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Vista Unified Considers Tweaking Controversial Policy

The Vista Unified School District will vote today on whether to change a policy that requires students to get parental permission to leave campus for confidential medication appointments. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

State education officials -- as well as pro-choice and legal groups -- say Vista's current policy violates a number of state laws. Those laws say students may leave campus without their parents consent when it comes to pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, or mental health and substance abuse issues.

School board president Carol Herrera acknowledges the district is out of compliance. She’s now calling on the district to allow students in grades seven to 12 should to leave campus for confidential medical services without parental permission. 

But trustee Jim Gibson backs the original policy. He believes the district is acting within its legal limits. 

“To turn around to say that the school, whose only responsibility is to educate children, is now taking on medical decisions for that child without informing parents is an outrageous usurping of authority from the parents,” Gibson said.

Officials from the State Department of Education say Vista is not the only school district violating state codes. However, they say the agency doesn't have the money or resources to investigate these kinds of cases.

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.

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