The District is required to provide educational services to all school age children who reside within its boundaries. By law, however, admission to school may be denied to any child diagnosed as having a disease whereby attendance could be harmful to the welfare of other students and staff, subject to the District's responsibilities to handicapped children under the law.
The anonymity of persons with HIV/AIDS is protected by law. Further, individuals with all conditions related to HIV/AIDS are protected from discrimination under both federal and state law. Neither attendance at school nor employment may be denied to an individual with HIV/AIDS. Therefore, no student or staff member may be discriminated against in school attendance or employment on the basis of his/her diagnosis of HIV/AIDS. Because the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS is a confidential matter between the individual student or staff member and his/her physician, the school system may not be aware of it. If the Superintendent has been notified that a student or staff member is infected with HIV, he/she shall follow a standard procedure to support the person with the illness and to ensure the safety of all individuals in the school setting.
The School Committee recognizes that communicable diseases which may afflict students range from common childhood diseases, acute and short-term in nature, to chronic, life-threatening diseases such as
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Management of common communicable diseases shall be in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Health guidelines. A student who exhibits symptoms of a communicable disease may be temporarily excluded from school attendance. The District reserves the right to require a physician's statement authorizing the student's return to school.
The educational placement of a student who is medically diagnosed as having a life-threatening communicable disease shall be determined on an individual basis in accordance with this policy and accompanying administrative procedures. Decisions about the proper educational placement shall be based on the student's behavior, neurological development, and physical condition; the expected type of interaction with others in school setting; and the susceptibility to other diseases and the likelihood of
presenting risks to others. A regular review of the placement decision shall be conducted to assess changes in the student's physical condition, or based on new information or research that may warrant a change in a student's placement.
In the event a student with a life-threatening communicable disease qualifies for services as a handicapped child under state and federal law, the procedures for determining the appropriate educational placement in the least restrictive environment shall be used in lieu of the procedures designated above.
Neither this policy nor the placement of a student in any particular program shall preclude the administration from taking any temporary actions including removal of a student from the classroom as deemed necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the student, staff, and others.
In all proceedings related to this policy, the District shall respect the student's right to privacy. Only those persons with a direct need to know shall be informed of the specific nature of the student's condition. The determination of those who need to know shall be made by the Superintendent.
In order to support AIDS prevention education in the Lexington Public Schools, the School Committee affirms its commitment to a K-12 comprehensive health education life skills program.
- HIV/AIDS prevention education will be emphasized at developmentally appropriate levels throughout the Health Education and Wellness curriculum.
- In addition, the School Committee will support ongoing efforts to train all staff in HIV/AIDS awareness.