Parent Resources

Questions we need to ask School & Government Leaders About Their Accountability to our Children

[As you peruse the Q&A section below, please note that, although this survey was conducted in 1986, the responses today would probably not change very much. You may want to ask these questions of your own local school boards. It is very important that our local school systems realize that they will be held accountable

 — if they provide instruction in contraceptive methodology;

 — if they distribute contraceptives to students;

 — if they provide students with contact information for agencies that will distribute contraceptives;

 — if they secretly transport students for abortions or provide them with contact information for abortion services.

School systems which want to avoid such lawsuits should develop a system-wide Policy which requires that abstinence-until-marriage instruction be provided by any teacher who in any way touches on sexuality issues in his/her classroom…]

“An informal telephone survey was made in 1986 [GA Women’s Forum] to several GA State departments and agencies to determine just who is responsible for the child who has adverse effects from contraceptives and abortions supplied without the knowledge of consent of the parent or guardian.

  In GA, a minor child may enter any of the public health centers and be given, free of charge, contraceptives, contraceptive information, or treatment for various health problems, including venereal disease and AIDS, without the knowledge or consent of the parent or guardian.

The calls to these agencies or departments fell into 3 groups: Education, Medical, and Legal. Here are the calls, questions and answers:

I.                    Education

1.      State Board of Education

Q. What is the liability insurance coverage for each public school student?

A. The State doesn’t carry liability insurance for students.

Q. Are you liable for what you teach the students or their reaction to it?

A. We don’t deal with students. Call the local boards of education.

                   2.  A Local Board of Education

                        Q. What is the insurance coverage for each student?

                        A. Could not answer the question. Caller was referred to Public Information Office, which could not answer either. Caller was referred to the local board of education insurance division.

                     3. Insurance Division, Local Board of Education

                        Q. What is the insurance coverage for each student?

                        A. If they choose to do so, parents may purchase, for a nominal fee, insurance to cover injury of students on school grounds or going to and from school, which might cover getting sick at school. Otherwise, there is no insurance coverage for students. Call the Director of Purchasing and Supply.

                     4. Director of Purchasing and Supply, Local Board of Education

                        Q. Are the teachers liable or accountable for the students in any way for what they teach or the outcome of that teaching?

                        A. No, as long as they teach within school system policies and are not teaching outside course information. Call the attorney for the local board of education.

                    5. Attorney for Local Board of Education

                        Q. Are schools accountable for the information taught the students?

                        A. No, the school is not accountable for abortion information or contraceptive information. But, the person in the medical facility who counseled the student would be responsible. The person giving the information is not liable. But, in his opinion, the person giving the contraceptives is liable. However, the caller was reminded that government entities enjoy government immunity. Suggestion was made to call the medical services.

II. Medical Services

1.      Teen Services Administration

Q. Are you accountable for any adverse reaction to abortions or contraceptives recommended or administered to teens in your teen services?

A. I don’t know what you are talking about.

Q. Are you liable for your actions when you give contraceptives to minors?

A. All we deal in is services. I don’t know anything about that. Call the County Manager ’s Office.

                  2. County Manager ’s Office

                              Q. Are you accountable for any adverse reaction to abortions or contraceptives recommended or administered to minors in your teen services?

                                A. H-m-m-m-m. That’s a good question. The government entities enjoy government immunity. State law requires parents to be responsible for children; but, they don’t have to be notified about abortions and contraceptives.

                                    Q. Then, who is responsible when problems arise from the IUD fitted for a child?

                                    A. The doctor would get the minor to sign a waiver.

                                   Q. You mean, you would get the minor to sign a waiver?

                                    A. Oh, yes, particularly since there are so many problems with them. I am sure we would get them to sign a waiver.

                      &n

bsp;            Q. Suppose there were adverse reactions to the spermicidal jelly. Do you have any liability then?

                                    A. No. We have no liability one they walk out to the street. Perhaps you had better talk to our attorney for the county health department.

                 3. Attorney for the County Health Department

                                    Q. Are you accountable for any adverse reactions to abortions or contraceptives recommended or administered to minors in your teen services?

                                    A. H-m-m-m-m. You realize that this is a very complex area. I really don’t know. I really can’t say that the county government is responsible. I would say that the Health Department is subject to the same liability as the county medical community.

                                    Q. If you gave a minor an IUD, would you get the child to sign a waiver?

                                    A. Oh, yeah. They could sign a waiver.

                                    Q. How can the Health Department get the minor to give away the liability when by virtue of the fact that he is a minor, he doesn’t have that power, anyway? [besides they say they are not liable by virtue of gov’t immunity]

                                    A. Laughingly, “That’s a difficult question. In my opinion, a waiver that a minor signs is not very binding.”

                 4. Juvenile Court, Another County

                                    Q. Are you accountable for any adverse reactions to abortions or contraceptives recommended or administered to minors in your teen services?

                                    A. Don’t know. Call County Solicitor ’s Office.

                 5. County Solicitor ’s Office

                                    Q. Same as above.

                                    A. H-m-m-m-m. This question has never been asked before. We are employed by the State and don’t give out any information. But, given our State laws, the parents would be responsible for their children.

                                    Q. You mean that parents are responsible for the child in an area in which the State has acted in place of the parents and the parents don’t even know about it and would probably disapprove?

                                    A. I would tend to think that the parents are, ultimately, responsible for the children. Call the Department of Family and Children Services.

                    6. Department of Family and Children Services Case Worker

                                    Q. Are the parents responsible for the child in an area in which the State has acted in their stead without their knowledge, consent, or approval?

                                    A. Don’t know. Call the Solicitor’s Office, which had already been called, and which didn’t know. Call Planned Parenthood “that we use sometimes”.

                  7. Planned Parenthood

                                    Q. Since parents are responsible for the physical, educational, mental, and emotional health of their children; since, in the area of contraceptives and venereal disease, parents are not allowed to know about the activities of their children; and since this information is withheld from parents, who is responsible? The school, the parent, the teen services, …who?

                                    A. I don’t know. You need to talk to our attorney who would know about the rights of minors and abortion rights.

                 8. Specified Attorney

                                    Q. Knowing that the clinic at Grady is giving out contraceptives to minors, who is liable for the child in the State? Would it be the institution giving it or the parent? Is the child on his own?

                                    A. That is a vague and ambiguous question. I must have a specific case, I cannot help intellectual curiosity.

II.                  Legal

1.      Legislative Counsel, S

tate Capitol

                  Q. What is the situation when a minor child is given information by the school or public health clinic on venereal disease, contraceptives, abortion, and the State says the parent is not to know about this? Who is accountable for any adverse effects this information or material causes?

                  A. Don’t know. Would be up to the courts to determine. A parent is always responsible for providing basic health needs.

                 Q. Could the parents sue the clinic?

                  A. Anyone can make a lawsuit.

                  Q. With the child being a minor, suppose there is a clinic within the school and that clinic is giving out contraceptives. Given the Criminal Code of Georgia, what is to stop the State from being involved in a case of contributing to the delinquency of a minor?

                  A. Giving contraceptives does not fall under the definition of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

                 Q. Then, who covers the child in this area that is kept secret from the parents?

                  A. Don’t know.

                 Q. The State with State money is helping the child do something parents don’t know and would, possibly, not approve. The State is coming between the parents and the child. Then, is the State liable?

                  A. Don’t know.

                  Q. Has this question every come up before?

                  A. No.

So, ladies and gentlemen, in intimate and oftentimes, illegal relationships, the State has assumed the role of the parent in every area – except responsibility

Parents who object to present practices of administering contraceptives and abortions to minors without parental knowledge or consent will have a new concern when the school-based sex clinics become a reality in GA. At present [1986], there are between 30 and 40 of these clinics operating in various public schools in the nation.

They are touted as comprehensive health care facilities; but, in reality, their primary function is to promote and track the use of contraceptives among students with the ultimate goal of reduction of live births among teens. Please note that their emphasis is NOT to discourage illegal sexual activity, but to simply prevent live births by the most expedient method.” [Georgia Women’s Forum newsletter, April-May 1986]