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H.B. 134






Chief Sponsor: Gage Froerer

Senate Sponsor: ____________

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill requires parental notification of certain safety threats to a parent's student.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    requires a school to notify a parent:
             14              .     if the parent's student threatens to commit suicide; or
             15              .    of an alleged incident of bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, hazing, or
             16      retaliation involving the parent's student; and
             17          .    requires a school to have a parent sign a statement acknowledging that the parent
             18      was notified of the suicide threat or bullying.
             19      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      AMENDS:
             25          53A-11-605, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 425
             26          53A-11a-301, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 235
             27          53A-13-302, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1999, Chapter 284

             28      ENACTS:
             29          53A-11a-203, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             31      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             32          Section 1. Section 53A-11-605 is amended to read:
             33           53A-11-605. Definitions -- School personnel -- Medical recommendations --
             34      Exceptions -- Penalties.
             35          (1) As used in this section:
             36          (a) "Health care professional" means a physician, physician assistant, nurse, dentist, or
             37      mental health therapist.
             38          (b) "School personnel" means [any] a school district or charter school employee,
             39      including a licensed, part-time, contract, [and] or nonlicensed [employees] employee.
             40          (2) School personnel may:
             41          (a) provide information and observations to a student's parent or guardian about that
             42      student, including observations and concerns in the following areas:
             43          (i) progress;
             44          (ii) health and wellness;
             45          (iii) social interactions;
             46          (iv) behavior; or
             47          (v) topics consistent with Subsection 53A-13-302 (6);
             48          (b) communicate information and observations between school personnel regarding a
             49      child;
             50          (c) refer students to other appropriate school personnel and agents, consistent with
             51      local school board or charter school policy, including referrals and communication with a
             52      school counselor or other mental health professionals working within the school system;
             53          (d) consult or use appropriate health care professionals in the event of an emergency
             54      while the student is at school, consistent with the student emergency information provided at
             55      student enrollment;
             56          (e) exercise their authority relating to the placement within the school or readmission
             57      of a child who may be or has been suspended or expelled for a violation of Section
             58      53A-11-904 ; and

             59          (f) complete a behavioral health evaluation form if requested by a student's parent or
             60      guardian to provide information to a licensed physician.
             61          (3) School personnel shall:
             62          (a) report suspected child abuse consistent with Section 62A-4a-403 ;
             63          (b) comply with applicable state and local health department laws, rules, and policies;
             64      and
             65          (c) conduct evaluations and assessments consistent with the Individuals with
             66      Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq., and its subsequent amendments.
             67          (4) Except as provided in Subsection (2) [and], Subsection (6), and Section
             68      53A-11a-203 , school personnel may not:
             69          (a) recommend to a parent or guardian that a child take or continue to take a
             70      psychotropic medication;
             71          (b) require that a student take or continue to take a psychotropic medication as a
             72      condition for attending school;
             73          (c) recommend that a parent or guardian seek or use a type of psychiatric or
             74      psychological treatment for a child;
             75          (d) conduct a psychiatric or behavioral health evaluation or mental health screening,
             76      test, evaluation, or assessment of a child, except where this Subsection (4)(d) conflicts with the
             77      Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq., and its subsequent
             78      amendments; or
             79          (e) make a child abuse or neglect report to authorities, including the Division of Child
             80      and Family Services, solely or primarily on the basis that a parent or guardian refuses to
             81      consent to:
             82          (i) a psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral treatment for a child, including the
             83      administration of a psychotropic medication to a child; or
             84          (ii) a psychiatric or behavioral health evaluation of a child.
             85          (5) Notwithstanding Subsection (4)(e), school personnel may make a report that would
             86      otherwise be prohibited under Subsection (4)(e) if failure to take the action described under
             87      Subsection (4)(e) would present a serious, imminent risk to the child's safety or the safety of
             88      others.
             89          (6) Notwithstanding Subsection (4), a school counselor or other mental health

             90      professional acting in accordance with Title 58, Chapter 60, Mental Health Professional
             91      Practice Act, or licensed through the State Board of Education, working within the school
             92      system may:
             93          (a) recommend, but not require, a psychiatric or behavioral health evaluation of a child;
             94          (b) recommend, but not require, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral treatment for
             95      a child;
             96          (c) conduct a psychiatric or behavioral health evaluation or mental health screening,
             97      test, evaluation, or assessment of a child in accordance with Section 53A-13-302 ; and
             98          (d) provide to a parent or guardian, upon the specific request of the parent or guardian,
             99      a list of three or more health care professionals or providers, including licensed physicians,
             100      psychologists, or other health specialists.
             101          (7) Local school boards or charter schools shall adopt a policy:
             102          (a) providing for training of appropriate school personnel on the provisions of this
             103      section; and
             104          (b) indicating that an intentional violation of this section is cause for disciplinary action
             105      consistent with local school board or charter school policy and under Section 53A-8a-502 .
             106          (8) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as discouraging general communication
             107      not prohibited by this section between school personnel and a student's parent or guardian.
             108          Section 2. Section 53A-11a-203 is enacted to read:
             109          53A-11a-203. Parental notification of certain incidents required.
             110          (1) For purposes of this section, "parent" includes a student's guardian.
             111          (2) A school shall notify a parent:
             112          (a) if the parent's student threatens to commit suicide; or
             113          (b) of an alleged incident of bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, hazing, or retaliation
             114      involving the parent's student.
             115          (3) If a school notifies a parent of an incident or threat required to be reported under
             116      Subsection (2), the school shall require the parent to sign a statement acknowledging that the
             117      parent was notified of the incident or threat.
             118          (4) The school shall maintain a copy of a parental statement described in Subsection
             119      (3) for at least four years.
             120          (5) At the request of a parent, a school may provide information and make

             121      recommendations related to an incident or threat described in Subsection (2).
             122          Section 3. Section 53A-11a-301 is amended to read:
             123           53A-11a-301. Bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, hazing, and retaliation
             124      policy.
             125          (1) On or before September 1, 2012, each school board shall adopt a bullying,
             126      cyber-bullying, harassment, and hazing policy consistent with this chapter.
             127          (2) The policy shall:
             128          (a) be developed only with input from:
             129          (i) students;
             130          (ii) parents;
             131          (iii) teachers;
             132          (iv) school administrators;
             133          (v) school staff; or
             134          (vi) local law enforcement agencies; and
             135          (b) provide protection to a student, regardless of the student's legal status.
             136          (3) The policy shall include the following components:
             137          (a) definitions of bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, and hazing that are consistent
             138      with this chapter;
             139          (b) language prohibiting bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, and hazing;
             140          (c) language prohibiting retaliation against an individual who reports conduct that is
             141      prohibited under this chapter; [and]
             142          (d) language prohibiting making a false report of bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment,
             143      hazing, or retaliation[.]; and
             144          (e) parental notification of an incident of bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, hazing,
             145      or retaliation involving a parent's student as required in Section 53A-11a-203 .
             146          (4) A copy of the policy shall be included in student conduct handbooks and employee
             147      handbooks.
             148          (5) A policy may not permit formal disciplinary action that is based solely on an
             149      anonymous report of bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, hazing, or retaliation.
             150          (6) Nothing in this chapter is intended to infringe upon the right of a school employee
             151      or student to exercise their right of free speech.

             152          Section 4. Section 53A-13-302 is amended to read:
             153           53A-13-302. Activities prohibited without prior written consent -- Validity of
             154      consent -- Qualifications -- Training on implementation.
             155          (1) Policies adopted by a school district under Section 53A-13-301 shall include
             156      prohibitions on the administration to a student of any psychological or psychiatric examination,
             157      test, or treatment, or any survey, analysis, or evaluation without the prior written consent of the
             158      student's parent or legal guardian, in which the purpose or evident intended effect is to cause
             159      the student to reveal information, whether the information is personally identifiable or not,
             160      concerning the student's or any family member's:
             161          (a) political affiliations or, except as provided under Section 53A-13-101.1 or rules of
             162      the State Board of Education, political philosophies;
             163          (b) mental or psychological problems;
             164          (c) sexual behavior, orientation, or attitudes;
             165          (d) illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
             166          (e) critical appraisals of individuals with whom the student or family member has close
             167      family relationships;
             168          (f) religious affiliations or beliefs;
             169          (g) legally recognized privileged and analogous relationships, such as those with
             170      lawyers, medical personnel, or ministers; and
             171          (h) income, except as required by law.
             172          (2) Prior written consent under Subsection (1) is required in all grades, kindergarten
             173      through grade 12.
             174          (3) [The] Except as provided in Section 53A-11a-203 , the prohibitions under
             175      Subsection (1) shall also apply within the curriculum and other school activities unless prior
             176      written consent of the student's parent or legal guardian has been obtained.
             177          (4) Written parental consent is valid only if a parent or legal guardian has been first
             178      given written notice, including notice that a copy of the educational or student survey questions
             179      to be asked of the student in obtaining the desired information is made available at the school,
             180      and a reasonable opportunity to obtain written information concerning:
             181          (a) records or information, including information about relationships, that may be
             182      examined or requested;

             183          (b) the means by which the records or information shall be examined or reviewed;
             184          (c) the means by which the information is to be obtained;
             185          (d) the purposes for which the records or information are needed;
             186          (e) the entities or persons, regardless of affiliation, who will have access to the
             187      personally identifiable information; and
             188          (f) a method by which a parent of a student can grant permission to access or examine
             189      the personally identifiable information.
             190          (5) (a) Except in response to a situation which a school employee reasonably believes
             191      to be an emergency, or as authorized under Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Part 4, Child Abuse or
             192      Neglect Reporting Requirements, or by order of a court, disclosure to a parent or legal guardian
             193      must be given at least two weeks before information protected under this section is sought.
             194          (b) Following disclosure, a parent or guardian may waive the two week minimum
             195      notification period.
             196          (c) Unless otherwise agreed to by a student's parent or legal guardian and the person
             197      requesting written consent, the authorization is valid only for the activity for which it was
             198      granted.
             199          (d) A written withdrawal of authorization submitted to the school principal by the
             200      authorizing parent or guardian terminates the authorization.
             201          (e) A general consent used to approve admission to school or involvement in special
             202      education, remedial education, or a school activity does not constitute written consent under
             203      this section.
             204          (6) (a) This section does not limit the ability of a student under Section 53A-13-101.3
             205      to spontaneously express sentiments or opinions otherwise protected against disclosure under
             206      this section.
             207          (b) (i) If a school employee or agent believes that a situation exists which presents a
             208      serious threat to the well-being of a student, that employee or agent shall notify the student's
             209      parent or guardian without delay.
             210          (ii) If, however, the matter has been reported to the Division of Child and Family
             211      Services within the Department of Human Services, it is the responsibility of the division to
             212      notify the student's parent or guardian of any possible investigation, prior to the student's return
             213      home from school.

             214          (iii) The division may be exempted from the notification requirements described in this
             215      Subsection (6)(b)(ii) only if it determines that the student would be endangered by notification
             216      of his parent or guardian, or if that notification is otherwise prohibited by state or federal law.
             217          (7) Local school boards shall provide inservice for teachers and administrators within
             218      their respective school districts on the implementation of this section.
             219          (8) The board shall provide procedures for disciplinary action for violations of this
             220      section.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-11-13 3:47 PM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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