By: Zedler H.B. No. 2831
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
relating to parental rights in public education and to civil
remedies related to those rights.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 26.001, Education Code, is amended by
amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (f) to read as
(a) Parents are full partners with educators,
administrators, and school district boards of trustees in their
children's education. Parents shall be encouraged to actively
participate in creating and implementing educational programs for
(f) Each school district shall include in the district's
(1) a statement of the district's grievance procedure
under Section 26.011; and
(2) a copy of this chapter.
SECTION 2. Section 26.006(a), Education Code, is amended to
read as follows:
(a) A parent is entitled to:
(1) review all teaching materials, textbooks, and
other teaching aids before they are used in the classroom of the
parent's child; [
(2) review each test administered to the parent's
child after the test is administered; and
(3) observe any class or activity in which the parent's
SECTION 3. Section 26.008, Education Code, is amended by
adding Subsections (c)-(e) to read as follows:
(c) If a child has been the victim of any form of school
violence, the child's parent is entitled to full disciplinary
information concerning each perpetrator of the violence with the
perpetrator's name redacted.
(d) A parent is entitled to information concerning any
parent or student complaint submitted against a teacher or
administrator in the school district and the outcome of the
(e) An educator may not undermine a parent's parental
authority over the parent's child.
SECTION 4. Section 26.009, Education Code, is amended by
amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (c) to read as
(a) An employee of a school district must obtain the written
consent of a child's parent before the employee may:
(1) conduct a psychological examination, test, or
treatment, unless the examination, test, or treatment is required
under Section 38.004 or state or federal law regarding requirements
for special education; [ or]
(2) make or authorize the making of a videotape of a
child or record or authorize the recording of a child's voice;
(3) use any curriculum material that has sexual or
violent content or contains offensive language; or
(4) conduct market research or a survey or use a
questionnaire to gather information from the student that:
(A) relates to the student's family or friends;
(B) is of a personal or sexual nature.
(c) When seeking parental consent, a school district's
letter to a parent must be clear and specific and include:
(1) the purpose of any test, survey, activity, or
service that is the subject of the letter; and
(2) the scope of the consent being requested.
SECTION 5. Section 26.011, Education Code, is amended to
read as follows:
Sec. 26.011. COMPLAINTS. (a) The board of trustees of each
school district shall adopt a grievance procedure under which the
board shall address each complaint that the board receives
concerning violation of a right guaranteed by this chapter.
(b) If a parent submits a complaint to an educator, the
educator shall inform the parent that a board grievance procedure
exists and provide the parent with a copy of the procedure and any
relevant complaint form that may be necessary.
(c) If an educator fails to provide a parent with a
procedure or complaint form under Subsection (b):
(1) the educator and district may not allege that the
parent did not follow proper grievance procedures or file a
complaint during the required time; and
(2) the parent's oral or written complaint is
considered to be sufficient and timely.
(d) Failure to comply with this section is a violation of
the educator's code of ethics adopted by the State Board for
Educator Certification under Section 21.041(b)(8).
SECTION 6. Chapter 26, Education Code, is amended by adding
Sections 26.013 and 26.014 to read as follows:
Sec. 26.013. RETALIATION PROHIBITED. (a) An educator may
not retaliate against a parent or the parent's child for exercising
a parental right under this chapter.
(b) An educator who violates Subsection (a):
(1) must attempt to reverse the action taken against
the parent or child and clear any school or district record affected
by the action; and
(2) is subject to discipline under Section 21.104,
21.156, or 21.211, as applicable.
(c) If an educator violates Subsection (a), the board of
trustees of the school district that employs the educator shall
send a letter with appropriate documentation to the State Board for
Educator Certification describing the educator's violation and any
action taken by the board.
(d) An educator who violates Subsection (a) and the school
district that employs the educator are liable under Section 26.014.
Sec. 26.014. CIVIL REMEDY. (a) A parent may enforce a
parental right by asserting a claim against an educator or school
district in district court.
(b) If a parent successfully asserts a claim that an
educator or school district has violated a parental right under
(1) the court may impose an appropriate remedy that
may include specific performance, injunctive relief, or monetary
(2) the parent may recover reasonable and necessary
attorney's fees, court costs, and other reasonable expenses
incurred in bringing the action.
(c) Compensatory damages awarded under this section may not
exceed $10,000 for each violation of a parental right.
(d) If a parent proves a district-wide pattern of parental
rights violations, whether previously adjudicated by a court or
not, the court may award punitive damages not greater than $20,000.
SECTION 7. This Act applies beginning with the 2003-2004
SECTION 8. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2003.