October 28, 2019 - 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM ET

Southern Association of Independent Schools 2019 Annual Conference

Evolving Legal Trends in Student & Employee Health

This event has already occurred.

Assessing and responding appropriately to student and employee health concerns is an increasingly challenging task. This session will focus on four increasingly common and challenging topics – mental health, marijuana use, immunizations, and service animals. Previously, mental health issues were commonly considered "invisible disabilities." Now students and employees alike are more often verbalizing their diagnoses of mental health conditions – putting schools "on notice" of a particular condition. With such notice, the corollary question is: Is there an accommodation we need to make? In addition, schools are seeing an increasing use of medical marijuana and CBD products by both students and employees. With both products in the crosshairs of federal and state law, schools must navigate thorny territory in formulating a position on the use of these products. Furthermore, immunizations and immunization policies have been the subject of scrutiny nationwide, with students experiencing measles outbreaks and employees asserting discrimination claims for "failure to accommodate." Formulating a compliant and manageable policy is key to protecting the school community. Finally, schools are also grappling with the increased use of emotional support animals. We will discuss how schools should respond to these requests, including how a school's response should differ as compared to student/employee use of a service animal.