My daughter has ADHD. She sometimes “acts out” but is not a behavior problem. At the IEP meeting, the Assistant Principal demanded that we put her on meds. He gave us a deadline date. If we did not comply, he would call 911 for any “acting out.” Is this legal?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act expressly forbids school personnel from requiring a child to take meds. Period.
You need to read what IDEA 2004 says about medication.
Turn to page 84 in your Special Ed Law book, Section (25) Prohibition on Mandatory Medication.
Your State Department of Education is responsible for ensuring that school districts do not require parents to obtain a prescription for medication as a condition for
- attending school,
- receiving an evaluation,
- or receiving special education services.
Document with a Follow-Up Letter
You should follow up with a short letter that documents exactly what you were told.
Say that you felt intimidated by the Assistant Principal’s statements. Explain you are confused because you didn’t think school personnel could require your family to put this child on medication. Explain that you understood this is a decision that can only be made by a medical doctor.
Ask for clarification of the school’s policies on mandatory medication. Request a copy of the written policy.
Input from School Teachers
The law states that school cannot require a child to take medication before providing special ed services.
The law also says that teachers can tell parents that they suspect a problem.
Parents and teachers are usually the first to notice that a child has a problem that is affecting her ability to learn.
Teachers have experience with children with different disabilities.
Your child’s teacher can tell you that she thinks your child may have ADD/ADHD and may need medication – nothing wrong with this. It may be something you want to consider.
1412 (1) (a) (25) Prohibition on Mandatory Medication, page 84.