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School candidates accused of "stunt'

Parents of Pasco children who attend any of the district's "full-service" schools always have to give consent for any services offered.

Superintendent Tom Weightman reiterated that policy at Tuesday night's School Board meeting, addressing concerns raised by board candidates Liz Dorp and Kathy Livermore, both Republicans. Full-service schools offer a range of medical, academic and counseling services.

"This is nothing more than a campaign stunt to gain publicity, and I question their motives," Weightman said.

Dorp is running against incumbent Democrat Pam Coulter in the November election and Livermore faces incumbent Republican Marge Whaley in the September primary.

Dorp and Livermore were at the meeting but did not speak. Charles White, an officer in a citizens group opposed to many School Board policies, spoke against the full-service schools, saying he doesn't know much about them but dislikes the concept of providing such services at school. Dorp and Livermore also belong to that group, Citizens Organized to Support Traditional Instruction.

Parents have to fill out a detailed consent form before their children can be treated at the full-service schools, which Weightman said do not distribute condoms or give out prescriptions for birth control. The clinics refer pregnant teens or those with sexually transmitted diseases to the county health department or private physicians.

The board unanimously approved administration plans for distributing annual state funding for full-service schools. Northwest, Mary Giella and Cox elementary schools and Hudson and Pasco high schools have full-service school facilities. A clinic is being built at Ridgewood High and services also are available at Land O'Lakes High.

Hudson Middle School receives services through Hudson High. The vocational adult community education program receives some of the $177,845 in state funds allocated to Pasco for full-service schools.