Parent Advisory: Beware of School-Based Health Centers!

By Sharon Slater | September 13, 2018

Beware of School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) that may propagandize and sexualize your children and violate parental rights. The U.S. Congress is currently considering H.R. 5899, School-Based Health Centers Reauthorization. Here is what every parent needs to know about SBHCs:

  • SBHCs may supply contraceptives, gynecological exams, confidential mental health consultations, and even emergency contraception to children without parental notification.
  • SBHCs may allow abortion rights activists access to our children. According to Advocates for Youth, a major advocate for SBHCs and the youth partner organization of Planned Parenthood.

“SBHCs are designed to overcome barriers that inhibit young people from getting needed health care, including lack of confidentiality or fear that confidentiality will not be maintained, transportation problems, fear that parents will be notified by the insurer, inconvenient appointment times, costs, and apprehension about discussing personal health problems.”


In other words, SBHCs may just be one more way for sexual rights and abortion rights advocates to get to children, without having to deal with pesky protective parents.

  • SBHC’s may refer students to outside providers, such as Planned Parenthood. Some SBHC’s may even be run by Planned Parenthood, which has a vested interest in sexualizing children to get more customers for their contraceptive/abortion business.
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America, another strong advocate for SBHCs, openly admits thatsome SBHCs are linked with major medical organizations that offer abortion serviceslike hospitals or Planned Parenthoods.” NARAL affirms there are now at least 2,000 SBHCs across the U.S.
  • According to Oregon’s Parents’ Rights in Education: A School-Based Health Clinic/Center can perform an invasive physical exam on your child that may include a genital examination, such as Tanner Screenings. Injections and/or insertions can be administered to your child at an SBHC without your knowledge or consent.

The legal definition of an “invasive physical exam” is: “Any medical examination that involves the exposure of private body parts, or any act during such examination that includes incision, injection, insertion into body, but does not include a hearing, vision or scoliosis screening.” An invasive exam can be done without parental consent or knowledge.

  • According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, in the U.S. children have the following rights regarding abortion and contraception:

Abortion: 2 states and the District of Columbia explicitly allow all minors to consent to abortion services. 21 states require that at least one parent consent to a minor’s abortion, while 11 states require prior notification of at least one parent. 5 state require both notification of and consent from a parent prior to a minor’s abortion. 6 additional state have parental involvement laws that are temporarily or permanently enjoined. 5 state have no relevant policy or case law.”


“Contraceptive Services: 26 states and the District of Columbia allow all minors (12 and older) to consent to contraceptive services. 20 states allow only certain categories of minors to consent to contraceptive services. 4 states have no relevant policy or case law.”

  • Proponents promote SBHCs as nothing more than on-site clinics where children’s colds, cuts and chronic conditions such as asthma can be treated. Nearly always, they are sold as a crucial means to provide basic health care for underserved populations, and they are often located in schools that serve large populations of the socio-economically disadvantaged.
  • It is unknown which states allow children to consent to cross-gender treatments such as puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones. However, we do know that in Oregon a 15-year-old can get a sex change operation without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
  • A regulatory change in 2012 to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) leaves information collected on a child at school virtually unprotected.[i] While medical and mental health care provided in regular doctors’ offices is confidential under HIPAA, it is unclear whether the same information collected at a school-based health center enjoys the same protections.[ii] While FERPA may allow collected information to be disclosed to others without the child’s or parent’s knowledge, HIPAA may prevent parents from viewing information about care their child receives in an SBHC. Either way, not a healthy situation.

In sum, SBHCs undermine the family by weakening the ability of parents to direct their children’s physical and mental health care. Since parents have the prior right and authority to decide what health services their children will receive, any laws, policies or SBHCs that undermine this authority should be challenged.


Seven Questions Parents Should Ask About SBHCs to Protect Their Rights

1.  Who will be responsible if negative consequences result from care given within the school without a parent’s knowledge or consent? Is the district or school ready to assume the legal risks?


2.  Are there any other agencies that partner with the school to provide care to our children at the Center? If so, what entities? For example, does the SBHC center have any association with a Planned Parenthood organization?


3.  Will parents be informed if their child seeks to identify as the opposite gender? Will the center be providing puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones or counseling to help gender-confused children try to transition?


4.  Will the SBHC be able to refer children for abortions?


The following questions and advice were offered by Parents’ Rights in Education:


5.  What injections and/or insertions can the SBHC give my child without my knowledge or consent—on or off school property (in the case of an off-site referral)?


6.  How and when will I be informed if my child has accessed mental health services at the SBHC, or if my child has been referred to an off-site agency for mental health care?


7.  Specifically, to what agencies which may be off-site can the SBHC refer my child?


Request “accurate and complete responses to these questions in writing, and in a timely manner.”


Parents, who naturally have the best interest of their child in mind, have the right to expect full disclosure of any and all services, content and materials disseminated to their child while at school.


Is there a School-Based Health Center coming to your children’s school?

[i] “States have been working to establish longitudinal data systems to help answer these questions, and to determine what works and what doesn’t when it comes to our children’s education. The FERPA regulations amend certain provisions to help facilitate effective research and evaluation of Federal- and State-supported education programs through the use of State longitudinal data systems. The new regulations clarify who may receive student information to conduct evaluations of education programs, and under what circumstances these types of disclosures may occur.” (December 2011 – Revised FERPA Regulations: An Overview For Parents And Students. (2011). Retrieved from )


[ii] Protecting Confidentiality in School-Based Health Settings. (2014). Retrieved from