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Teen health center would rob parents' rights | Snoqualmie Letters to the Editor
Opposed to teen health center
As a Valley parent with four children, two attending public school, I am opposed to placing a Teen Health Center (THC) in our schools.
Last month I read in the Record that some parents in North Bend were opposed to having a THC in the new middle school. I expressed concern to the school board immediately. Now that the other middle schools are being considered instead, I want parents with students at the other schools to be aware.
My greatest concern is that state law forbids school administrators and THC staff to inform parents of services given to children age 13 or older if the child does not want their parents notified. Our children could receive counseling or medical treatment at the THC that their parents would not consent to — and without any notification.
There are other ways students’ needs can be met without infringing on parental rights. Already, parental rights have been limited by the state once our children turn 13. We need to do our best to work with our own children — not have the school facilitate treatment without our knowledge or consent.
When I choose a doctor for my child, I search for what I believe is best for her. If my child needs counseling, I will spend time researching the counselor, what their values and philosophies are, and their approach to treatment before I allow my child to receive treatment. If a THC is present at school and my child decides to utilize it, I can be completely left out.
We are fortunate to have wonderful resources such as Snoqualmie Valley Hospital and Encompass to provide treatment and counseling. It would be wonderful for such organizations to provide care and counseling for those in need, but not at school, during school hours.
Editor’s note: According to Washington law, minors 13 and older may receive counseling services, but not medical services, without their parents’ knowledge.
Impressed with Valley hospital
There was a time when going to the emergency room at the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital was like stepping into a third world country.
I once had an ear infection that was so bad my ear drum was going to burst. The emergency room doc put oil in my ear and sent me home. Two days later I made the long trek to my ENT (ear, nose, throat) doc at Evergreen Associates and told him about the emergency room protocol. He became very concerned and from the look on his face I could tell that something was wrong. He said that I should never allow anyone to put oil in my ear for such an infection. The next time I saw him, he told me that he called the ER doc and threatened that if he ever learned that the protocol was used again, he would call the licensing board and have the ER doc’s license to practice medicine revoked.
It seems, refreshingly, we are in a new era. I needed an X-ray to determine the size of a lift that I need in my shoe and was referred to a clinic in Bellevue that does not take insurance. Being tired of such arrogance, I called the hospital on the chance that I didn’t have to leave the Valley and could get just an X-ray without having to go through one of their docs. The radiologist, who spoke to me, in person no less, said it was no problem. I had no idea so many services are available and accessibility is so easy at our local hospital now.
I am continually impressed with the caliber of competence at the new generation of Snoqualmie Valley Hospital. They have turned that place around!
New park district
A great deal of work has gone into getting a Fall City Metropolitan Park District initiative on the ballot. While this was the first, and key step in bringing a local park district into reality, the fundamental task now at hand is the passage of the ballot initiative.
As a result, the Fall City Metropolitan Park District Campaign Action Team was created to help our community understand the benefits of a park district.
“Living, Playing, Building Community” is our slogan. This was the theme of our Fall City Days award-winning float. Lots of interested folks visited our booth. Some dropped by to chat and learn more. Some came for the games. And some wanted to win the iPod. Anyone who lived in the proposed district boundary could participate in the contest. The winner was Karen Hunt.
Many cheerful volunteers helped to make our Fall City Parks debut an eventful one. Special thanks to Wells Rockeries and Landscaping and Lawrence Construction for float contributions. We are especially grateful to the dedicated Fall City Days organizers who bring our families together on Fall City Days year after year.
If you are serious about local control of Fall City parks and the opportunities a park district can provide, please participate! Visit our Web site, www.fallcityparks.org; e-mail Perry Wilkins, firstname.lastname@example.org; watch for us at local events; and join us at our next Fall City Parks meeting, 7 p.m. July 9 at the Fall City Library.