Washington Judge Temporarily Blocks Provisions of “Parents’ Bill of Rights” Law


A King County Superior Court judge has temporarily paused several provisions of Washington state’s new “parents’ bill of rights” law, following a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups. The groups argue that the law violates the state constitution by allowing parents to access medical and mental health information about their children from schools.

Initiative 2081, which went into effect on June 6, outlines 15 rights that parents have regarding their children’s educational experience in the state’s public schools. However, the provision that granted parents the right to access medical and mental health information has raised concerns among advocates for LGBTQ+ youth.

Under the law, parents would have been able to access records related to their children’s sexual orientation, as well as information about their children’s use of birth control, referrals for abortions, and treatment and support for sexual assault if they seek help at school clinics. The lawsuit claims that this provision would “out” children who are questioning their sexual orientation, and contradicts the state’s commitment to ensuring youth have confidential access to healthcare.

Legal Voice litigation attorney Julia Marks stated that the initiative’s medical and mental health record provision “gives parents this new right to get any medical or mental health records related to their students that appear in schools, and that contradicts the fact that Washington youth have a right to confidential health care.”

On Friday, Judge Michael Scott issued a temporary restraining order, pausing the provision from taking effect while the lawsuit is ongoing. The judge left the bulk of the parents’ bill of rights in place.

Elaine Mallon
Elaine Mallon
Breaking news reporter.

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