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Policy needs to be flexible

Some folks wish to reverse Nevada Union High School’s policy of not informing parents when their children leave school for “confidential medical services,” claiming it circumvents parental responsibility. As Supervisor Sue Horne wrote in The Union, “School policies promoting family communication are successful policies.”

The school’s notification of parents may constitute “family communication,” but hopefully family communication occurs long before a young adult goes for “confidential medical services.” In fact, communication is ideally a permanent family atmosphere. Many families enjoy excellent communication, and for them, Horne has gratuitously introduced fear and distrust.

Some other families are steeped in fear and mistrust. If, say, my Uncle Albert molested me, I’d see a counselor or police officer before I’d tell my mother the awful news about her favorite brother. If I were a girl beaten by my boyfriend, I might be ashamed to tell my parents, but I would contact the Domestic Violence Coalition. Counseling is available at NUHS, but as an injured, vulnerable young person, I might not trust school authorities.



In a variegated community, a single policy won’t fit all families. Why not ask parents to specify either that they wish to be informed or they don’t?

Jeff Kane




Nevada City


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