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Ask Michael J, Esq. Your Own Question
Michael J, Esq.
Michael J, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3426
Experience:  Licensed Attorney - represented hundreds of clients in criminal cases, family law disputes, traffic issues, and general legal issues. Youth Court Prosecutor.
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My son 9 years old was worried about test results and when

Customer Question

My son 9 years old was worried about test results and when the teacher asked why he was worried..he said he will get in trouble with his dad which led to the teacher having him talk to the school counselor. That night he told me about it and he said he felt funny with the questions she asked him but he felt he had to or he would be in trouble. We recently moved up from Hawaii and she asked personal questions about our family and home life. She also asked when he was last spanked and it was in Hawaii by his dad.
When I called the school, I spoke with the principal and she said everything is alright and since the incident or spanking was in Hawaii, everything is fine. The counselor did call CPS to report it.
What rights do we have as parents to protect our son if he felt funny about speaking with a counselor? He is not an abused child and we have no relationship with this counselor. She also met with him without any witnesses. We don't trust her with our son.
What rights do we have as parents?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting JustAnswer. My name is Michael; I look forward to assisting you today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. When you ask about "rights" as parents, I'm assuming you mean whether you have the right to consent to your son being asked questions at school. The answer to that is unfortunately. Child abuse laws are set up to to protect the children from abuse, which obviously sometimes stems from their parents. If a teacher or counselor had to speak to a parent every time they wanted to talk to a child, this would prevent many cases of abuse from being discovered. So, teachers and counselors have the right to speak to the child about those issues without an parental consent. Furthermore, if they speak to the child and suspect SOMETHING happened, they are obligated to report it under Washington State law: (b) When any person, in his or her official supervisory capacity with a nonprofit or for-profit organization, has reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered abuse or neglect caused by a person over whom he or she regularly exercises supervisory authority, he or she shall report such incident, or cause a report to be made, to the proper law enforcement agency, provided that the person alleged to have caused the abuse or neglect is employed by, contracted by, or volunteers with the organization and coaches, trains, educates, or counsels a child or children or regularly has unsupervised access to a child or children as part of the employment, contract, or voluntary service. No one shall be required to report under this section when he or she obtains the information solely as a result of a privileged communication as provided in RCW 5.60.060. I'm sorry if this is bad news, but I can only relate the law as it is written. The best option for moving forward is to ask the teachers/counselors to be transparent with you about issues going on in your son's school and personal life. I hope this helps! If you valued my time, I'd love a positive review. I'll be happy to follow up until you're completely satisfied.Michael