Perham parents against students leaving school for doctor visitsPerham, MN (WDAY TV) - Some parents in the Perham-Dent School district don't like a policy that lets students leave school to see doctors or counselors, without the parents knowledge.
Perham, MN (WDAY TV) - Some parents in the Perham-Dent School district don't like a policy that lets students leave school to see doctors or counselors, without the parents knowledge.
They say the language in the school handbook needs to be more specific.
Lisa Fultz, Perham parent: “It was actually last November during a health class at school family planning actually, came into the class room and did a presentation for the students and informed the students that they were able to leave the school to come down to the clinic to get contraceptives or whatever during the day without parent’s permission.”
And when Lisa Fultz's son came home and told her of the policy, she could not believe that it was true.
Fultz: “I do have deeper concerns though that maybe it's not a good policy in general to be letting kids leave school during school hours for that reason because the clinics are open after school on weekends for those kinds of things and I think it's just best if the school's not involved in it.”
While school administrators say that they understand the parents’ concerns, they say they're bound by Minnesota Law to let the students leave the building.
Mitch Anderson, Perham-Dent Superintendent: “As far as the minor consent law, we've got the law in place that was decided on by our legislators.”
The handbook never explicitly states the law but says with a doctor’s permission, a student can leave school as an excused absence.
The school sometimes has its own problem balancing all the rules.
Anderson: “You've got the compulsory attendance law which we follow. We've got the minor consent law which is involved in this scenario and now we are recording our attendance on a daily basis. So that is very transparent for parents.”
For her part Fultz would like the law explicitly put in the handbook so parents are aware of the law. She plans on taking the issue up with local law makers to see if changes can be made at the state level.
And here the Superintendent agrees, hoping that the legislature will spell more clearly what is the schools duty in these cases
The school district’s attorney plans to have a meeting in October to explain what the district is obligated to do. The superintendent says the clinic that started the controversy last year will not be back this year.