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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

School nurse who helped girl get birth control sues over firing

Lola Charette was fired from her job at Fort Kent Community High School. She took an underage girl off campus for a pregnancy test and morning after Pill. She plans on suing.

A veteran nurse she said she was following the Law. Maine's confidentiality law, which prohibits a health-care provider from divulging medical information without the patient's consent, even when the patient is a minor.

It appears there are 2 conflicting rules in play. The medical privacy law and Superintendent Sandra Bernstein's order to inform the student's parents about her visit to the clinic.

"Confidentiality was never an issue at all," said Melissa Hewey , The
Districts Attorney. "She was terminated for taking a student off grounds without
a parent's permission..."

Confidentiality aside this nurse claims to be in a catch -22 situation. The school or state needs to get together and unravel the mess of conflicting laws... READ

After speaking with the school nurse at my daughters Christian School, I have found that she too is bound by such privacy laws. However taking the child off school grounds is a direct violation of school policy ,( Barring a medical emergency when NO gurdians can be reached) and getting pregnant is against Religious policy. As I was informed, each case is different, and each has it's own merits, for example, it may be neccessary to break confidentiality laws if the child in question ( child being 16 or older, under 16 they DO go to the parents) is in great medical/ life risk. According to Gail the school nurse, "each case is different, and you kinda learn as you go." "The child is counseled and urged to talk to their parents, since getting pregnant without the benefit of Marriage is in direct violation of school/ religious policy, they are not allowed in school when discovered."

OF this I am grateful. It is up to the parents to start educating kids early about what is expected of them. My gr.son who is 6, made a comment to his mother about when he grows up and has kids, he mentioned , "When I have a girlfriend..." To which my Daughter corrected him IMMEDIATELY, and said, "NO, WHEN YOU GET MARRIED AND HAVE A WIFE...!" He immediately corrected himself, and this has been repeated a few times so he understands this must wait until you are married.

The schools need to understand, this is NOT their child, they are OUR children. Parents need to tell the school officials, that they expect them to inform them of what is going on with their kids, medical privacy be damned! No matter how mature a child thinks they are at 16, there are things they just don't understand, experience is a great teacher, and parents really do know best, usually!