Protection of Pupil Rights Amendments

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) is a federal regulation (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34  CFR Part 99) that was amended by Congress in 2001 by the No Child Left Behind Act regulates survey research in schools.

Schools and contractors must obtain prior written parental consent before minor students are required to participate in any U.S. Department of Education funded survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning the following:

  • political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent; mental and psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;
  • sex behavior or attitudes;
  • illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
  • critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  • legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
  • religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; or income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program). 

Additionally, local educational agencies or institutions that receive funds under any program administered by the U.S. Department of Education are required to develop and adopt policies concerning parents’ rights to inspect, upon request, any survey created by a third party before the survey is administered or distributed by a school to students and provide parents the opportunity to ask that their child not participate. 

PIs are encouraged to consult with the school early in the research design process regarding how PPRA may impact the research protocol.