Public Comments for: HB1034 - School boards; guidelines for the provision of counseling services in public schools.
Last Name: Watkins Locality: Reston

To Whom It May Concern, Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HB 1034. As a public high school school teacher and parent of two young children (ages 5 and 2) in Virginia, I have serious concerns that this bill will wind up doing more harm than good for the children of our state. I have worked in two different public school systems in Virginia over 13 years, and I have seen first hand how beneficial counseling services can be to a wide variety of students. If parents are allowed to prohibit their students from accessing counseling services in the school, these students may be cut off from not only critical mental health support, but but also the academic, career, and community support that school counselors and mental health team members provide. All members of a school mental health team must undergo rigorous education before obtaining their licenses, and as such they should be trusted as the professionals they are to provide only services that they deem necessary for students well-being. I strongly urge you to let the trained mental health professionals do their jobs. Don't make students get tied in the mire of adult squibbles. Thank you, Sara Watkins Mother Teacher Concerned Virginia Citizen

Last Name: Watkins Locality: Reston

To Whom It May Concern, Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HB HB1032. As a public high school school teacher and parent of two young children (ages 5 and 2) in Virginia, I have serious concerns that this bill will wind up doing more harm than good for the children of our state. As VA Senator Peterson said on January 27 of this year, regarding a similar bill, "I don't think we should be involved in micromanaging school libraries...The problem is that you’re going to sweep up books that you don’t intend to sweep up" (Matthew Barakat, abcnews.go.com). I strongly urge you to leave the books in the libraries for the kids. They deserve to have the opportunity to decide with their own parents and personal support systems what books to read. Thank you, Sara Watkins Mother Teacher Concerned Virginia Citizen

Last Name: Matsh Locality: Prince william

Please vote for this bill. The training should be optional.

Last Name: Carter Locality: Lynchburg

I strongly oppose HB 1034 and encourage the subcommittee to vote "NO." Children deserve to seek counseling and help without the possibility of being stopped by a parent or guardian. I fully support parental rights, but not every child in the Commonwealth comes from a steady home and has parents with their best interest at heart. The passing of this bill would assure that those children are not able to seek help.

Last Name: Bentle Organization: Fairfax Education Assocation Locality: Fairfax, Herndon

Both I (a public school teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools) and the Virginia Education Association OPPOSE HB 1034. This bill limits a students ability to seek counseling and confidential help based on their parent's approval. This bill will HARM children who may no longer be able to seek outside help from a bad situation at home.

End of Comments