By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Now that you’ve mortgaged your future to send your kid to college, what right do you have to see information about how she’s handling herself while she’s there? Not much.
At the end of last semester, Myrtle Beach police officers arrested seven college students after witnessing them frolicking naked in Myrtle Beach. (One wonders for how long the police were witnessing before requiring them to put their hands up where they could see them.) That’s a call a parent must love to get. Which may make YOU wonder how your kid is doing now that he’s in college.
You’ll have to ask him when he calls because the college won’t tell you. In what may be one of Congress’ most naïve laws, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) says that college students are to be considered responsible adults and are allowed to determine who will receive information about them. Under this law, parents who want to receive a copy of their child’s academic or financial records can do so if their child signs a release form.
That’s true even if you’re the one paying for the classes he’s oversleeping.
If you’re really concerned that your child needs help, contact the school’s medical center to see how you can get him help.
Getting him to stop behaving immaturely, though, is out of Congress’ and your hands.