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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Prohibition on mandatory medication (Sec. 300.174)

Comment: A few commenters expressed concern that the regulations do not provide sufficient guidance on what school personnel can communicate to parents regarding medication. The commenters stated that in the absence of additional guidance, the regulations have the unintended effect of preventing school personnel from speaking openly with parents regarding classroom behavior, options for addressing behavior problems, and the impact of a child's medication on classroom behavior. Further, the commenters requested that the regulations do more to encourage school personnel to recommend evaluations for children with behavior problems and communicate openly with parents about the effectiveness of treatment, and protect school personnel. Other commenters recommended requiring school personnel to inform parents if they suspect that a child's behavior may be related to a disability.

Discussion: We believe that Sec. 300.174 provides sufficient guidance on what school personnel can and cannot communicate to parents regarding a child's medication. Paragraph (a) clarifies that school personnel cannot require parents to obtain a prescription for medication for a child as a condition of attending school, receiving an evaluation to determine if a child is eligible for special education services, or receiving special education and related services under the Act. Paragraph (b) clearly permits classroom personnel to speak with parents or guardians regarding a child's academic and functional performance, behavior in the classroom or school, or the need for an evaluation to determine the need for special education or related services.

We do not believe that further regulations are needed to encourage school personnel to recommend evaluations for children with behavior problems or to require school personnel to inform parents if they suspect a child's behavior may be related to a disability. The child find requirements in Sec. 300.111 clarify that States must have in effect policies and procedures to ensure that all children with disabilities residing in a State and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated.

Changes: None.