The Nation: Open Sesame Street

It all began innocently enough. In an attempt to eliminate abuses of personal files in grade schools — such as the note citing "homosexual tendencies" that was allegedly inserted in the files of one nine-year-old after he hugged a classmate — Congress passed a law last month allowing parents and students over 18 to examine school records. The so-called Buckley Amendment on student rights was named for the bill's sponsor, Conservative Senator James Buckley of New York.

But the good intentions of the legislators loosed a storm of protest and confusion in colleges and universities over the propriety of showing parents...

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