Parents, ex-nurse speak out on parental consent
I am a retired public health nurse with a specialty in school health and was a school nurse for many years. The meeting of the high school board the other evening was rather disheartening to me because well over 30 years ago I helped get the current education code enacted regarding student privacy. It is sad to see an outside group with its own agenda come into our community and try to change existing sound policies.
As the student speaker pointed out, it would be wonderful if all young people could confide in their parents. But the reality is that those very students who are in need of confidential medical care are often unable to communicate with their parents or guardians.
The need for excusing students from school without notifying parents doesn’t occur often. Please, school board members and concerned parents, leave the existing policy as is for the safety and well being of our young people.
This letter is my endorsement of the Nevada Union High School District’s policy of excusing students during school hours to obtain confidential medical care without a parent’s knowledge. My hope is that the district will continue to follow the state of California’s Education Code and law as they have been doing. What is an outside of our county special interest group doing here in our county? It seems to me that they are trying to manipulate our duly elected and duly hired officials from a position that is lawful to one that is of questionable value. It also appears that the chairperson of The Nevada County Board of Supervisors, Sue Horn, has already been manipulated by this group, Capitol Resource Institute from Sacramento. (What is their hidden agenda?)
The students involved here are not elementary school-aged but rather are high school students who are in the process of becoming young adults. Students of this age need to be exercising some of their own moral integrity in their own decision-making process rather than being guarded like prisoners.
The current policy of Nevada Union High School District is giving students the opportunity to exercise that judgment.
Dorothy E. Hall
In response to the recorded message from Sue Horne, thank you for letting me know that the schools are taking such an active roll in life-and-death decisions regarding all of the children attending public school, especially ages 12 thru 17. It is reassuring to know that our children are being taken such good care of outside of the classroom without our knowledge. To think, we thought we were the parents and that we know what is best for our own children. What do we know? The school has decided that we are not in charge if a child were in trouble due to some poor choices they made, i.e. pregnancy/abortion, STD’s birth control, thoughts of suicide. Wow. Could it be that consequences don’t really matter, but taking care of the bad choice without letting us know is a much better option? What a scary, slippery slope we are going down. Taking away the rights of family (however defined) and putting our children’s welfare in the hands of the courts and schools makes me shudder. What ever happened to reading, writing and arithmetic? I thought that was the business of the schools.
Last Tuesday evening I received Sue Horne’s prerecorded phone message and am glad that an effort was made to publicize the school board meeting agenda item. Evidently the policy in question had been in place for several years. How did that happen?
The flurry of letters and articles shouldn’t be about Horne but about school boards losing control of the children whom they believe are their sole responsibilities at the exclusion of parents/families when it comes to education and life.
I would like to know: “what if,” while a student is off campus without parental knowledge or consent and something happens such as an injury accident, law enforcement action, abduction, etc. does the school district assume responsibility? To say the policy allowing students to leave campus for confidential medical appointments without a parent’s consent has helped reduce unwanted pregnancies, STD’s, abortions, etc. for a few while putting the majority at risk is dead wrong. The school system and social services agencies should focus on helping the few whose families have failed them. Our educators must return to the foundation of teaching how to think critically and not what to think or do behind parental backs and around the system.
North San Juan
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