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This bill constitutes a clear violation of HIPPA and FERPA, it calls into question the privacy of students and overreach from the state. This type of survey process would be better suited between doctors and their patients as an opt-in process, and should not be collected through the schools. As of yet, there is no provision to translate the opt-out, no clear funding mechanism other then the “general fund” which is already at a deficit, and it’s not clear who will have access to this information such as a potential third party for review and or analysis. The intent of the bill is to target particular demographics with drag-net surveillance, in an effort to find out where and how future legislation can be written to mitigate mental health issues.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
This bill sidesteps the patient-doctor relationship, placing the State in a position to access private privileged medical information on children, and allows for third party organizations to help decide what questions should be surveyed regarding children’s physical and mental health. There is no clear mechanism for allowing parents or guardians to view the survey prior to administration, or translation offered to non-English speakers for opt-out purposes.
The financial impact of this bill is yet to be determined, there is no dollar amount assigned and as of right now looks like a blank check out of the general fund.
The bill is clearly government overreach and violates the protected health information of students. Regardless of the survey being anonymous, it still gives the state, shareholders, and potentially third parties (as of yet, undisclosed) unfettered access to students information. The question of informed consent arises from the opt-out process rather than having an opt-in process, and places schools, school board members, and the state at increased risk for a lawsuit in the event proper notice is not given.
From a local control standpoint this legislation seeks to grant access to various parties, students, student clubs, and organizations to determine survey questions 10-19 year olds shall be asked in relation to mental health and physical health, all information will be reviewed by the state and stakeholders to determine where future legislation and controls can be implemented. Causes for concern- DHS involvement, future psychiatrists in the school health clinics, parents rights, who will have access to the information, will it be sold to third parties? These are all questions that need to be answered of this legislation, and in ignoring these questions removes parent guardian rights and bypasses doctor-patient relationships. Any type of dragnet surveillance circumvents local control.
A free market implies informed consent, and patient rights. The State has no right to engage in this type of data collection, which has the potential to corner the market on adolescent behavior.