Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome-AIDS
Mountain Brook City Schools shall strive to protect the safety and health of children and youth in our care, as well as their families, our employees, and the general public. Staff members shall cooperate with public health authorities to promote these goals.
The evidence is overwhelming that the risk of transmitting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is extremely low in school settings when current guidelines are followed. The presence of a person living with HIV infection or diagnosed with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) poses no significant risk to others in school, day care, or school athletic settings.
Section I: School Attendance
A student with HIV infection has the same right to attend school and receive services as any other student and will be subject to the same rules and policies. HIV infection shall not factor into decisions concerning class assignments, privileges, or participation in any school activity.
School authorities will determine the educational placement of a student known to be infected with HIV on a case-by-case basis by following established policies and procedures for students with chronic health problems or students with disabilities. Decision makers must consult the student’s physician and parent or guardian, respect the student’s and family’s privacy rights, and reassess the placement if there is a change in the student’s need for accommodations or services.
School staff members will always strive to maintain a respectful school climate and not allow physical or verbal harassment of any individual or group by another individual or group. This includes taunts directed against a person living with HIV infection, a person perceived as having HIV infection, or a person associated with someone with HIV infection.
Section II: Employment
Mountain Brook City Schools do not discriminate on the basis of HIV infection or association with another person with HIV infection in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. An employee with HIV infection is welcome to continue working as long as he or she is able to perform the essential functions of the position, with reasonable accommodation if necessary.
Section III: Privacy
Pupils or staff members are not required to disclose HIV infection status to anyone in the school system. HIV antibody testing is not required for any purpose.
Every employee has a duty to treat as highly confidential any knowledge or speculation concerning the HIV status of a student or other staff member. Violation of medical privacy is cause for disciplinary action, criminal prosecution, and/or personal liability for a civil suit.
No information regarding a person’s HIV status will be divulged to any individual or organization without a court order or the informed, written, signed, and dated consent of the person with HIV infection (or parent or guardian of a legal minor). The written consent must specify the name of the recipient of the information and the purpose for the disclosure.
All health records, notes, and other documents that reference a person’s HIV status will be kept under lock and key. Access to these confidential records is limited to those named in written permission from the person (or parent or guardian) and to emergency medical personnel. Information regarding HIV status will not be added to a student’s permanent education or health record without written consent.
Section IV: Infection Control
All employees are required to consistently follow infection control guidelines in all settings and at all times, including playgrounds and school buses. Equipment and supplies needed to apply the infection control guidelines will be maintained and kept reasonably accessible. The appropriate administrative staff shall implement the precautions and investigate, correct, and report on instances of lapse.
A school staff member is expected to alert a person responsible for health and safety if a student’s health condition or behavior presents a reasonable risk of transmitting any infection.
If a situation occurs at school in which a person might have been exposed to an infectious agent, such as an instance of blood-to-blood contact, school authorities shall counsel that person (or, if a minor, alert a parent or guardian) to seek appropriate medical evaluation.
Section V: HIV and Athletics
The privilege of participating in physical education classes, athletic programs, competitive sports, and recess is not conditional on a person’s HIV status. School authorities will make reasonable accommodations to allow students living with HIV infection to participate in school-sponsored physical activities.
All employees must consistently adhere to infection control guidelines in locker rooms and all play athletic settings. First aid kits must be on hand at every athletic event.
Section 6: HIV Prevention Education
The goals of HIV prevention education are to promote healthful living and discourage the behaviors that put people at risk of acquiring HIV. The education program will follow the curriculum guidelines set forth by the Alabama Course of Study for fifth through twelfth grade.
Parents and guardians will have convenient opportunities to preview all HIV prevention curricula and materials. School staff members shall assist parents or guardians who ask for help in discussing HIV infection with their children. If a parent or guardian submits a written request to a principal that a child not receive instruction in specific HIV prevention topics at school, and assures that the topic will be discussed at home or elsewhere, the child shall be excused without penalty.
The education system will endeavor to cooperate with HIV prevention efforts in the community that address out-of-school youth and youth in situations that put them at high risk of acquiring HIV.
Section VII: Related Services
Students will have access to voluntary, confidential, age and developmentally appropriate counseling about matters related to HIV infection. School administrators will maintain confidential linkage and referral mechanisms to facilitate voluntary student/staff access to appropriate HIV counseling and testing programs, and to other HIV-related services as needed. Public information about resources in the community will be kept available for voluntary student use.
Section VII: Staff Development
All school staff members will participate in a planned HIV education program that conveys factual and current information; provides guidance on infection control procedures; informs about current law and state, district, and school policies concerning HIV; assists staff to maintain productive parent and community relations; and includes annual review sessions. Certain employees will also receive additional specialized training as appropriate to their positions and responsibilities.
Section IX: General Provisions
On an annual basis, school administrators will notify students, their families members, and school personnel about current policies concerning HIV infection, and provide convenient opportunities to discuss them. Information will be provided in major primary languages of students’ families.
Adopted: December 9, 1991
Revised: August 12, 2002