POLICY ON PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS

Act No. 825

R. S.17:436.2

Psychotropic Drug Use

The St. Tammany Parish School Board prohibits all school personnel from:

            1.  Recommending the use of psychotropic drugs for any student within the school system

            2.  Specifying or identifying any specific mental health diagnosis for a student

            3.  Using a parent’s or guardian’s refusal to consent to the administration of a       

                  psychotropic drug to a student or to a psychiatric evaluation, screening, or     

                  examination of a student as grounds for prohibiting the student from attending

                  any class or participating in any school-related activity or as a sole basis of     

                  accusations of child abuse or neglect against the parent or guardian.

 The provisions of this Section shall not be construed so as to prohibit any of the following:

1.      School health or mental health personnel, including school registered nurses, nurse practitioners, school psychologists, social workers, and school counselors from recommending that a student be evaluated by an appropriate medical practitioner.

2.      A teacher or other certified employee from suggesting a student be assessed or evaluated by qualified employees of the Board who perform such function.

3.      A teacher assessing or evaluating any element of a student’s academic readiness, performance, or achievement.

4.      Any school board employee from discussing any aspect of a student’s behavior or academic progress with the student’s parent or guardian or any other employee of the school board.

For purposes of this policy, the term “recommend” shall mean to directly or indirectly suggest that a child use psychotropic drugs.  A “psychotropic drug” shall mean a substance that is used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease or as a component of a medication and is intended to have an altering effect on perception, emotion, or behavior.  “Teacher” shall mean any person employed by the school system, who, as a condition of employment, is required to hold a valid teaching certificate issued by the State Department of Education and any person employed by the school system as a substitute teacher.

These provisions shall not interfere with the development and implementation of an individualized education program for any child with an exceptionality as provided pursuant to any state or federal law, rule, or regulation.