Do parents know what’s happening in Oregon school-based health centers?


by NW Spotlight

There is an event planned for the upcoming ‘short session’ of the Oregon Legislature to promote Oregon school-based health centers. It’s important for Oregonians to understand what all happens in those school-based health centers – without parental knowledge or consent. It includes “reproductive care” for students AT ANY AGE, gender transformation counseling & treatments, and genital exams on school property (given Oregon’s problems with school-related sexual abuse, that seems particularly troubling.)

Background: OSBHA and State Funding for School-Based Health Centers

According to their website, the “Oregon School-Based Health Alliance (OSBHA) is a statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving as the collective voice to build a stable, effective, and accessible school-based health care system through the development of school-based health centers (SBHCs).”

School-based health centers in Oregon get their funding from “state dollars sent to each county with an SBHC. Local dollars often come through school districts, county health departments, hospitals, community providers, local businesses and individuals, grants and other fundraising.”

The State of Oregon’s Oregon Health Authority produced a 2015 Oregon School-Based Health Centers Status Report. It provides this description “School-Based Health Centers are medical clinics that offer primary care services either within or on the grounds of a school.” It also notes “The 2013 Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2445, creating a statutory definition of SBHCs (ORS 413.225) and provided about $3.9 million in additional funding to expand and enhance the SBHC system.”

Capitol Event on Feb 9th

OSBHA is coordinating an event at the Oregon Capitol on February 9, 2016, and trying to make it look like it’s “youth-driven.” In their email on the event, they instruct Oregon students to “Talk to your school principal or superintendent to invite your school/district to participate. Let your principal know Awareness Day is a youth-driven event where youth from all around Oregon go to Salem to tell their stories about the importance of SBHC services in their lives.”

So OSBHA coordinates the event, but then instructs students to mislead school officials about it being “youth-driven.”

What’s the Problem with School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs)?

Parents’ Rights in Education (PRIE) is an excellent parents’ rights watchdog group. They recently sent this out in an email to some of their supporters – alerting them to the planned capitol event:

“I wanted you to know what the Oregon School-based Health Alliance (OSBHA) is encouraging Oregon public school students/school officials to participate in.

In addition, I am attaching a letter which I sent (in October 2015) to Oregon School-based Health Alliance (OSBHA) addressing concerns and evidence around matters related to Oregon School-Based Health Centers. The OSBHA referred to Parents’ Rights in Education as ‘The Opposition’ at their October 2015 conference.  We want you to know that PRIE is committed to supporting parent’s rights to be the final authority in deciding what is best for their child and have the right to expect full disclosure of any and all services, content, and materials disseminated to their child while at school.”

The letter from PRIE mentioned in the email outlines how Oregon Certified School-Based Health Centers (using taxpayer money from the Oregon Health Authority):

  • Provide students AT ANY AGE access to reproductive care without parental knowledge or consent.
  • Allow 14 year old students to receive mental health services, which could include counsel related to gender transformation, without a parents’ knowledge or consent.
  • Allow 15 year old students to consent to services such as hospital care, immunizations, medical, dental, optometric and surgical diagnostic care. They can also receive gender transformation treatments (i.e.: puberty blockers, counseling, drugs, advocacy and sex change surgery) without parental notification or consent.
  • Collaborate with services from or referrals to controversial community-based organizations such as Planned Parenthood and TransActive. These organizations are being given access to children without parental knowledge or consent. In many situations even school boards and administrators are unaware of the programs or services being marketed to students.
  • Include ‘well-child visits’ – which must include a physical exam, including a genital exam – on school property.

Does Your Child’s School Have a School-Based Health Center?

To check, please click here for a list of Oregon schools that have school-based health centers.