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Parent Notification

On June 19, 2008 Governor Bredesen signed a law requiring Tennessee public institutions of higher education to notify the parent or legal guardian of students under twenty-one years of age that are found to have violated the alcohol or drug policies of the institution. This state law is pursuant to an exception in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) that allows, but does not require, colleges and universities to notify parents of this information.

Parent Notification provides an opportunity for students and parents to have a dialogue on the important topic of drug and alcohol use. Given the seriousness of these issues and the potentially negative impact that alcohol and drug use has on college students and campus communities, we hope that parents will address this issue with their students to help them make better choices in the future. Parents and guardians play a critical role in the success of their student at the university, and it is in this spirit that the law is executed.

Typically, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville fulfills the parent notification requirement by mailing written notification on letterhead to the parent/guardian address listed with the Office of the University Registrar. The University may also notify parents through other means when necessary or appropriate.

For more information on student rights and responsibilities, or questions about University policies and procedures please call the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards at (865) 974-3171. The University can not discuss an individual student’s educational record, including information about incidents or sanctions, without prior authorization from the student. (See also: Authorization to Release Information)

TCA 49-7-146: Disciplinary violations for use or possession of alcohol or controlled substance — Notice to parents.

A public institution of higher education shall notify a parent or legal guardian of a student under twenty-one (21) years of age, if the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance that is in violation of any federal, state or local law, or of any rule or policy of the institution, except as prohibited by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), compiled in 20 U.S.C. § 1232g. [Acts 2008, ch. 1189, § 1.]