Dem education official refuses to enforce Washington's Parents' Bill of Rights, claims students should be able to keep gender identity secret

"Some of these records contain personal information and are protected under [federal law], and as such, cannot be disclosed without the student’s consent."

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
Washington’s Superintendent of Public Instruction has refused to enforce parts of a Parents' Bill of Rights that passed the Washington Legislature with bipartisan support in March. The initiative had garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures from Washingtonians. The reason for the refusal is to aid students in keeping gender identity secret from their parents.
Initiative 2081 emphasizes, and in some cases augments, rights already granted to parents under state and federal law but does not change them. The law requires schools to notify parents before medical services are offered to their child, except in emergencies, as well as of medical treatment arranged by the school. The law also gives parents the right to review their child’s medical and counseling records and expands when parents can opt their child out of sex education classes.

The bill came before the legislature after hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians signed the parental rights initiative backed by the citizen action group Let’s Go Washington.

Despite the bipartisan passage of the bill, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, along with other groups, challenged the law, claiming that it violated the state Constitution, which requires new laws not to revise or revoke old laws without stating so. On Tuesday, King County Superior Court Commissioner Mark Hillman ruled against the ACLU and said the challengers to the law didn’t show that it would create imminent harm necessary to warrant blocking it until a trial court judge can consider it, according to KSTP.

In response to the ruling, Washington’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal announced that he will not be enforcing parts of the law. 

On Wednesday, Reykdal claimed that the bill could violate student privacy rights and announced that the contested parts of the law by the ACLU and others wouldn’t be enforced. Reykdal said in a statement, “The initiative states that parents and legal guardians have the right to inspect their child’s public school records."

"However," he went on, "the initiative defines what constitutes as a 'record,' to include items such as medical or health records…Some of these records contain personal information and are protected under [federal law], and as such, cannot be disclosed without the student’s consent.” 

Last month it was revealed that Seattle Public Schools had healthcare clinics operating inside elementary and middle schools and has been offering free sex change treatments to students, which included providing hormone therapy injections that the clinic referred to as "lifesaving care" for minors.

Reykdal recommended that school districts not make any changes to their privacy or LGBTQ+ policies until the lawsuit over the ‘Parent’s Bill of Rights’ is resolved adding, “When in doubt, school districts should follow federal privacy laws.”

State Rep. Travis Couture (R-Allyn) told The Ari Hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI, "This is a transparent attempt by OSPI to subvert the will of the people, the legislature, and parental rights outlined in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.”

“It is past time that the state of Washington reaffirms parents’ rightful role in the education and upbringing of their children. Voters spoke loud and clear that parents, not school districts, know what's best for their children, and that no governmental entity should hide critical information about their child from loving parents unless there is clear abuse or neglect. OSPI needs to follow the law as passed, and provide technical guidance to eliminate ‘secrecy policies’ in Washington schools that allow districts to hide critical information about children from their parents."

Polls have consistently shown that over 60 percent of US registered voters support parental rights in education laws.

Washington GOP chair and State Rep Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen), who was one of the architects of the initiative, told Hoffman, “This is a desperate political move by the current Superintendent. And it's cynical. He risks nothing by encouraging school districts to break the law.”

Walsh cautioned “If districts follow his (Reykdal’s) dumb advice, THEY are liable for the legal consequences and liabilities. He's not.”

“It's ironic to listen to sanctimonious Leftists like the current Superintendent gin up phony outrage about Donald Trump being a "convicted felon" and then tell gullible school administrators to...wait for it...break the law.”
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