Parents can’t fully access their kids’ medical records after judge partially blocks parental rights law

News & Politics

Washington state’s Republican-backed
Initiative 2081, referred to as “A Parents’ Bill of Rights,” was approved earlier this year by the state legislature in two landslide votes. The Democrats who control both chambers apparently permitted it through knowing they will likely be able to transmogrify it in the next legislative session.

Nevertheless, to the chagrin of leftists and other groups ostensibly keen on cleaving children from their parents, Republican state Rep. Jim Walsh’s Initiative 2081 became law on June 6.

The law
declares 15 rights that parents and guardians of public school children necessarily have, such as the right to:

  • examine textbooks and curricular materials used in their kid’s classroom;
  • inspect their kid’s public school records, including their health, academic, mental health counseling, vocational counseling, and disciplinary records;
  • receive prior notification when medical services are being offered to their child, except in the cases of emergency medical treatment;
  • receive immediate notification if their child is being taken or removed from campus without their permission;
  • receive assurance that their kid’s school won’t discriminate against their child based on the family’s religious beliefs; and
  • receive written notice and opt out of student engagements that include questions about the child’s sexuality and sexual experiences or the family’s moral and political views.

Walsh
underscored that the focus of all the elements of the bill was information.

“Custodial parents and guardians cannot be kept in the dark about what their minor children are going through in their lives,” Walsh
said last month. “Parents have to be told — whether it’s things happening at school or things happening in the healthcare or mental healthcare space connected with school, or really anything affecting a minor child.”

The legal acknowledgement of such natural rights in a state where the
family is otherwise under siege prompted legal action from a number of radical LGBT organizations, represented ultimately by the activist firms QLaw and Legal Voice along with the ACLU of Washington.

They sued last month to halt the implementation of the initiative. This week, a judge granted them a minor victory.

Upon filing their
lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the legislation in the Superior Court of Washington for King County on behalf of various LGBT groups, the pair of legal outfits and the ACLU of Washington recycled debunked rhetoric intimating that a failure to allow kids to transition at school behind their parents’ backs and receive “affirmation” with the help from adults outside the family would result in “irreparable harm.”

Adrien Leavitt, staff attorney for the state chapter of the ACLU,
claimed, “The initiative passed because of deception and confusion, and it will cause life-altering negative outcomes for queer and trans students if it is implemented.”

According to their complaint, the Parents’ Bill of Rights “undermines, contradicts, and amends numerous laws that protect students’ rights to privacy, healthcare, education, and an affirming and inclusive school environment.”

On Friday, King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott,
appointed to the bench by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee in 2018, granted a temporary block against parts of the law. Specifically, Scott blocked the requirement that parents are to be granted access to all of their children’s medical and mental health counseling records and the requirement that school districts promptly turn such records over, reported the Washington State Standard.

Most parts of the Parents’ Bill of Right will, however, remain in place for the time being.

While Scott figured the plaintiffs had done enough to demonstrate harm and potential unconstitutionality, he stressed, “It’s not this court’s position to determine whether that’s good policy or not.”

In response to Scott’s ruling, Leavitt intimated in a
statement it’s not enough for parents to only partially be left in the dark.

‘It is the student’s decision when and if their gender identity is shared, and with whom.’

“We are pleased with this ruling as it will prevent parts of I-2081 from causing further harm while we seek a final decision in this case — but this is not the end,” said Leavitt. “We will keep fighting this case in hopes of a final judgment that shows this harmful law violates the State Constitution and should not be implemented or enforced.”

Walsh, meanwhile,
indicated he was “encouraged that the judge left the bulk of the parents’ bill of rights in place,” reported the Seattle Times.

Democratic State Superintendent Chris Reykdal indicated that while the court did not block the remainder of Initiative 2081, he would effectively usurp the power of lawmakers and instruct Washington school districts not to apply aspects of the law.

“Until additional clarity is provided on the areas where the initiative conflicts with existing state and federal law, school districts should not make changes to any policies and procedures that are implicated by the conflicting sets of law,” Reykdal
said in a statement. “When in doubt, school districts should follow federal privacy laws.”

In his statement, Reykdal also emphasized that schools don’t have to disclose a student’s transvestism at school to their parents.

“Our state’s guidance has maintained that, in order to protect student privacy and safety, schools should communicate with students who disclose they are transgender or gender expansive about the student’s individual needs, preferences, and safety concerns,” Reykdal continued. “It is the student’s decision when and if their gender identity is shared, and with whom.”

Brian Heywood, a businessman from Redmond who helped bankroll the effort to advance Initiative 2081,
suggested Reykdal was actively “shredding democracy.”

“WA state Superintendent of Schools believes he is above the law and that the state knows better than parents what is best for your children,”
added Heywood. “In November he needs to go.”

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