Recently, there has been much discussion about the New York State Education Department’s August 2013 “School Health Examination Guidelines.” However, to critically consider the situation, it is worth reading about these recommendations, either in full, or the analytical analysis from 123helpme. In relevant part, the guidelines state that “parental consent is required for health services, treatment, and remedial care.” Some school districts have interpreted the cited language as barring them from providing health services to students, unless the school district first receives parental consent. The Education Law and the Commissioner’s Regulations, however, require school districts to conduct certain medical assessments of students.
In response to our inquiry regarding its guidelines, State Education Department officials have indicated that the guidance was drafted to clarify school districts’ obligations with respect to students who fail to produce physical exam certifications. In those cases, school districts are required to conduct a physical exam of the student, but best practices dictate that parental consent be obtained before doing any such exam. The guidelines were not intended to deviate from the current practices with respect to school districts’ health services.
The Education Department has promised to provide additional information on this specific provision of the guidelines, and we will publish any such information on this blog as soon as it becomes available.
Emina Poricanin is a senior associate in the Labor & Employment Law Practice at Hodgson Russ LLP. You can reach her at .