Mother claims her son was given an STD test without her consent - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Mother claims her son was given an STD test without her consent

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

Imagine this: a kid gets tested for sexually transmitted diseases at school, without their mom or dad's knowledge. Do you think that's fair?

The mother of a student at Anna-Jonesboro High School does not. She called us after learning her son had been tested without her knowledge.

"I'm furious…just beyond furious with this," said the mother.

But come to find out, it's legal.

The mother, who did not want her identity revealed, said she wants to know why her 15-year-old son was tested without her consent or knowledge.

"If my son is being tested for an STD, I want to know. If my son is having to be given medicine, I want to know," she said. "If my son took this pill, which he did, and he had an allergic reaction and he never told me this situation was going on I would have never known why he would be having an allergic reaction."

The Anna-Jonesboro district has a school-based based health clinic that treats students. At the beginning of the school year, the school obtains written consent from the parent for the child to use the clinic.

Superintendent Rob Wright sent this statement about the clinic:

"Parents given a packet regarding the SIU Family and Community Medicine Anna-Jonesboro School Health Center, which contains an Authorization for Medical Care and Registration Form which must be signed by the parents/guardians. This is the "written parental consent"

"So if I gotta sign a consent. Fine. Do what you have to do with my kid, inform me on what's going on," the mother said. "I did not sign a consent saying yeah test my kid for an STD or give them any kind of medication that could possibly react with them."

Illinois State Law says it's legal for kids over 12-years-old to be tested without parental consent.

"The consent of the parent, parents, or legal guardian of a minor shall not be necessary to authorize medical care or counseling related to the diagnosis or treatment of sexually transmitted disease"

"My kids are my number one concern. I want to know what's going on with my kids," the mother continued. "Whether it be in school or out of school, but don't just test my kid, not tell me you're testing them because it's a federal law and then give them a medicine they really have no need for."

Two of the Illinois lawmakers had strong opinions. Illinois State Senator Paul Schimpf explain how he understands why that mother is upset. “When I found out what the law actually says I was shocked...I have a son, my oldest boy is about two months away from turning 12 years old. And he does have the ability to make those kind of decisions, he needs my wife and I involved in those kind of decisions.”

Illinois State Representative Terri Bryant acknowledges the weight of the decision for the student. She says,  “When you basically have children who are not old enough to even enter into a contract, but we’re allowing them to make a decision not only on being tested but whether or not we can have treatment for that very sensitive illness. And I’ll tell you I know very few 12 to 17 years who are mature enough to make those decisions.”

SIU School of Medicine runs the health center in the high school. They sent a statement as a response to why this type of testing is necessary.

STI testing is recommended for SIU Medicine patients who are, or have ever been, sexually active, or if they have a new sexual partner. Screenings are offered if patients present with symptoms or request testing. Treatment and education are offered for patients who test positive for an STI, per guidelines set by the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

Contradictingly, according to the 15-year-old student, he tested negative, but was still was given two pills.

“It’s something that definitely we need to take a look at in the general assembly. I understand the well intentions behind some stuff but the way it’s being put into practice it needs an overhaul, it need a review,” Senator Schimpf explains.

Bryant concludes, “If we can return some parental control to some of these issues that I think are an overreach, I think we do a better service to our community.”

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