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Kevin D. Korenthal - Columnist

Mr. Korenthal is a lifetime resident of Southern California. He was a City Chairman for Bush/Cheney04 in Los Angeles County and currently writes a daily weblog at [go to Korenthal index]

w Do We Assure Parental Notification Rights In California?
First we need to understand the issue...
[Kevin D. Korenthal]

In California, a person under the age of 18 cannot get a body piercing, tattoo or get married without parental consent. Yet according to California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, public schools are not required to inform parents if their child leaves campus to receive certain confidential medical services that include an abortion, AIDS treatment and psychological analysis. Although he has previously claimed the law is ambiguous, he recently indicated that in his opinion; parents do not have the right to be notified if their children receive these services.

As a parent of 3 children and myself a product of the public school system, I have an acute sense about how important it is for parents to be aware of most, if not everything their children are up to. This becomes even more important when considering the issues of abortion and mental counseling. The after-effects of these processes require that parents understand what their children have been going through in order to head off any complications. Drug counseling, for instance, has the possible effect of creating depression and a deficiency of self-worth in the teen as they battle to stay off drugs. Abortion can result in Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS), a form of post traumatic stress which can result in substance abuse and potentially suicide.

Abortion could be fatal to a teen when those in charge of the teen are not aware that the abortion occurred. Furthermore there are many alternatives to abortion that must be discussed with the teen before the procedure is performed. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers rarely educate girls about abortion alternatives or its potential complications. If Bill Lockyer and those of his opinion have their way, you, the parent will not be allowed to administrator parenting to your child in these events.

But the really disturbing part about all of this is the double standard that Attorney General Lockyer’s opinion presents. The San Jose Unified School District, one of the largest in the state, recently sent letters to 3,715 parents who excused their children from school for various reasons including orthodontist appointments. The letters warn parents that they must cease excusing their children from school or face visits from Child Protective Services or even lawsuits from the district attorneys office. But apparently, a child excusing herself for a surgical procedure without her parents‚ knowledge is a-okay.

This whole mess is sending conflicting signals to California students and their parents. Any reasonable person can see that knowledge of a child’s activities is directly related to a parent’s ability to insure their child is getting every possible benefit from the public school system. For years, the educrats up in Sacramento have assailed any attempts to wrestle control of the public school bureaucracy away from them. One process they have used to hold that power is to limit how much parents know about their student’s school life.

The Schwarzenegger administration has indicated a desire to hold a special election in 2005. California needs to choose a successor to popular Democrat Senator Robert Matsui, and a plethora of pending initiatives are far too numerous to relegate them all to the 2006 regular elections. Enter Parental Notification and the opportunity to have the voters in the state weigh in on the issue.

This special election, should this issue be represented on the ballot, presents a great opportunity for both the supporters and proponents of mandatory parental notification to be heard. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers stand against Parental Notification because it weakens the ability for a teen to get an abortion by allowing a concerned parent to weigh in on the matter. And the educational establishment is against parents having consent or notification beyond what is already given them. As parents, it is imperative that we stand up for our rights to be notified of what our children are up to, regardless of the powerful forces that work against this endeavor.CRO

copyright 2005 Kevin D. Korenthal





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