The following is a letter to Mary Henninger. Ms. Henninger is the Assistant Superintendent for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The letter refers to the situation regarding the actions and conduct of the principal of my daughter's school. Rather than personally address the actions of the principal, Ms. Mary Henninger and the Archdiocese referred me to their legal counsel, Mark Vander Laan of Dinsmore & Schohl, LLP. Not only is the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati not willing to address how the failure to maintain accurate student records may put children at risk, the Archdiocese is willing to waste financial resources in paying lawyers to handle the situation. If the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is unable to follow or address the provisions of the Family Educational Privacy Act, going through lawyers, mediation, etc... would be a waste of time and resources. If a school system is referring a situation resulting from the conduct of a school principal to their legal counsel, then the public should be made aware of the situation to protect other children and parents from potential harm. For more information about my story, please visit www.DanHelpsKids.com. The photo to the right is my wedding photo, which the school principal claimed I provided to her. She also claimed she did not know where the note above the photo came from. I did not provide the school with my wedding photo with my ex-wife cut out of the photo and the handwriting of the note belongs to my ex-wife. The principal gave me a copy of this photo and the attached note in the school office following the parent/teacher conference that the school invited me to attend. [I have removed the names of my daughter's principal (Doe) and her school (Cincinnati Catholic School X) from the letter.]
Ms. Mary Henninger
Archdiocese of Cincinnati
(513) 421-6271 Fax
February 17, 2010
Re: Principal [“Doe”]
Dear Ms. Henninger,
My daughter is a kindergarten student at [Cincinnati Catholic School X]. I attended my daughter’s parent/teacher conference on Thursday February 11, 2010. Principal “Doe” was also present at the conference. I found Principal Doe’s conduct and her explanation of the Archdiocese’s policies to be rather disturbing.
I have been requesting copies of my daughter’s school records for a few months now and I have been informed by you and Principal Doe that I have already been provided with all of the records. During the February 11, 2010 conference, Principal Doe informed me that non-custodial parents are not entitled to their children’s student records. Ms. Doe was adamant that I had copies of all the records to which I was entitled. When Ms. Doe offered to let me glance at the contents of my daughter’s file, I discovered that there was a photo of me with a note attached that stated, “Please call the police if he appears at the school for any reason.” Ms. Doe claimed that I sent her the picture and stated, “I don’t know who wrote the note on there to be quite honest with you.” The handwriting on the note belongs to my daughter’s mother.
I did not provide the school my wedding photo with my daughter’s mother cut out of the picture. I find it distressing that Principal Doe claims that she is not aware who provided the information in my daughter’s school file, especially as the school invited me to attend parent teacher conferences while there was a note instructing the school to call the police if I appear at the school for any reason.
I have included a copy of the photo and the attached note that is in my daughter’s school record. Principal Doe claims that she is unaware of who provided the school with the information. I expect a call from your office with an explanation of the situation and a solution to the problem. Principal Doe is either not able to protect the integrity of student records, or she is not telling the truth about who placed the information in my daughter’s file. What complicates the issue is Principal Doe claims that non-custodial parents do not have a right to inspect their children’s entire student record. I plan on contacting the proper authorities on both the state and federal level about Principal Doe’s actions and the school’s policies regarding access to student records. I have attached some examples of Principal Doe’s statements. Please feel free to contact me if you, or Principal Doe, have any questions regarding the accuracy of Principal Doe’s statements. If the Archdiocese cannot provide me with a court order stating that I am not entitled to the information, I would expect the school to provide me with copies of all records, correspondence, medical information, etc… pertaining to my daughter. This would include any letters that the school has sent or received by any party including myself. On December 4, 2009, you stated that there were no other records for the school to give me. This is obviously an inaccurate statement. Principal Doe is aware my daughter’s records are not accurate. Principal Doe was in possession of a note instructing the school to call the police if I appeared at the school for any reason yet the school invited me to parent teacher conferences. Failure to provide me with all information pertaining to my daughter poses a potential emotional and physical risk to my daughter. Go to www.danbrewington.blogspot.com for more information regarding the above situation.
I expect a prompt response.