Reactions to parental consent issue
Students need options
As a parent of a teen and pre-teen in Nevada County schools, I am glad that there is a school provision that allows young people in our community to request and receive medical/psychological help if they are in crisis, without parental consent.
While, like most parents, I would hope that my children would come to me for advice if they needed help, there is no guarantee that they will. It is absolutely vital during these often-tumultuous years that young people have other options for receiving help during difficult periods in their lives.
Most of us know there are high school students who engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as drug use or suicide attempts. These children (and friends who may wish to help them) are often in dire need of a support system when they do not feel that they can talk to their parents. This provision is designed to reach these kids who desperately need to find an adult, or counselor they can trust, and find the help that they need – and deserve.
As parents and as a community we should harbor no illusions about how difficult teen years are for our kids. That is why we need this policy.
Policy needs changed
How many policy makers of the Nevada Joint Union High School District would like their own child to be released from school for confidential medical visits without their knowledge or approval? I suspect not many.
In a sense, the current policy tends to reward certain student misbehavior and diminish the accountability of both students and parents. Destructive student behavior outside the school environment should not be purposely excluded from the family environment.
The policy detracts from school/parent partnering and presents a huge liability exposure to the school district (think about it).
I understand that the current policy is to encourage affected students to seek help. That, of course, is admirable. But stripping parents of their fundamental rights is not the way to do it.
Policy protects all kids
I am a retired nurse practitioner. Sometimes teen patients came to our practice just to talk to a trusted professional person. There were some who needed confidential medical care because of incest, sexual, physical or emotional abuse. Access to help for these issues is extremely important. Tell a parent? Are you kidding? If it is a dad or stepdad doing the abusing, quite often mom already knows.
I saw a young woman, a patient, who was preparing for her wedding. Near the end of high school, she gained enough courage to tell her stepfather “no more!” Marrying was almost like assuring herself that he would no longer have access. She knew her mother knew about it all along. How painful for her. Her case is not isolated. It is terrible to think these things happen, but they do.
Youths do need access to help. For some people to impose their own fears and lack of trust of youth in the name of “parental rights” seems irrational. To deny youth the capacity to protect themselves is short-sighted.
Life is not only about idyllic families. If only that were true.
Dora Lou Stice
Where is the school board?
I am a parent of two children at Bear River High School. I find it unbelievable that my children can seek medical consultation and procedures without my knowledge. They are not of legal age, they are minors. How can they make their own reasoned decisions? Could you at age 17? 16? 15? I find it hard to believe that any parent would be willing to let somebody else advise their children and guide them to making decisions without their knowledge. Are we just supposed to let the government take control of our lives? Our children’s lives?
I understand that not all parents are as actively involved in their children’s lives as others. This is not a perfect society, but name one that is. That still does not make it right. Parents need to know what is happening in the lives of their children. It just has to be. The parents should be the ones who have the most influence over their children. Not the government, not the schools.
I urge the school board to reconsider and have some guts to take a stand for the parents of Nevada County and not simply follow the “finding” of state officials.
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