A district possesses significant discretion to determine the content of its school libraries. A district must, however, exercise its discretion in a manner consistent with the First Amendment.
Removal of Library Materials
Students' First Amendment rights are implicated by the removal of books from the shelves of a school library. A district shall not remove materials from a library for the purpose of denying students access to ideas with which the district disagrees. A district may remove materials because they are pervasively vulgar or based solely upon the educational suitability of the books in question.
Bd. of Educ. v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982)
Instructional materials selected for use in the public schools shall be furnished without cost to students attending those schools. Except as provided by Education Code 31.104(d), a district may not charge a student for instructional material or technological equipment purchased by the district with the district's technology and instructional materials allotment [see CMD]. Education Code 31.001
A parent is entitled to review all teaching materials, instructional materials, and other teaching aids used in the classroom of the parent's child and to review each test administered to the child after the test is administered. A district shall make teaching materials and tests readily available for parental review and may specify reasonable hours for such review.
A student's parent is entitled to request that a district allow the student to take home any instructional materials used by the student. Subject to the availability of the instructional materials, a district or school shall honor the request. A student who takes home instructional materials must return the instructional materials to school at the beginning of the next school day if requested to do so by the student's teacher.
Education Code 26.006
Information Collection and Access
U.S. DOE–Funded Surveys
No student shall be required, as part of any program funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), to submit to a survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning the topics listed at Protected Information, below, without the prior consent of the student (if the student is an adult or emancipated minor), or, in the case of an unemancipated minor, without the prior written consent of the parent. 20 U.S.C. 1232h(b)
All instructional materials, including teacher's manuals, films, tapes, or other supplementary material, that will be used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation as part of any program funded in whole or in part by the U.S. DOE shall be available for inspection by the parents or guardians of the children. 20 U.S.C. 1232h(a)
Information Collection Funded by Other Sources
Except as provided by 20 U.S.C. 1232h(a) or (b) [see U.S. DOE Funded Surveys, above], as a condition of receiving funds for a program funded in whole or in part by the U.S. DOE, a district shall develop and adopt policies, in consultation with parents, pursuant to 20 U.S.C. 1232h(c)(1), regarding the following:
- The parent's right to inspect a survey created by a third party before the survey is administered or distributed by a school to the student and any applicable procedures for granting a request by a parent for reasonable access to such survey within a reasonable period of time after the request is received.
- A district's arrangements to protect student privacy in the event a survey containing one or more of the items listed under Protected Information, below, is administered or distributed to a student.
- The parent's right to inspect any instructional material used in the educational curriculum for the student and any applicable procedures for granting a request by a parent for reasonable access to instructional material within a reasonable period of time after the request is received.
- The administration of physical examinations or screenings that a district may administer to the student.
- The collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or selling that information. This provision does not apply to use of personal information collected from students for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products or services for or to students or educational institutions, such as recruiters, book clubs, curriculum and instructional materials used by schools, sale by students of products or services to raise funds for school-related or education-related activities, or student recognition programs.
- The parent's right to inspect any instrument used in collection of personal information in item 5 above, before the instrument is administered and any applicable procedures for granting a request by a parent for reasonable access to such instrument within a reasonable period of time after the request is received.
A district need not develop and adopt new policies if TEA or the district had in place, on January 8, 2002, policies covering the requirements of 20 U.S.C. 1232h(c)(1). [See CRD, FFAA, FL, and FNG]
A district shall provide for reasonable notice of the adoption or continued use of such policies directly to the parents of the students enrolled in schools served by the district. At a minimum, a district shall:
- Provide notice at least annually, at the beginning of the school year and within a reasonable time after any substantive change in the policies; and
- Offer an opportunity for the parent to opt the student out of participation in an activity described below.
A district shall directly notify the parent of a student, at least annually at the beginning of the school year, of the specific or approximate dates during the school year when activities, described below, are scheduled or expected to be scheduled. The following activities require notification under this section:
- Activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information.
- The administration of any survey containing one or more items described at Protected Information, below.
- Any nonemergency, invasive physical examination or screening that is required as a condition of attendance, administered and scheduled by the school in advance, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of the student or of other students.
20 U.S.C. 1232h(c)(1)–(4) [See FFAA]
Protected information addressed by 20 U.S.C. 1232h includes:
- Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student's parents.
- Mental and psychological problems of the student or the student's family.
- Sex behavior and attitudes.
- Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior.
- Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships.
- Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers.
- Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student's parent.
- Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).
20 U.S.C. 1232h(b), (c)(1)(B)
"Personal Information" Defined
The term "personal information" means individually identifiable information, including a student's:
- First and last name;
- Home or physical address, including street name and city or town;
- Telephone number; or
- Social security identification number.
20 U.S.C. 1232h(c)(6)(E)