Education: Rights for Parents

A secretary at a private tutoring agency calls a public junior high school to inquire about a child's reading level. The principal checks the child's record, supplies the requested information and then gratuitously informs the caller that the child has a history of bedwetting, that his mother is an alcoholic, and that a different man sleeps at the home almost every night.

Incidents like this one, which was reported recently to the New York City board of education, have become increasingly commonplace. Today, teachers and guidance counselors record and dispense more and more...