ADMINISTERING MEDICINES TO STUDENTS Policy Code: 6125
The board recognizes that students may need to take medication during school hours. School personnel may administer drugs or medication prescribed by a doctor only upon the written request of the parents. To minimize disruptions to the school day, medicines should be taken at home rather than at school whenever feasible. School personnel should not agree to administer any medication that could be taken at home.
A. STANDARDS FOR ADMINISTERING MEDICINES
1. School employees are authorized to administer drugs or medication when all of the following conditions have been met:
- a. The student’s parent or legal custodian has made a written request that school personnel administer the drug or medication to the student. A physician or other healthcare provider has completed the Medication Administration form.
- b. A physician, or other healthcare provider has certified that administration of the drug or medication to the student during the school day is necessary (for over-the-counter medications as well as medications available only by a physician’s prescription); and
- c. The employee administers the drug or medication pursuant to the written instructions provided by the student’s licensed healthcare provider .
2. The superintendent is directed to develop procedures for the implementation of this policy. These rules and a copy of this policy must be made available to all students and parents each school year. The superintendent’s procedures should be developed according to the guidelines listed below.
- a. The health and welfare of the student must be of paramount concern in all decisions regarding the administration of medicine.
- b. Students with special needs are to be afforded all rights provided by federal and state law as enumerated in the Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities. Students with disabilities also are to be afforded all rights provided by anti-discrimination laws, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- c. No student may possess, use or transmit any drug or counterfeit drug prohibited by board policy 4325, Drugs and Alcohol.
- d. The board generally encourages school personnel to administer medicine from a centralized location. However, in all instances, whether from a centralized location or multiple locations, any medicines kept at school for a student must be kept in a locked and secure place.
- e. Any school personnel who will be administering medicines must receive appropriate training.
- f. Only drugs clearly prescribed or intended for the student may be administered by school personnel. If school personnel have concerns regarding the appropriateness of a drug or dosage for a student, a confirmation should be obtained from the student's doctor or another doctor prior to administering the medicine or allowing a student to self-administer a medicine.
- g. Although efforts should be made not to disrupt instructional time, a parent has the right to administer medicines to his or her child at any time while the child is on school property.
- h. Written information maintained by the school or school personnel regarding a student's health information is confidential. Parents and students must be accorded all rights provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and state confidentiality laws. Any employee who violates the confidentiality of the records may be subject to disciplinary action.
- i. School personnel at each school must be required to keep a medication log of all medicines administered by school staff at school.
B. OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATION
Consistent with the above requirements, over-the-counter medications will only be given during school hours by school personnel. Parents who want school personnel to administer over-the counter medication must provide the medication and completed administration of medication form to school personnel pursuant to the requirements of this policy.
The Chatham County School System recognizes the potential danger to students that the unsupervised use of over-the-counter medications can present. Over-the-counter medications include any drugs or medications not defined in Policy 4325, Drugs and Alcohol. Likewise, the possession of these drugs will not be tolerated on the campuses of Chatham County Schools. Only in unusual situations with precise attention to the Medication Policy regulations will students be allowed to use medication during the school day.
When students self medicate without school system approval, it will be considered a disciplinary offense. Parents will be notified immediately and the substance will be confiscated. Any further disciplinary action will be handled at the discretion of the building administrator.
DISTRIBUTION OF OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS
In the event that a student shares over-the-counter medications with other student(s), the substance will be confiscated and the parents of all students involved will be contacted. Further disciplinary action will be handled at the discretion of the building administrator.
C. EMERGENCY MEDICATION
Students who are at risk for medical emergencies, such as those with asthma severe allergies, seizures or diabetes must have an emergency health care plan developed for them by their physician or healthcare provider to address emergency administration of medicine.
D. STUDENT SELF-ADMINISTERING ASTHMA MEDICATIONS
The board recognizes that students with asthma and/or subject to anaphylactic reactions may need to possess and self-administer asthma medication on school property. As used in this policy, “asthma medication” means a medicine prescribed for the treatment of asthma or anaphylactic reactions and includes a prescribed asthma inhaler or epinephrine auto-injector. The superintendent is directed to develop procedures for the possession and self-administration of asthma medication by students on school property, during the school day, at school-sponsored activities, and/or while in transit to or from school or school sponsored events.
1. Before a student will be allowed to self-administer medicine pursuant to this section, the student’s parent or guardian must provide to the principal or his or her designee all the documents listed below.
- a. Written authorization from the student’s parent or guardian for the student to possess and self-administer asthma medication;
- b. A written statement from the student’s health care practitioner verifying:
- i. that the student has asthma and/or an allergy that could result in anaphylactic reaction;
- ii. that he or she prescribed medication for use on school property during the school day, at school-sponsored activities, or while in transit to or from school or school-sponsored events; and
- iii. that the student understands, has been instructed in self-administration of the asthma medication, and has demonstrated the skill level necessary to use the medication and any accompanying device;
- c. A written treatment plan and written emergency protocol formulated by the prescribing health care practitioner for managing the student’s asthma or anaphylaxis episodes and for medication use by the student;
- d. A statement provided by the school system and signed by the student’s parent or guardian acknowledging that the board of education and its agents are not liable for injury arising from the student’s possession and self-administration of asthma medication; and
- e. Any other documents or items necessary to comply with state and federal laws.
2. Prior to being permitted to self-administer medicine at school, the student also must demonstrate to the school nurse, or the nurse’s designee, the skill level necessary to use the asthma medication and any accompanying device.
3. Finally, the student’s parent or guardian must provide to the school backup asthma medication that school personnel are to keep in a location to which the student has immediate access in the event of an emergency.
All information provided to the school by the student’s parent or guardian must be kept on file at the school in an easily accessible location. Any permission granted by the principal for a student to possess and self-administer asthma medication will be effective only for the same school for 365 calendar days. It must be reviewed annually.
A student who uses his or her prescribed asthma medication in a manner other than as prescribed may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to the school’s disciplinary policy. No one may impose disciplinary action on the student that limits or restricts the student’s immediate access to the asthma medication.
The board does not assume any responsibility for the administration of drugs or medication to a student by the student, the student’s parent or legal custodian or any other person who is not authorized by this policy to administer medications to students.
Legal References: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.; Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794; G.S. 115C-36, -307(c), -375.2; State Board Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities, HSP-D-000.
Adopted: August 7, 1989
Revised: July 15, 2005, September 14, 2009, August 8, 2011