HIPAA and schools

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by maril, Nov 3, 2009.

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  1. maril

    maril New Member

    I gather that schools and school districts do not have to follow the Privacy Rule:


    I am wondering if there are other laws governing schools and school districts regarding release of medical information and privacy; specifically, limits as far as who would "need to know" and then how much?

    We are concerned because my son is being approached by teachers at his school about medications (currently he is not on medication); there had been pressure earlier this school year also on my son from admin. about medication, and my son really feels uncomfortable.

    Also, school admin. has been made aware that difficult child has recently been evaluated (this time at outside facility/in earlier years, school had evaluated) and is awaiting results of testing and then further recommendations from there but some at school appear to be impatient about him starting medication. I have left a message with admin. about our concerns. Any suggestions?
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    As a substitute teacher, I have come up against the privacy issues, and that leaves me not knowing what is best to do with/for that child I am responsible for that day. That is not fair. I can't effectively do my job without knowing who needs what, or what to expect, on any given day.

    That said, if the child is not on medications, there is no reason to discuss it with them at school. If they need a reminder to go down to the office, there are ways to do that without being obvious. Tracking them down and fussing at them is not acceptable. If the school doesn't get back to you, try the district office.
  3. maril

    maril New Member

    Thanks, KTMom91. The information is helpful.

    I've been searching further and found information on FERPA but don't know if this would cover restricting discussion of a student's medical and mental health information; I will have to read more.
  4. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I am no expert, but I know from my neice's experiences as a student with ADHD that NOONE in the educational system has ANY right to so much as suggest that a student be medicated or that dosages or types of medication be changed.

    The ONLY person who has that legal right is your physician and you as the parent have the final say in that.
  5. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    My understanding is that the school cannot require a child to be on medications to receive services or attend school. Not sure what the law says about individual teachers approaching a child about needing medications. But, in my opinion, that simply is not okay. Your son should not have to deal with that kind of pressure from teachers.

    Good luck. Let us know how the conversation with the SD goes.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    No one has the right to say anything to your child about medications except for you and your child's doctor. Period.

    I would be all over that. In fact, I have in the past. It's so frustrating.
  7. iloveturtles

    iloveturtles Guest

    When my oldest was in Kinder. her teacher brought up medication to me for her. I went and spoke to my dr who assured me if she needed I would have known long ago.

    The teacher then acted like she knew more than the dr. about assessing etc. That is when my sarcasam came out, and I let her know what an amazing woman that I thougth she was to be her age and have both a teaching credential and a her M.D.

    Not that I am recommending this approach, because it certainly didn't win me any friends. But I can relate to the frustration of schools thinking they know more than md's.

    I try to responsed to such comments from the school much more graciously now. It gets me farther.
  8. maril

    maril New Member

    Thanks, all! It helps when insight is shared and support is given.

    *I asked difficult child how his day went yesterday, what happened in school, and he told me the teachers apologized to him (admin received my message about caution with discussing medical info.; didn't call me back, but he must have passed info along). Anyway, hopefully, they will step back; husband thinks they won't give up, but we'll see.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    It's a tough situation, but you can nicely request that all questions of this type be directed to you and explain why you're making the request.

    As always, do it in writing and via certified mail.
  10. maril

    maril New Member

    Thanks, Sheila. Will do. :D

    At this point, I can see him slipping back towards school avoidance and know he was formerly/but now is becoming less willing to deal with the burdens he faces as the pressure mounts. I continue to support and encourage him. I am so very thankful he has a support system available outside of school.
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