
In which case the student's request for information to be withheld is immaterial. It is withheld unless written consent is obtained. (Funny though, I'm on my fourth High Schooler and I've never heard of any family having an issue in High School or needing to get the student to sign a form for parents to maintain access to grades. Needing to get the forms signed for college sure.)
#114
Old 07-06-2018, 04:09 PM
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I don’t remember hearing anyone mention a problem either - but because the school cut-off here is December 31, roughly half should turn 18 after graduation. I suspect of the remaining half, most either show the parents the grades voluntarily or sign the consent when the parents ask them to - and people wouldn’t necessarily mention those situations to others. I personally wouldn’t have told anybody even if my 18 year old kid had outright refused to allow me to know her grades.


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#115
Old 07-06-2018, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
FTR this is required when a student has an IEP (But in Colorado the age of educational majority is 21 not 18)
As far as an IEP goes, federal law states the school must notify parents of the transfer of parental rights to the student not less than one year BEFORE the student turns 18. This is included in the IEP, itself. The age of majority in Virginia is 18. The student in the OP was a transfer student on an IEP. This means that the notification had to have been done by her former high school, Washington-Lee. Her parents had to attend that IEP meeting and sign off on the IEP, which is gone over point by point at the meeting. They were also given copies.

Parents also must be notified by letter when the child turns 18 that those rights are being transferred to the student. Again, federal law.

So the parents in the OP would have been notified this would happen twice, once one year before the student turned 18, and again when she turned 18.

I called the secretary at the HS where I taught and asked what would happen if a student blocked parents from seeing a grade and parents then inquired. Our school software can't block one grade: had ALL the OP student's grades been blocked, the parents would have suspected what was going on sooner. I wonder if this shouldn't be an all-or-nothing policy in all schools. Secretary said whether it was a counselor, a teacher, or herself, the case would have been referred to an administrator to answer parents. YMMV.
#116
Old 07-06-2018, 11:45 PM
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Amazing, all the angst about this. Their Daughter could have had multiple under-age abortions during High School without the Parents being notified by anyone; yet, this causes a hissy-fit? After she's 18?
#117
Old 07-07-2018, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
Why would it possibly not be allowable to state what the law is?
In terms of possibilities? Because the student genuinely fears for their safety if their parents find out that the student has had the gall to request that the school withhold any information at all. Parenting by fear means students are justifiably forced to hide the truth at the first opportunity they get to do so. And it's important for their safety that the actual fact they are hiding the truth, is also hidden.
#118
Old 07-07-2018, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Tempe Jeff View Post
Amazing, all the angst about this. Their Daughter could have had multiple under-age abortions during High School without the Parents being notified by anyone; yet, this causes a hissy-fit? After she's 18?
I wouldn't be surprised if the student didn't use this red herring in arguing with her folks. "Sure, I blocked you from seeing my grade and then lied about it! But hey, I could have legally had multiple sex partners and several abortions! I mean, it's not like graduating high school is important, right?"
#119
Old 07-07-2018, 12:53 PM
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When I was in high school, or even middle school for that matter, the district sent out report cards every 12 weeks, I think. I forget what our terms were called, but the year was split into two equal length periods and there was a flutter of reporting in between and after finals. I'd ask my folks but I haven't spoken to them in over two years so, take my post with a grain of salt in terms of this being normal.
#120
Old 07-08-2018, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post

One thing I missed - was this a public school, or private? And would it matter?

My kid turns 18 the month after she starts her senior year and, thanks to this discussion I fired off an email to the VP asking them what their policy was re: students attaining adulthood (it's also a private school, hence the above question). Thanks, Bricker.
As a quick follow-up, I wrote the following to the VP at my daughters Catholic HS:

Quote:
I just read the article cited below and realized Sophia will turn 18 rather early in her senior year.

Does **** have written policies which touch on the issue of a student attaining legal adulthood while attending school and how this affects parental notification of grades, health/disciplinary issues, and more? Would Sophia, if she were inclined, be able to block our access of information regarding her schooling?

Thank you,
I received this response this morning:

Quote:
We do not presently speak to this in our handbook, so your point is well taken. We will look to incorporate something.
It will be interesting to see how... or if... they address this. Again, thanks for bringing this up, Bricker.
#121
Old 07-10-2018, 02:25 AM
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My understanding is that FERPA is applicable to any school, public or private, that receives any sort of federal funding, but I defer to those who know the issue better than I.

And -- happy to help!
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#122
Old 07-10-2018, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
I really, really wish school districts would publish some sort of document setting out exactly what changes when a student turns 18 (or gets married, which I think may also change things, at least in some states)
Class of 2003; my high school student handbook had a section exactly like that. Upon turning 18 (or getting married) a student could substitute their own signature for that of a parent/guardian, but the school would still release any academic/disciplinary information to the parents just like if the student was underage unless the student notified the school in writing not to. At the beginning of every school year everyone had to tear an acknowledgement page out of the handbook and turn it in with a student and parent signature, but I don't know how many people actually read through the whole thing. Students who were of age could also update their personal information or emergency contacts I will. I took advantage of that option when I changed my middle name without telling my parents. I meant to, but put it off and they didn't find out until the graduation ceremony.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
I agree. She's 18, she's an adult, and she has a right to keep information from her parents, even if she's still living with them and dependent on them financially. The school acted legally, and IMO, ethically.
Agreed, the school did nothing wrong. The parents need to direct their frustration at their daughter and have a very serious conversation with her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
If the parents are paying for their schooling/housing I think it is fair for the parents to tell their child their access stays on. If the child flips the switch to turn off access the parents flip the switch to turn off financial support...
Fair point, but that doesn't really apply at the secondary level unless the student is attending a private school in which case the school can set it's own rules regarding parent access to student information.
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#123
Old 07-10-2018, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by alphaboi867 View Post
Fair point, but that doesn't really apply at the secondary level unless the student is attending a private school in which case the school can set it's own rules regarding parent access to student information.
Parents aren't paying tuition for an 18 year old attending a public high school- but they are very likely to be providing financial support beyond room and board. (cell phone, car insurance,spending money, etc)

Last edited by doreen; 07-10-2018 at 10:17 PM.
#124
Old 07-11-2018, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
If the parents are paying for their schooling/housing I think it is fair for the parents to tell their child their access stays on. If the child flips the switch to turn off access the parents flip the switch to turn off financial support.

I do agree it is the child's choice once they turn 18, just let them know their choices have consequences.
Your employer demands access to your medical files, saying you'll be fired immediately if you don't comply. You protest. They say "We write the paychecks; we make the rules."

Good deal?
#125
Old 07-11-2018, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidwithanR View Post
Your employer demands access to your medical files, saying you'll be fired immediately if you don't comply. You protest. They say "We write the paychecks; we make the rules."

Good deal?
The difference I see is that your employer is not functioning in loco parentis, whereas my understanding is that a school is. Universities, where most people are of age, seem to have at least some "parental" responsibilities, though that may be understood as an arrangement between the institution and the adult student that does not include the parents.
#126
Old 07-11-2018, 04:09 PM
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I'm also class of 2003. But, even after turning 18, my report card still came in the mail as it always had, with my name on it. So, as long as you lived with them, it's not like they actually did anything to keep parents from finding out. (I think there was also an online account, but I may be conflating that with college. I do know it was my account, not my parents.')

So I assumed this was a new thing to actively try and hide this stuff. It seems it would only be possible as things moved online. And then there would usually be a period where such stuff was unregulated.
#127
Old 07-11-2018, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susan View Post
The difference I see is that your employer is not functioning in loco parentis, whereas my understanding is that a school is. Universities, where most people are of age, seem to have at least some "parental" responsibilities, though that may be understood as an arrangement between the institution and the adult student that does not include the parents.
OK - how is that difference relevant to the privacy situation with an adult student?
#128
Old 07-11-2018, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidwithanR View Post
OK - how is that difference relevant to the privacy situation with an adult student?
I'm confused. Are you trying to say that an employer demanding to see your medical records is somehow equivalent to a student's parents wanting to see their child's grades in high school?
#129
Old 07-11-2018, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
I'm confused. Are you trying to say that an employer demanding to see your medical records is somehow equivalent to a student's parents wanting to see their child's grades in high school?
Of course it's somehow equivalent. It's private personal information, and the person whose information it is decides who will see it and when.

Don't tell me you've never heard of child abuse. Don't tell me you've never heard of someone who had to leave home.
#130
Old 07-11-2018, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidwithanR View Post
Of course it's somehow equivalent. It's private personal information, and the person whose information it is decides who will see it and when.

Don't tell me you've never heard of child abuse. Don't tell me you've never heard of someone who had to leave home.
I'm having trouble reconciling looking at your 18 year old child's grades with child abuse.

Plus, I'm sorry, but my children's grades are not private personal information to me if I am footing the bill.
#131
Old 07-11-2018, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidwithanR View Post
Of course it's somehow equivalent. It's private personal information, and the person whose information it is decides who will see it and when.
Sure they can. And the person providing financial support gets to decide to what extent and under what conditions they will support another adult. If that adult doesn't like those conditions, he or she is free to forgo that support. Employers don't support their employees - they pay them a certain amount of money for performing certain tasks.

Quote:
Don't tell me you've never heard of child abuse. Don't tell me you've never heard of someone who had to leave home.
Of course we all have- but what does that have to do with anything? Are you seriously saying it's abusive if a parent doesn't want to continue to support their adult offspring unless they are actually attending school and passing?

Last edited by doreen; 07-11-2018 at 09:08 PM.
#132
Old 07-11-2018, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by doreen View Post
Sure they can. And the person providing financial support gets to decide to what extent and under what conditions they will support another adult. If that adult doesn't like those conditions, he or she is free to forgo that support. Employers don't support their employees - they pay them a certain amount of money for performing certain tasks.

Of course we all have- but what does that have to do with anything? Are you seriously saying it's abusive if a parent doesn't want to continue to support their adult offspring unless they are actually attending school and passing?
No, I'm saying that for those kids who ARE being abused, removing all points of "leverage" their parents have can be literally a life saver.

I think the money is (and has to be) a separate issue - but if you insist on treating your kid as an adult by making your support conditional, AND insist on seeing their private info too, that's you wanting to have it both ways. Conditional support ought to mean conditional access to information.
#133
Old 07-11-2018, 10:07 PM
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I would definitely look down on any parent who kicked out their offspring who was legitimately trying to graduate high school. Yes, there is a gap between when they turn 18 and when they graduate, but I consider that a scheduling thing.

I also have an issue with any parent punishing a student for a bad grade if the student is trying. I've heard of families that did that, and they sound absolutely awful. I wouldn't get mad with a student who fakes their grades in that situation.
#134
Old 07-11-2018, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidwithanR View Post
I think the money is (and has to be) a separate issue - but if you insist on treating your kid as an adult by making your support conditional, AND insist on seeing their private info too, that's you wanting to have it both ways. Conditional support ought to mean conditional access to information.

Who said it doesn’t? The adult kid is entirely free to condition their parents’ access to grades on those parents providing support. In post 81, I explicitly said my parents couldn’t have forced me to give them access because there wasn’t any support for them to withdraw.



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#135
Old 07-12-2018, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidwithanR View Post
No, I'm saying that for those kids who ARE being abused, removing all points of "leverage" their parents have can be literally a life saver.

I think the money is (and has to be) a separate issue - but if you insist on treating your kid as an adult by making your support conditional, AND insist on seeing their private info too, that's you wanting to have it both ways. Conditional support ought to mean conditional access to information.
Yeah, that IS me wanting to have it both ways. That's the beauty of being a parent!
#136
Old 07-12-2018, 02:58 PM
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I think consistency would be my problem. Both my kids were 18 year old seniors. And I was still responsible for medication, still needed to sign off on their participation in sports - in fact there wasn't anything that them being 18 absolved me of responsibility for as far as the school was concerned. So if that is the case, if I have the responsibility, I get to see grades and talk to teachers. Otherwise, don't give me any responsibility - and by the way, my kid makes $9 an hour working 10 hours a week - you now get to cover all their graduation fees and their Senior year sports fees and they get free lunch.

Now, I could still access their grades through the school portal, so I knew what they were. And although my son wasn't a stellar student, he passed every single class and was never really in danger of not graduating. My daughters grades weren't accessible to me her Senior year, because she was dual enrolled in college - and college doesn't have helicopter parent functionality built in.
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