July 10, 2019
Imagine sending your daughter off to school only to find out that she was headed for an abortion appointment instead. Then imagine this: her teachers knew and never told you. In California, parents don't have to imagine it. Thanks to a new undercover video, they know -- it's already happening.
It's unreal footage, even by the ACLU's standards. When the meeting between state teachers and the far-Left group was leaked, most people had a hard time believing it. And that, the team at Our Watch said, was the point. "[We] know what it's like to say, 'Okay, well, I heard somebody said this is happening, but I want to see it for myself.'" So the organization sent someone into a training session and pushed "record." What they caught was a coordinated effort to keep parents in the dark about one of the most dangerous decisions a teenager could ever make.
"Regardless of how old the student is," ACLU attorney Ruth Dawson starts off (at 21:08 of this video), "they can walk into a doctor's office and consent to services without their parental consent. Those services are pregnancy and prenatal care, contraception and emergency contraception, abortion -- and for these there is no parental notification." As school officials, Dawson goes on, "I think a good way to think about this is that these are services that California has decided are so important that... students really need to be able to access them." So no matter what, she said, "Young people have the right to leave school and seek confidential medical services without the consent or notification of their parents and guardians."
But Dawson didn't stop there. Every school, she argued, has a responsibility to keep these secrets -- at all costs. "The key thing to remember here is about Confidential Medical Release. The right belongs to the young person. It doesn't belong to the parent. It doesn't belong to the school. The right lies with the young person. The most important piece of this is that schools cannot share this information with parents or guardians. Also no parent calls. So a teacher or attendance office can't call home and say, 'So-and-so was out at the doctor's office receiving [whatever procedure]. Did you know about this?' You cannot do that." In fact, Dawson goes on, California schools should be in the habit of covering up these appointments on the district record.
Teacher: "So are they considered absent?"
ACLU: "I think it qualifies as, like, an excused absence."
Teacher: "But once they're absent, the school calls automatically."
ACLU: "Right, so I think what has to happen is that the school must develop a policy so that doesn't happen. When it comes to online attendance tracking, it gets a little trickier, because schools -- as everyone in this room knows -- have to report attendance."
Administrator: "Because attendance is financial..."
ACLU: "Right. But if you say [it's] medical, that's actually a violation of the student's privacy rights. If you say 'unexcused absence' and penalize them, that's a violation of state law. So what the heck are you supposed to do? Some districts do things, like, they'll say the student was with an administrator... and they won't answer further questions. It's a little tricky though, which is why it's more of an art than a science... But saying it was an 'excused absence' does not, like, directly violate the law."
Since when has falsifying state records not violated the law? What if there's a medical emergency while a girl is off getting her excused-absence abortion? Can you imagine the liability issues if a parent found out the school not only knew about the appointment but covered it up? "No, it turns out, she wasn't 'with an administrator.' She was taking the life of your future grandchild." This is a world where giving a teenager a Tylenol without asking could launch a thousand lawsuits. Yet somehow, it's okay to send them on a deadly field trip that destroys one life and forever alters the other without ever calling home?
Amazingly, the video doesn't stop there. Dawson's encore for the free lesson in abortion deception is a dose of radical sex ed. She goes through the state's controversial new guidelines, taking great pains to remind teachers that even when it comes to the most extreme material (which one parent insists is so graphic, he could be brought up on charges for showing it to a child), it's illegal for parents to opt students out. "In grades K-12, no matter where you teach sex ed... no matter whether you're teaching fifth graders or twelfth graders, all of that has to be inclusive of LGBTQ..." Schools, she insists, "may not facilitate a selective opt-out just of the queer stuff. We've heard, unfortunately, from a lot of parents who say, 'I want my kid to learn sex ed -- it's important. However, none of the gay stuff. They can't do that. Practically, it should be impossible."
By now, you shouldn't need convincing that your involvement in the local school district matters. If you do, this video is more than enough proof that the Left is targeting your children. But if there's one thing the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and every other liberal is afraid of, it's engaged parents. There's a reason they're hosting these hush-hush trainings and passing laws to keep moms and dads in the dark. They understand that the more you know, the harder you'll fight. And in a world where the other side will do anything to get to our children, that's exactly what we need -- fighters.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.