VIista School Board Urged to Reject Parental Notification Policy

In a letter sent today urging the Vista School Board not to adopt a policy under which no student would be released from campus for any medical appointment without parental consent, the ACLU and the National Center for Youth Rights said it would instead endanger and threaten vulnerable young people.

The letter states, in part, “To require parental consent for confidential medical care would create public health concerns and violate California law…The Board’s legitimate concern for encouraging parental involvement in children’s health care may be achieved, as other school districts have done, by implementing policies that are legal and promote young people’s well-being…

“If a school is concerned that the previously introduced policy would hurt students or be abused by some, the school could take appropriate steps to verify appointments. Trained personnel, such as school nurses, may also encourage students to consider whether voluntary disclosure to parents is appropriate. We support policies that promote teenagers’ voluntary discussions of sensitive matters with their parents.

“We urge you not to adopt the proposed policy, in the interest of protecting the health and safety of all of your students and upholding their legally guaranteed rights to privacy and confidentiality for certain sensitive medical services.”

The Vista Unified School District Board meets March 12, 2009, to consider Policy No. 5031. Read the full letter, and if you can, please attend the meeting and express your views.

ACLU Letter to Vista School Board