CALL TO ACTION: SATURDAY 2/22/2020
DENTAL REQUIREMENT BILL HB15 UNDERMINES PARENTAL RIGHTS
Maryland Residents: Please contact Delegate Andrea Harrison, the sponsor of HB15, and let her know why this bill undermines parental rights!
HB15 authorizes schools to require a certificate of dental health in order to enroll a child in a public elementary or secondary school. If passed, the new law would go into effect 10-1-2020. This bill does not specify any requirements for the certificate! The bill would allow the Maryland Department of Health to construct the dental health requirements needed for school attendance in the future; the bill affords unlimited authority to Maryland DOH to outline these requirements.
On 1/28/2020, this bill was heard in the Ways and Means Committee. Delegate Andrea Harrison, primary sponsor, compared the requirements outlined in the bill to immunization requirements for school enrollment. Vice-Chair Alonzo Washington expressed concerns about that comparison to immunizations, noting that poor oral health isn’t contagious and can’t spread to classmates (and Delegate Harrison agreed). You can watch that hearing and testimony in favor of the bill here.
Talking points to include, paraphrased in your own words, in your email and phone call:
- Oral health is not communicable among classmates. Poor oral health should not preclude a child from being able to attend school.
- This bill interferes with parental rights by superseding parental discretion in choosing their dental healthcare providers and working with their providers individually in determining the most appropriate care and services for their family.
- This bill fails to outline what requirements would have to be met to attain an oral health certificate, as well as what is considered a complete dental exam.
- The bill also fails to outline what protocol would be in place for a child whose oral health is deemed to be poor, potentially keeping the child from attending school.
- Oral health problems posing serious immediate health risks to students, such as acute tooth infections, can be diagnosed by pediatricians who provide referrals to the appropriate specialists when needed.
Please share these valid concerns with the sponsor of this bill:
Phone 410-841-3919 | 301-858-3919
Please spread the word! Let’s flood Delegate Harrison’s office with polite, respectful, forceful emails and phone calls. She needs to hear our voices!
Why is Informed Choice Maryland particularly focused on this bill?
Dental Healthcare Providers and their institutions are heavily promoting broad, indiscriminate administration of HPV vaccines to prevent oral cancer – despite the lack of evidence that HPV vaccines prevent HPV infection or oral cancers.
The Maryland Department of Health promotes the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable Action Guide for Dental Health Care Providers, which recommends use of the HPV vaccine in dental offices. Read more about the false claims the Maryland Department of Health has made regarding the HPV vaccine here.
The Maryland Dental Action Coalition’s Oral Health Plan for 2018-2023 includes encouraging dental patients to complete the full series of HPV vaccination.
Recent Calls to Action: