A bill passed in the Oregon House on Monday that allows school districts do mental health screening without the pro-active approval of parents. Some lawmakers are against Housebill 3474 because parents have to "opt out" of the mental health screening, rather than "opt in." Letters are sent to the home before the mental health screening takes place.
Lawmakers hope the additional effort will identify suicidal or violent kids earlier, so they can get professional help. Democrat Shemia Fagan of Clackamas was a "yes" vote.
"To those who are concerned about kids inadvertently screened i would ask - what is the worst thing that can happen- they are inadvertently screened- they're taken to a therapist- they're fine. alittle bit of wasted time perhaps. but when we fail to cast a broad net and catch mental health early on what is the worst thing that can happen if they aren't screened.... just ask the parents at Sandy Hook - Clackamas and Boston- to get the answer to that question."
The bill passed 42 to 16 and moves to the Senate. One Representative who voted against the bill says when it comes to parental notification lawmakers need to err on the side of the parents. All Central Oregon lawmakers voted against the bill.