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Student-related health info may soon be a click away in Washington

Washington Department of Health screenshot
School districts in Washington may soon be required to link to pages on the Washington Department of Health website that provide information about student-related issues.

The Washington legislature wants schools to help spread the word about student-related health information.

The Senate has voted to require school websites to provide easy-to-find links on their homepages to Washington Department of Health webpages. Mercer Island Democrat Lisa Wellman says the bill applies to school and educational service districts, as well as charter and tribal schools.

“Unfortunately, Mr. President, in our state the number or deaths of children due to firearms, drugs and poisonings has increased. These are dangers that we need to raise to a level of awareness with our parents in our communities," she said.

The bill also directs the Department of Health to post up-to-date information about injury prevention and how to securely store firearms, as well as prescription and over-the-counter drugs. It also requires health officials to provide information about overdose symptoms and updated trends about substance use.

Wenatchee Republican Kirk Hawkins says the intent is honorable “but I’m not quite sure the role of the Department of Health in this regard and the requirements for the posting on the school districts’ websites. We do have some questions about that," he said.

The legislation cleared both the Senate and the House on mostly party-line votes. It now goes to the governor.

Doug Nadvornick has spent most of his 30+-year radio career at Spokane Public Radio and filled a variety of positions. He is currently the program director and news director. Through the years, he has also been the local Morning Edition and All Things Considered host (not at the same time). He served as the Inland Northwest correspondent for the Northwest News Network, based in Coeur d’Alene. He created the original program grid for KSFC. He has also served for several years as a board member for Public Media Journalists Association. During his years away from SPR, he worked at The Pacific Northwest Inlander, Washington State University in Spokane and KXLY Radio.