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I am having an issuing involving my child’s school. They…

Customer Question
I am having an...

I am having an issuing involving my child’s school. They school called dyfs on me 2 weeks ago because my child went to school with a mark under his eye. He told the staff he was hit with a toy, than said I hit him. I explained to the dyfs worker how I did hit him in his mouth for cursing (which was a tap) and the mark came from him celebration his 6th birthday at a nerf gun arena for kids. My son explained to me that they continue to question him about the mark, took him to the nurses office, where they asked him to lift up his shirt to inspect his body! I was not present, nor was the dyfs worker! I did not give the School permission to inspect my child’s body! That is the dyfs workers responsibility. When the dyfs worker came to m house, she asked questions about me that were discussed during an IEP meeting at the school. (Violation of my hippa rights) The School continues to harass my child about scratches he comes to school with (we have a 5 month of puppy) I need to know if I have a case and how to go about it.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

New Jersey

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

On my behave, no. They called dyfs on me. I contacted the school to have a meeting but decided I wanted to take legal action

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

He came home from school this week with a cut on the palm of his hand, told me he fell outside. His aid refused to take him to the nurses office, said he was fine and put a bandaid on it. My son told me his cut was not cleaned before the bandaid was applied. ( wasn’t notified about anything)

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 35 minutes by:
12/4/2017
Family Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,347
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Family Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. This one is a bit complicated because there are some education law, family law, and criminal law overlaps here.

So, the first issue as to whether they're allowed to inspect his body. Generally, a school nurse is considered a mandated reporter, meaning that they must report signs of child abuse. If they have reason to believe that a child has been abused and if they have reason to believe that they can conduct some reasonable physical inspection, such as lifting their shirt, it is going to be legal and there won't be much recourse there. The DYFS worker and the nurse basically have the same responsibilities and authority to do that kind of thing

As far as the DYFS worker asking questions discussed during an IEP team meeting, there might be a violation depending on what is being shared. Under FERPA rules, a school isn't allowed to share information about a student including information in their IEP, without the consent of the parent. The only time they can share it is with other people at the school if there is a legitimate educational interest. If they were asking about specific medical conditions, and those conditions were as a part of his educational record, it'll be FERPA, not HIPPA that is going to play the role and the same rules apply. Thus, you may be able to file a complaint with the US Department of Education for this potential violation.

What other questions did you have for me?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The school released medical history about me. Things I’ve dealt with in the past, that had nothing to do with the situation. My child has never gone to school with a mark on him other than this innocent (prior to them calling dyfs) he now is being harassed any time he goes to school about any mark. We have a 5 month old puppy who tends to scratch him leaving marks.Is an aide allow to refuse a child, to be taken down to the nurses office after falling on the play ground and receiving a cut on the palm of there hand?
Family Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

I can see what you mean. Could you tell me how they found out about your medical history? Was it in his IEP?

Also, the school (and its employees) are required to take care of the children while they're at school. So, if the child falls on the playground and gets a cut on the palm tree, and there is a reasonable need for medical care, then yes, the aide is supposed to take them.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
They asked about family history. Anyone suffer from bipolar illness (which my grandfather does) depression (which I have) mentioned to the dyfs worker by the School about me going through the behavioral health unit when I was a teen. (Which none of them know the extend to how that even came about) irrelevant to the entire situation and itself!The aide did not take him to the nurse, after he asked to go there. The cut was not cleaned either.
Family Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

I see what you mean. So, HIPPA protects your medical records, but it requires "covered" agencies to protect against sharing this information with other people without your consent. Schools are not generally covered entities because a covered entity is going to be a place like a hospital or a doctor's office, unfortunately. However, when it comes to the child needing to be taken to the nurse, yes, they are supposed to. Did he suffer any kind of harm because of this? (e.g. infection, hospital bills, etc.)?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No harm but that’s my point. What if there was? You know? This whole issue upsets me. I would NEVER abuse my child, and for someone to call dyfs on a mother who has nothing but unconditional love for her child, Boggles my mind!Should I request a meeting with the School?
Family Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

As someone who used to represent public schools and a parent myself, my recommendation would be to meet with the school principal and anyone else who may be involved (e.g. the nurse). You may be able to come up with a plan of action to prevent this kind of harm in the future and help them understand that sharing your medical information with other people is inappropriate and the longer they continue to do this, the more it harms your child.

What other questions did you have for me?

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Family Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Hello, it’s been awhile since we connected so I wanted to check in with you to see if you had any further before you rated. If you have any other questions or if there is anything else I can assist you with today. Please reply here and let me know.

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