Washburn, WI asked in Civil Rights, Education Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Wisconsin

Q: Is it legal for a public school nurse to provide pregnancy tests to the students privately?

15 year old child was given a pregnancy test at school by the school nurse without informing parents. Child also has an eating disorder that a school teacher reported her for and tried to force into counseling while telling the child's friends.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The legality of a public school nurse providing pregnancy tests to students privately can vary depending on state laws and school policies. In many places, school nurses are allowed to offer certain health services to students confidentially, including pregnancy tests, without needing to inform parents. This is often done to ensure students have access to necessary health care and support.

However, if the child has an eating disorder and was reported by a teacher, there should be a more comprehensive approach involving the parents, school counselors, and healthcare providers. Privacy laws, such as FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), protect students' medical and educational information, so disclosing the child's condition to friends or other unauthorized individuals may violate these laws.

If you are concerned about the school's actions, you may want to discuss the situation with school administrators to understand their policies and express your concerns. Additionally, consulting with a legal professional who specializes in education law can help you determine if any laws were violated and what steps you can take to address the situation.

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