On April, 20th, Rep. Walt Leger, III is scheduled to present HB 302 to the House Education Committee. If passed, this bill will require a child wellness evaluation for each student entering kindergarten or sixth grade, whether in public or private school.
"Section 1. R.S. 17:173 is hereby enacted to read as follows:
§173. Wellness evaluation of persons entering kindergarten; wellness evaluation of persons entering sixth grade; standards; duty of chief administrators; exception
A.(1) Each person entering any kindergarten within the state shall present satisfactory evidence of a comprehensive wellness evaluation which meets the requirements of Subsection B of this Section.
(2) Each person entering the sixth grade in any school within the state shall present satisfactory evidence of a comprehensive wellness evaluation which meets the requirements of Subsection B of this Section."
"B. The wellness evaluation required by Subsection A of this Section shall meet all of the following requirements:
(2) Be completed in accordance with the health guidelines for preventive care screenings and well-child visits established by the American Academy of Pediatrics."
This bill should be should either be withdrawn by Rep. Leger or the committee members should vote "NO" because its provisions are illegal under Act 837 of 2014 based on the wellness evaluation of psychological issues, risk/self-incriminating behavior, relationships, biometric information, & info related to their relationship with their physician (e.g., whether or not they had a screening) which are all included per the American Academy of Pediatrics.
This information cannot be required to be collected from students in Louisiana and cannot be mandated for parents to divulge according to Act 837:
"C.(1) Notwithstanding any provision of this Subpart or any other law to the contrary, no official or employee of a city, parish, or other local public school system shall require the collection of any of the following student information unless voluntarily disclosed by the parent or legal guardian:
(b) Mental or psychological problems of the student or the student's family.
(c) Sexual behavior or attitudes.
(d) Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior.
(e) Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom a student has a close family relationship.
(f) Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers.
(i) Biometric information."
Rep. Leger includes an exception in his bill which seems to be an attempt to make this garbage palatable and to make it appear as though it is compliant with the law:
"E. No person shall be required to comply with the provisions of this Section if a written dissent from the student's parent or guardian is presented."
The inclusion of such a statement does not, however, make HB 302's requirements legal under Act 837, since the Act states very clearly:
"C.(1) Notwithstanding any provision of this Subpart or any other law to the contrary, no official or employee of a city, parish, or other local public school system shall require the collection of any of the following student information."
Causing parents to believe that this is a requirement for school enrollment hardly qualifies such disclosure as "voluntary" given Louisiana's Compulsory Education Law.
We also would like to point out that this bill is the latest in the state's continued attempts to regulate private schools through our Dept. of Education regulations and through legislation; however, there is nothing within our state's constitution that could ever make that legal.
At this point, we have to ask, "What is this really about?"
It appears that HB 302 is about 6 things:
1. Maximizing Medicaid payments to the state by forcing citizens to utilize a service;
2. Since all students are afforded equal protection under the law, Rep. Leger finds himself in the position of violating the rights of ALL students...not just those receiving Medicaid;
3. As it stands, people mostly go to the doctor when they are sick. For the state to demonstrate that their preventive programs are working, they need more people to go for wellness visits. If they can show that their preventive programs are successful by producing increasing numbers of participants, access to grant monies will increase;
4. Using the numbers of participants to justify continuing programs; and,
5. Data collection and personal profiling of citizens to determine their risk to the state and for purposes of workforce assignments; and,
6. As always, a Special Interest Group expanding their market on the backs of our children. #CREEPS
Please, email and call to leave a message for committee members and inform them that HB 302 is illegal under Act 837 of 2014. Request that either Rep. Leger withdraws his bill or that committee members vote NO.
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Capitol Switchboard where you can leave a message for each House Education Committee member: 225-342-6945