Parents' Rights to Participate in Their Children's Education
This article answers questions about parental visitation rights at a child's school.
No. You can visit your child during their lunch or sit in on their class and see how they are doing. The only way you can't see your child in school is if there is a court order denying you certain rights.
See Visiting Your Child at School and Texas Family Code 153.073. As of September 1, 2019, Texas Family Code 153.073(a)(6) specifically states that parents appointed conservators have, at all times, the right to attend school activities, including school lunches, performances, and field trips.
You have a right to see your child's grades and talk to their teachers. You might not have this right if the court ordered that the school cannot share your child's grades with you.
To see your child's records at school:
- Make a copy of the custody order. Take the order to the child's school for them to keep.
- Ask the school's office how they share grades with parents and ask the office to share them with you next time.
- Ask to have your contact information added to the emergency contact list.
- Tell your child's teachers you would like to know how your child is doing and want to help them to teach your child, if you can.
No. You have a right to discuss where your child will go to school. If the other parent takes too long to tell you they moved the child to another school, they could face an enforcement action and possibly being held in contempt of court or fined.
Unless otherwise forbidden in your court orders, you have the right to go to any school activities, like:
- Football games
- Dance recitals
- Talent shows
- Any other school activity your child does.
See Texas Family Code chapter 153.073(a)(6). As of September 1, 2019, Texas Family Code 153.073(a)(6) specifically states that parents appointed conservators have, at all times, the right to attend school activities, including school lunches, performances, and field trips.
You have the right to:
- Get information from the other parent about your child's health, school, and welfare.
- Talk with the other parent about your child's health, school, and welfare.
- Look at your child's school and doctor records.
- Talk to your child's doctor, dentist, or therapist.
- Talk with teachers and school employees about your child's:
- how they are doing in school (including sports and other activities).
- Go to your child's school activities.
- Be on your child's emergency contact list.
- Consent to your child's care during a serious emergency.
You do not have these rights if the court order says you do not. But if the court order says nothing like that, you have these rights.
The Texas Family Code and the standard possession order do not include a right to attend the child's non-school extracurriculars—like soccer or baseball games, scout meetings, recitals, etc.
But, it might be possible to change your orders to give you the right to attend these activities by filing a modification suit.
Show your court orders to a lawyer to help you understand what your rights are. If you have the right to see your child in school, you might be able to enforce that right with a motion to enforce. If your order does not include a right to see your child at school, you can bring a modification suit.