Florida lawmakers close to passing parents bill of rights

Bill would alert parents about health services in schools

By Ashley Harding - Reporter, Jason Mealey - Producer/assignment editor
News Service of Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Florida lawmakers are getting closer to passing a bill designed to keep parents more in the loop

about health services their children receive in school. Those services include mental health and

birth control.

But some critics say passing the "Parents Bill of Rights" will lead to problems.


The bill cleared a Senate panel Wednesday.  Supporters say this is about making sure parents know exactly what is going on with their children inside the schools. While some agree with this bill, others say it could prevent students from seeking these health-related services.


One Florida lawmaker says the "Parents Bill of Rights" proposal came about after some students

opened up to guidance counselors, saying they had thought about suicide and according to that

lawmaker, the parents weren't aware.


If passed, the bill would require parents to give written consent before the student can get mental

health treatment or birth control at school.  It's a move that has some lawmakers concerned that students may choose not to independently get treatment if they know their parents will find out.


The bill would also give parents the ability to opt their children out of sex education classes if they provide written objections. Schools would also have to have a plan for letting parents know their rights that could include rights to exempt their kids from immunization and information about school choice.


This bill does have an exception. If a student needed immediate assistance, they would be able to

get medical treatment with permission from their parents.







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