School districts have a responsibility to be knowledgeable about all relevant state and federal laws and how they affect school policies on all aspects of concussion education, prevention, and management.
Public Act No. 14-66: An Act Concerning Youth Athletics and Concussions http://www.cga.ct.gov/2014/act/pa/pdf/2014PA-00066-R00HB-05113-PA.pdf
Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) 10-212a Administration of Medications in Schools. This statute pertains to the administration of medications in the school setting. It addresses who may prescribe medications and who may administer medications in the school setting.
The Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Section 10-212a-1 through 10-212a-10 Administration of Medications by School Personnel and Administration of Medication During Before- and After-School Programs and School Readiness Programs. These regulations provide the procedural aspects of medication administration in the school setting. The regulations include definitions within the regulations; the components of a district policy on medication administration; the training of school personnel; self-administration of medications; handling, storage and disposal of medications; supervision of medication administration; administration of medications by coaches and licensed athletic trainers during intramural and interscholastic events; administration of medications by paraprofessionals; and administration of medication in school readiness programs and before- and after-school programs.
Certain federal laws may also be relevant to school districts’ responsibilities for meeting the needs of students with concussions. The following information regarding these laws is adapted from the Connecticut State Department of Education’s Clinical Procedure Guidelines for Connecticut School Nurses - Part A: Legal Issues – Educational (2013).
Three federal laws—Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)—may have application in some situations involving concussions. Section 504 covers qualified students with disabilities who attend schools receiving federal financial assistance. Section 504 would be implicated if a student with a concussion were determined to have a disability. A student would have a disability if the student is determined to: (1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or (2) have a record of such an impairment; or (3) is regarded has having such an impairment. Section 504, together with the IDEA, requires that school districts provide a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) to qualified students who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
Major life activities as defined in the Section 504 regulations include functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. This list is not exhaustive. In the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), Congress provided additional examples of activities that are major life activities including eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking, and communicating. Congress also provided a nonexhaustive list examples of “major bodily functions” that are major life activities, such as functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
It is the responsibility of the Section 504 team to determine eligibility criteria and placement as outlined in the regulations. To determine a child’s qualification, an individualized assessment of the child is required. If qualified, the child is entitled to receive a free, appropriate, public education, including related services. These services should occur within the child’s usual school setting with as little disruption as possible to the school and the child’s routines, in a way that ensures that the child with the disability is educated to the maximum extent possible with his or her nondisabled peers.