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Students'/Parents' Rights

Parents' and Students' Rights According to the American School Counseling Association

  1. Responsibilities to Students

    Professional school counselors:
    a. Have a primary obligation to the students, who are to be treated with dignity and respect as unique individuals.

    b. Are concerned with the educational, academic, career, personal and social needs and encourage the maximum development of every student.

    c. Respect students’ values, beliefs and cultural background and do not impose the school counselor’s personal values on students or their families.

    d. Are knowledgeable of laws, regulations and policies relating to students and strive to protect and inform students regarding their rights.

    e. Promote the welfare of individual students and collaborate with them to develop an action plan for success.

    f. Consider the involvement of support networks valued by the indi- vidual students.

    g. Understand that professional distance with students is appropri- ate, and any sexual or romantic relationship with students whether illegal in the state of practice is considered a grievous breach of ethics and is prohibited regardless of a student’s age.

    h. Consider the potential for harm before entering into a relation- ship with former students or one of their family members. 

2. Parents/Guardians and Confidentiality 

Professional school counselors:

a. Inform parents/guardians of the school counselor’s role to include the confidential nature of the counseling relationship between the counselor and student.

b. Recognize that working with minors in a school setting requires school counselors to collaborate with students’ parents/guardians to the extent possible.

c. Respect the confidentiality of parents/guardians to the extent that is reasonable to protect the best interest of the student being coun- seled.

d. Provide parents/guardians with accurate, comprehensive and rele- vant information in an objective and caring manner, as is appropri- ate and consistent with ethical responsibilities to the student.

e. Make reasonable efforts to honor the wishes of parents/guardians concerning information regarding the student unless a court order expressly forbids the involvement of a parent(s). In cases of divorce or separation, school counselors exercise a good-faith effort to keep both parents informed, maintaining focus on the student and avoid- ing supporting one parent over another in divorce proceedings.