Know Your Rights
Your Child has the Right to a Free Public Education
All children have a right to equal access to free public education, regardless of their or their parents’/ guardians’ immigration status.
All children in California:
- Have the right to a free public education.
- Must be enrolled in school if they are between 6 and 18 years old.
- Have the right to attend safe, secure, and peaceful schools.
- Have a right to be in a public school learning environment free from discrimination, harassment, bullying, violence, and intimidation.
- Have equal opportunity to participate in any program or activity offered by the school without discrimination.
Information Required for School Enrollment
Schools must accept a variety of documents from the student’s parent or guardian to demonstrate proof of child’s age or residency.
Information about citizenship/immigration status is never needed for school enrollment. A Social Security number is never needed for school enrollment.
Confidentiality of Personal Information
Federal and state laws protect student education records and personal information. These laws generally require that schools get written consent from parents or guardians before releasing student information, unless the release of information is for educational purposes, is already public, or is in response to a court order or subpoena.
Some schools collect and provide publicly basic “directory information.” If so, the school district must provide parents/guardians with written notice of the directory information policy, and provide the option to refuse release of your child’s information.
Family Safety Plans if You Are Detained or Deported
You can update your child’s emergency contact information, including secondary contacts, to identify a trusted adult guardian who can care for your child if you are detained or deported.
You can complete a Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit or a Petition for Appointment of Temporary Guardian of the Person to give a trusted adult the authority to make educational and medical decisions for your child.
Right to File a Complaint
Your child has the right to report a hate crime or file a complaint to the school district if he or she is discriminated against, harassed, intimidated, or bullied because of his or her actual or perceived nationality, ethnicity, or immigration status.