Bowling Green, OH asked in Education Law for Ohio

Q: In Ohio, can 18 year olds call themselves in sick and/or sign themselves out to go home when they are sick?

I am a secretary at an Ohio High School and I often get 18 year old seniors who want to sign themselves in/out or to call themselves in sick without notifying a parent. Our school policy has always been that we must talk to a parent regardless if 18. I can't find anything on the ODE website on this exact scenario.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark A. Weiker
Mark A. Weiker
  • Education Law Lawyer
  • Columbus, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: Good question. Under federal law, educational rights (and responsibilities) transfer to the student when they turn 18, even if they are still in school. So a student can sign themselves out or report their own absences once they turn 18. However, an exception to this FERPA rule allows schools to disclose confidential student information to parents if the student is a dependent of the parents for IRS purposes. I think most schools continue to notify parents unless there is some indication that the student is no longer a dependent (e.g. no longer lives with them).

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