SENATE BILL 85
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2024
RELATING TO SCHOOLS; ENACTING THE SEIZURE SAFE SCHOOLS ACT TO PROVIDE FOR SEIZURE DISORDER MANAGEMENT AND CARE BY SCHOOL PERSONNEL; PROVIDING FOR RULEMAKING; LIMITING LIABILITY.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Seizure Safe Schools Act"."
SECTION 2. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Seizure Safe Schools Act:
A. "governing body" means:
(1) the school board of a school district;
(2) the entity that governs a state-chartered or locally chartered charter school; or
(3) the entity that governs a private school;
B. "school" means an elementary, secondary, middle, junior high or high school or any combination of those, including a public school, state-chartered or locally chartered charter school or private school that students attend in person;
C. "school employee" means a person employed by a school or a person employed by the department who is assigned to a school;
D. "school nurse" means a person who:
(1) is authorized pursuant to the Nursing Practice Act to practice as a professional registered nurse;
(2) is licensed by the department and the board of nursing as a school nurse; and
(3) provides services as a school nurse at a school;
E. "seizure action plan" means a written, individualized health plan designed to acknowledge and prepare for the health care needs of a student diagnosed with a seizure disorder; and
F. "seizure care personnel" means a school employee who volunteers to be trained and is trained in accordance with Section 3 of the Seizure Safe Schools Act."
SECTION 3. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] SEIZURE CARE--SEIZURE CARE PERSONNEL--TRAINING.--
A. By December 31, 2024, the department shall adopt and promulgate rules for the training of school employees and bus drivers on the management of students with seizure disorders. Each governing body shall ensure that a seizure safety training approved by the department is provided annually to all school employees and bus drivers. At a minimum, the seizure safety training programs shall include information on:
(1) seizure disorders;
(2) recognition of the signs and symptoms of seizures and the appropriate steps to be taken to respond to these symptoms; and
(3) seizure first aid.
B. The department shall, in consultation with the department of health and New Mexico school nurses association, adopt and promulgate rules for the training of school nurses and seizure care personnel on providing care for students with seizure disorders. Each governing body shall ensure that each school attended by a student with a seizure disorder has at least two school employees, including school nurses or seizure care personnel, trained annually in the administration and use of:
(1) seizure rescue medications; and
(2) medications and devices prescribed to treat seizure disorder symptoms, including vagus nerve stimulation devices and responsive neurostimulation devices.
C. If a school attended by a student with a seizure disorder does not have two employees who are trained pursuant to Subsection B of this section, the school principal or other school administrator shall distribute a written notice to all school employees that the school is seeking volunteers to serve as seizure care personnel. The notice shall inform all school employees:
(1) that the school is required to provide seizure disorder care to one or more students with a seizure disorder;
(2) of the tasks to be performed by seizure care personnel;
(3) that participation is voluntary and no school, school district or governing body will take action against any school employee who does not volunteer;
(4) that training will be provided to school employees who volunteer to provide seizure care; and
(5) of the identity of the person whom school employees should contact in order to volunteer to be seizure care personnel.
D. A governing body shall not require the seizure care personnel to be health care practitioners.
E. The training required pursuant to Subsection B of this section shall be provided by:
(1) a school nurse, if the school has a school nurse; or
(2) a health care practitioner with expertise in seizure disorders."
SECTION 4. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] SEIZURE ACTION PLAN.--
A. The parent or guardian of a student with a seizure disorder who seeks seizure disorder care while at school shall submit to the school a seizure action plan. The parent or guardian may submit a new seizure action plan as necessary when the student's health status changes. Each seizure action plan shall include:
(1) written orders from the student's physician or advanced practice nurse outlining the student's seizure disorder care needs;
(2) the symptoms of the seizure disorder for that particular student and recommended care;
(3) accommodations for school trips, after-school activities, class parties, sports, exercise and other school-related activities;
(4) medical and treatment issues that may affect the educational process of the student with the seizure disorder;
(5) the student's ability to manage and level of understanding of the student's seizure disorder;
(6) contact information for the student's parent or guardian and the student's health care team; and
(7) a release signed by the student's parent or guardian authorizing the school nurse or seizure care personnel to share the student's medical information with health care providers, school employees and school bus drivers.
B. Each seizure action plan shall be reviewed and implemented by a school nurse or seizure care personnel.
C. Each school employee and bus driver responsible for the supervision or care of a student diagnosed with a seizure disorder shall be given notice of the student's seizure action plan."
SECTION 5. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] SEIZURE DISORDER CARE AT SCHOOL.--
A. A governing body shall ensure that all students with seizure disorders receive appropriate and needed seizure disorder care as specified in students' seizure action plans. In accordance with the request of a parent or guardian of a student with a seizure disorder and the student's seizure action plan, a school nurse or, in the absence of a school nurse, seizure care personnel shall perform seizure disorder care functions that shall include, at a minimum:
(1) administration or assisted self-administration of medication prescribed to treat seizure disorder symptoms;
(2) administration of seizure rescue medication when needed; and
(3) assisted use of devices that treat seizure disorder symptoms.
B. A school nurse or at least one seizure care personnel shall be available to provide care to each student with a seizure disorder as provided pursuant to Subsection A of this section during regular school hours and during all school-sponsored activities, trips, extended off-site excursions and extracurricular activities in which a student with a seizure disorder is a participant and on buses where the bus driver has not been trained in seizure disorder care and a student with a seizure disorder is a passenger."
SECTION 6. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] APPLICATION OF OTHER LAWS.--
A. The provisions of Subsection B of Section 5 of the Seizure Safe Schools Act shall not constitute the practice of nursing, and seizure care personnel shall be exempted from all applicable statutory or regulatory provisions that restrict which activities can be delegated to or performed by a person who is not a health care practitioner.
B. Nothing in the Seizure Safe Schools Act shall diminish the rights of students with seizure disorders or the obligations of school districts under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990."
SECTION 7. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY.--A school employee, including a school nurse or bus driver, shall not be held civilly or professionally liable for any act or omission that is made in good faith and is consistent with the provisions of the Seizure Safe Schools Act. An act or omission is not in good faith if it is the result of willful misconduct, gross negligence or recklessness."
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