The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards works closely with students to help them understand their rights and responsibilities as a student at the University of Tennessee. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) establishes the legal parameters governing access to and release of student educational records. Our office can answer general questions about university procedures, student rights and responsibilities, and other related questions. However, we may not discuss your student’s individual educational record without an Authorization to Release Information, except under limited exceptions including Parent Notification.
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.]
If a student accepts responsibility, or is found responsible for violating a Standard of Conduct involving drugs or alcohol, and that student is under twenty-one years of age, Tennessee state law requires the University to inform the parent/guardian of that student of the violation. 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.
The Process Starts at Home
As parents or caregivers of University Students, you have the unique position of being a guiding light for your students. Your student looks up to you as their primary influence and example even if it does not seem like it. In order to set up your student for success:
- Encourage them to review the Student Conduct Standards themselves. Here is a PDF for a brief breakdown of the code.
- Start having those difficult conversations about consent and alcohol by using these helpful guides by our Wellness Department.
- Talk about Principles of Civility and Community that include diversity and inclusion here at The University of Tennessee. Here is a helpful link.