Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct terminology related to a gender transition. We apologize for the error.
LAKESIDE, Calif. — Andrew Hayes, the president of the Lakeside Unified School Board, is organizing a coalition of educators and parents to push back against new state mandates that he says erodes parents involvement in their child’s education and stops them from being notified about things that involve their child’s health and wellbeing.
“Sacramento this last year signed a law that said 12-year-olds can be referred to mental health services without parental notification, that’s ridiculous,” Hayes said.
Hayes plans to present a “Parents Bill of Rights” to the district next month and he hopes other school board will come up with their own parent-centric list that includes things like notification of curriculum change, books and an opt out clause when content is deemed inappropriate.
The list also includes being notified about bullying, suicidal intent or gender transitioning and written parental permission to administer medication – anything from cold medicine to hormone therapy.
“Would that be a referral to medical surgeries, any of those things medications of any kind, that should come with parent consent, all of it should,” Hayes said.
“The fact that Sacramento wants to now say that the government should be that voice in replacement for parents is absurd,” parent Chrissy McCullough said.
McCullough has four kids, ages 4 to 12, she says she’s always been very active in their education and says for success, parents must be informed.
“Leaving out the parents from knowing that at all, puts us in a dangerous position where we are not notifying parents that this could be potential harm, and automatically assuming that home is not a safe place, is also putting seeds of doubt in children that should not be there,” McCullough said.
The president of the Lakeside Unified School Board wants to create a “Parental Bill of Rights.”