Article 25A.

Special Medical Needs of Students and Identification of Sexual Abuse of Students.

115C-375.1. To provide some medical care to students.

It is within the scope of duty of teachers, including substitute teachers, teacher assistants, student teachers, or any other public school employee when authorized by the board of education or its designee, (i) to administer any drugs or medication prescribed by a doctor upon written request of the parents, (ii) to give emergency health care when reasonably apparent circumstances indicate that any delay would seriously worsen the physical condition or endanger the life of the pupil, and (iii) to perform any other first aid or lifesaving techniques in which the employee has been trained in a program approved by the State Board of Education. No employee, however, shall be required to administer drugs or medication or attend lifesaving techniques programs.

Any public school employee, authorized by the board of education or its designee to act under (i), (ii), or (iii) above, shall not be liable in civil damages for any authorized act or for any omission relating to that act unless the act or omission amounts to gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing. Any person, serving in a voluntary position at the request of or with the permission or consent of the board of education or its designee, who has been given the authority by the board of education or its designee to act under (ii) above shall not be liable in civil damages for any authorized act or for any omission relating to the act unless the act amounts to gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing.

At the commencement of each school year, but before the beginning of classes, and thereafter as circumstances require, the principal of each school shall determine which persons will participate in the medical care program. (2005-22, s. 2(b); 2006-264, ss. 57(a), (c).)

 

115C-375.2. Possession and self-administration of asthma medication by students with asthma or students subject to anaphylactic reactions, or both.

(a) Local boards of education shall adopt a policy authorizing a student with asthma or a student subject to anaphylactic reactions, or both, to possess and self-administer asthma medication on school property during the school day, at school-sponsored activities, or while in transit to or from school or school-sponsored events. As used in this section, "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 policy shall include a requirement that the student's parent or guardian provide to the school:

(1) Written authorization from the student's parent or guardian for the student to possess and self-administer asthma medication.

(2) A written statement from the student's health care practitioner verifying that the student has asthma or an allergy that could result in an anaphylactic reaction, or both, and that the health care practitioner 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.

(3) A written statement from the student's health care practitioner who prescribed the asthma medication that the student understands, has been instructed in self-administration of the asthma medication, and has demonstrated the skill level necessary to use the asthma medication and any device that is necessary to administer the asthma medication.

(4) A written treatment plan and written emergency protocol formulated by the health care practitioner who prescribed the medicine for managing the student's asthma or anaphylaxis episodes and for medication use by the student.

(5) A statement provided by the school and signed by the student's parent or guardian acknowledging that the local school administrative unit and its employees and agents are not liable for an injury arising from a student's possession and self-administration of asthma medication.

(6) Other requirements necessary to comply with State and federal laws.

(b) The student must demonstrate to the school nurse, or the nurse's designee, the skill level necessary to use the asthma medication and any device that is necessary to administer the medication.

(c) The student's parent or guardian shall provide to the school backup asthma medication that shall be kept at the student's school in a location to which the student has immediate access in the event of an asthma or anaphylaxis emergency.

(d) Information provided to the school by the student's parent or guardian shall be kept on file at the student's school in a location easily accessible in the event of an asthma or anaphylaxis emergency.

(e) If a student uses asthma medication prescribed for the student in a manner other than as prescribed, a school may impose on the student disciplinary action according to the school's disciplinary policy. A school may not impose disciplinary action that limits or restricts the student's immediate access to the asthma medication.

(f) The requirement that permission granted for a student to possess and self-administer asthma medication shall be effective only for the same school and for 365 calendar days and must be renewed annually.

(g) No local board of education, nor its members, employees, designees, agents, or volunteers, shall be liable in civil damages to any party for any act authorized by this section, or for any omission relating to that act, unless that act or omission amounts to gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing. (2005-22, s. 1; 2006-264, s. 57(b).)

 

115C-375.2A. School supply of epinephrine auto-injectors.

(a) A local board of education shall provide for a supply of emergency epinephrine auto-injectors on school property for use by trained school personnel to provide emergency medical aid to persons suffering from an anaphylactic reaction during the school day and at school-sponsored events on school property. Each school shall store in a secure but unlocked and easily accessible location a minimum of two epinephrine auto-injectors. For purposes of this section, "school property" does not include transportation to or from school.

(b) For the purposes of this section and G.S. 115C-375.2, "epinephrine auto-injector" means a disposable drug delivery system with a spring-activated, concealed needle that is designed for emergency administration of epinephrine to provide rapid, convenient first aid for persons suffering a potentially fatal reaction to anaphylaxis.

(c) The principal shall designate one or more school personnel, as part of the medical care program under G.S. 115C-375.1, to receive initial training and annual retraining from a school nurse or qualified representative of the local health department regarding the storage and emergency use of an epinephrine auto-injector. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the school nurse or other designated school personnel who has received training under this subsection shall obtain a non-patient specific prescription for epinephrine auto-injectors from a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner of the local health department serving the area in which the local school administrative unit is located.

(d) The principal shall collaborate with appropriate school personnel to develop an emergency action plan for the use of epinephrine auto-injectors in an emergency. The plan shall include at least the following components:

(1) Standards and procedures for the storage and emergency use of epinephrine auto-injectors by trained school personnel.

(2) Training of school personnel in recognizing symptoms of anaphylaxis.

(3) Emergency follow-up procedures, including calling emergency services and contacting a student's parent and physician.

(4) Instruction and certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

(e) A supply of emergency epinephrine auto-injectors provided in accordance with this section shall not be used as the sole medication supply for students known to have a medical condition requiring the availability or use of an epinephrine auto-injector. Those students may be authorized to possess and self-administer their medication on school property under G.S. 115C-375.2.

(f) A local board of education, its members, employees, designees, agents, or volunteers, and a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner of the local health department shall not be liable in civil damages to any party for any act authorized by this section or for any omission relating to that act unless that act or omission amounts to gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing. (2014-100, s. 8.23(a).)

 

115C-375.3. Guidelines to support and assist students with diabetes.

Local boards of education and boards of directors of charter schools shall ensure that the guidelines adopted by the State Board of Education under G.S. 115C-12(31) are implemented in schools in which students with diabetes are enrolled. In particular, the boards shall require the implementation of the procedures set forth in those guidelines for the development and implementation of individual diabetes care plans. The boards also shall make available necessary information and staff development to teachers and school personnel in order to appropriately support and assist students with diabetes in accordance with their individual diabetes care plans. (2005-22, s. 3(a), (b); 2009-563, s. 1; 2015-241, s. 8.25(e).)

 

115C-375.4. Meningococcal Meningitis and Influenza and Their Vaccines.

Local boards of education shall ensure that schools provide parents and guardians with information about meningococcal meningitis and influenza and their vaccines at the beginning of every school year. This information shall include the causes, symptoms, and how meningococcal meningitis and influenza are spread and the places where parents and guardians may obtain additional information and vaccinations for their children. (2005-22, s. 4(a), (b).)

 

115C-375.5. Education for pregnant and parenting students.

(a) Pregnant and parenting students shall receive the same educational instruction or its equivalent as other students. A local school administrative unit may provide programs to meet the special scheduling and curriculum needs of pregnant and parenting students. However, student participation in these programs shall be voluntary, and the instruction and curriculum must be comparable to that provided other students.

(b) Local boards of education shall adopt a policy to ensure that pregnant and parenting students are not discriminated against or excluded from school or any program, class, or extracurricular activity because they are pregnant or parenting students and to provide assistance and support to encourage pregnant and parenting students to remain enrolled in school and graduate. The policy shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:

(1) Local school administrative units shall use, as needed, supplemental funds from the At-Risk Student Services allotment to support programs for pregnant and parenting students.

(2) Notwithstanding Part 1 of Article 26 of this Chapter, pregnant and parenting students shall be given excused absences from school for pregnancy and related conditions for the length of time the student's physician finds medically necessary. This includes absences due to the illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child of whom the student is the custodial parent.

(3) Homework and make-up work shall be made available to pregnant and parenting students to ensure that they have the opportunity to keep current with assignments and avoid losing course credit because of their absence from school and, to the extent necessary, a homebound teacher shall be assigned. (2006-69, s. 4(a); 2009-330, s. 3.)

 

115C-375.6: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.7: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.8: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.9: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.10: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.11: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.12: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.13: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.14: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.15: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.16: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.17: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.18: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.19: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-375.20. Child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program required.

(a) Definitions. - The following definitions shall apply in this section:

(1) School personnel. - Teachers, instructional support personnel, principals, and assistant principals. This term may also include, in the discretion of the employing entity, other school employees who work directly with students in grades kindergarten through 12.

(b) Each employing entity shall adopt and implement a child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program for school personnel who work directly with students in grades kindergarten through 12 that provides education and awareness training related to child sexual abuse and sex trafficking, including, but not limited to, best practices from the field of prevention, the grooming process of sexual predators, the warning signs of sexual abuse and sex trafficking, how to intervene when sexual abuse or sex trafficking is suspected or disclosed, legal responsibilities for reporting sexual abuse or sex trafficking, and available resources for assistance. This training may be provided by local nongovernmental organizations with expertise in these areas, local law enforcement officers, or other officers of the court. All school personnel who work with students in grades kindergarten through 12 shall receive two hours of training consistent with this section in even-numbered years beginning in 2020.

(c) No entity required to adopt a child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program by G.S. 115C-47(64), 115C-218.75(g), 115C-238.66(15), or 116-239.8(b)(17), or its members, employees, designees, agents, or volunteers, shall be liable in civil damages to any party for any loss or damage caused by any act or omission relating to the provision of, participation in, or implementation of any component of a child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program required by this section, unless that act or omission amounts to gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose any specific duty of care or standard of care on an entity required to adopt a child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program by G.S. 115C-47(64), 115C-218.75(g), 115C-238.66(15), or 116-239.8(b)(17). (2019-245, s. 4.4(f).)

 

115C-376: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-376.1: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-376.2: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-376.3: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-376.4: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

115C-376.5. School-based mental health plan required.

(a) Definitions. - The following definitions shall apply in this section:

(1) K-12 school unit. - A local school administrative unit, a charter school, a regional school, an innovative school, or a laboratory school.

(2) School personnel. - Teachers, instructional support personnel, principals, and assistant principals. This term may also include, in the discretion of the K-12 school unit, other school employees who work directly with students in grades kindergarten through 12.

(b) School-Based Mental Health Policy. - The State Board of Education shall adopt a school-based mental health policy that includes (i) minimum requirements for a school-based mental health plan for K-12 school units and (ii) a model mental health training program and model suicide risk referral protocol for K-12 school units. Consistent with this section, the model mental health training program and model suicide risk referral protocol shall meet all of the following requirements:

(1) The model mental health training program shall be provided to school personnel who work with students in grades kindergarten through 12 and address the following topics:

a. Youth mental health.

b. Suicide prevention.

c. Substance abuse.

d. Sexual abuse prevention.

e. Sex trafficking prevention.

f. Teenage dating violence.

(2) The model suicide risk referral protocol shall be provided to school personnel who work with students in grades six through 12 and provide both of the following:

a. Guidelines on the identification of students at risk of suicide.

b. Procedures and referral sources that address actions that should be taken to address students identified in accordance with this subdivision.

(c) School-Based Mental Health Plan. - Each K-12 school unit shall adopt a plan for promoting student mental health and well-being that includes, at a minimum, the following:

(1) Minimum requirements for a school-based mental health plan established by the State Board of Education pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(2) A mental health training program and a suicide risk referral protocol that are consistent with the model programs developed by the State Board of Education pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(d) Training and Protocol Requirements. - Each K-12 school unit shall provide its adopted mental health training program and suicide risk referral protocol to school personnel at no cost to the employee. Employees shall receive an initial mental health training of at least six hours and subsequent mental health trainings of at least two hours. The initial mental health training shall occur within the first six months of employment. Subsequent mental health trainings shall occur in the following school year and annually thereafter. In the discretion of the K-12 school unit, the initial mental health training may be waived in the event the employee completed an initial mental health training at another K-12 school unit. School personnel may meet mental health training requirements in any of the following ways:

(1) Electronic delivery of instruction.

(2) Videoconferencing.

(3) Group, in-person training.

(4) Self-study.

(e) Review and Update. - Beginning August 1, 2025, and every five years thereafter, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall review the State Board of Education's minimum requirements for a school-based mental health plan, model mental health training program, and model suicide risk referral protocol and recommend any needed changes to the State Board of Education. The State Board shall update its policies to reflect those recommendations and publish the updates to K-12 school units. A K-12 school unit shall update its adopted school-based mental health plan in accordance with any updates provided by the State Board.

(f) Reporting; State Audit. - By September 15 of each year, each K-12 school unit shall report to the Department of Public Instruction on (i) the content of the school-based mental health plan adopted in the unit, including the mental health training program and suicide risk referral protocol, and (ii) prior school year compliance with requirements of this section. The Department of Public Instruction may also audit K-12 school units at appropriate times to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section. The Department shall report the information it receives pursuant to this subsection to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee and the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services by December 15 of each year.

(g) No Duty. - Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose an additional duty on a K-12 school unit to provide referral, treatment, follow-up, or other mental health and suicide prevention services to students of the K-12 school unit.

(h) Limitation of Civil Liability. - No governing body of a K-12 school unit, nor its members, employees, designees, agents, or volunteers, shall be liable in civil damages to any party for any loss or damage caused by any act or omission relating to the provision of, participation in, or implementation of any component of a school-based mental health plan, mental health training program, or suicide risk referral protocol required by this section, unless that act or omission amounts to gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose any specific duty of care or standard of care on a K-12 school unit. (2020-7, s. 1(a).)

 

115C-377: Reserved for future codification purposes.