Thursday, November 19, 2009

CA School Defies State by Favoring Parental Consent for Abortion

San Juan Unified School District board members voted 3 to 2 on Tuesday to preserve a policy requiring parental consent to excuse students for "confidential medical services" even though it could cause the district to lose state funding.

-- From "San Juan keeps parental consent rule on 'confidential medical services'" by Diana Lambert, Sacramento Bee 11/19/09

District staff proposed changing the policy after they discovered it doesn't reflect a state law that allows students in grades seven to 12 to leave campus for medical services that could include birth control, abortion, treatment for sexual assault, and drug and mental health issues.

After more than three hours of heated discussion, trustees voted not to change the policy.

California State Department of Education officials said Wednesday that some of the district's state funding could be in jeopardy.

Representatives of the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative nonprofit legal group, and the American Civil Liberties Union were among the more than 40 people who debated the issue.

San Juan joins a growing fraternity of school districts choosing to forgo the state mandate after being contacted by the Pacific Justice Institute, which bills itself as a legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom, parental rights and other civil liberties. The nonprofit has claimed victory in school districts in Modesto, Fairfield-Suisun and San Diego, where school boards decided not to change policy to allow students to leave campus for confidential medical services without parental consent.

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