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A controversial policy requiring San Diego Unified school staffers to inform the principal and parents if they learn that a student is pregnant is still on the books, though the school board nearly replaced it last December.

The original policy was criticized by local chapters of Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, who argued that it violated California privacy law. San Diego Unified drew up a revised policy that fell short of the groups’ recommendations, and was opposed across the political spectrum.

Trustee Shelia Jackson proposed tweaking the policy to align with the Planned Parenthood recommendation, but was dissuaded by the school district’s hired attorney, whose ties to a pro-life church later gave Jackson pause. The attorney, Douglas Abendroth, said the school district would rewrite the policy and bring it back to the school board the next year.

That hasn’t happened. And it is unclear who will pursue redrawing the policy. The employee who hired Abendroth, general counsel Ted Buckley, has left San Diego Unified. The non-action worries Marge Kleinsmith, who oversees sex education at San Diego Unified.

“I get calls [about the policy] all the time,” Kleinsmith said. Planned Parenthood staff “bring this up all the time because at their clinics they hear about this. … We’re starting the school year with no change in our policy.”


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