Bill Summary for H 172 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

Feb 22 2023

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
House Bill 172 (Public) Filed Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Intro. by Kidwell, Hardister, Biggs, Cairns.

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Bill summary

Names the act the “Seizure Safe Schools Act of 2023” or “Sam’s Law.”

Amends Article 25A of GS Chapter 115C by enacting new GS 115C-375.7 (governing seizure preparedness) as follows. 

Allows a parent of a student diagnosed with a seizure disorder to petition the student’s school unit for a seizure action plan [Plan] (a written, individualized health plan developed between a school unit and the parent of a student enrolled in the unit who is diagnosed with a seizure disorder that identifies the health care needs of the student and prepares school personnel to meet those needs). Specifies that the Plan must include at minimum the following components: (1) written statement from the student's health care provider with the student's name, any seizure medication prescribed to the student, the dosage and method of administering the seizure medication, the frequency of administration of the seizure medication, and the symptoms necessitating administration of the seizure medication; and (2) a written statement from the parent indicating whether school personnel or volunteers are permitted to administer seizure medication to the student, to be renewed in each subsequent school year the student attends a school in the school unit, and (3) if school personnel or volunteers who meet the act’s training requirements are authorized by the parent to administer seizure medication to a student, requires the parent provide the school with at least one unopened dosage of the medication with an intact pharmaceutical label, to be stored in a safe and secure location accessible only by school personnel or volunteers with training to administer seizure medication in accordance with training requirements of new GS 115C-375.7. Specifies that a Plan is only valid for one school year. 

Requires each school unit to ensure at least one of its employees is trained to administer or assist with the self-administration of any seizure medication provided to the school under a Plan.  Requires the governing body of each school unit to adopt minimum training requirements for those employees or volunteers supervising students with seizure disorders consistent with the guidelines established by the Epilepsy Foundation of America, Inc., or its successor. Establishes a seizure education program for all school personnel having direct contact with students in grades kindergarten through 12. Requires annual seizure education in each public school unit, to cover at a minimum the following topics: (1) instructions for administering seizure medications; (2) signs and symptoms of seizures and the appropriate steps to be taken to respond to symptoms of a seizure; and (3) any other guidelines established by the Epilepsy Foundation of America, Inc., or its successor. Requires governing body of each public school unit to adopt a policy outlining the requirements of the seizure education program. Requires governing body of each school unit to adopt a policy requiring principals, guidance counselors, and teachers in the unit to complete at least one hour of self-study review of seizure disorder materials each school year. The governing body of the unit must select the materials for study in accordance with current practices and standards. Requires the governing body of the school unit to ensure that an informational poster on seizure first aid is posted in at least one visible, high traffic area in each school in the unit.

Amends GS 115C-12 (State Board of Education [Board]), GS 115C-47 (local boards of education), GS 115C-218.75 (charter schools),  GS 115C-238.66 (regional schools), and GS 116-11 (Board of Governors) by requiring the Board to adopt rules regarding seizures for all schools under its authority and requiring the other entities to adopt seizure policies for schools under their control.

Appropriates from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction $50,000 in nonrecurring funds to assist the Board with the development of its seizure policy and with other costs associated with the implementation of the act. Authorizes the Board to share any materials or rule language developed under the act with the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina and the Division of Nonpublic Schools to facilitate the development of seizure policies consistent with the act.

Applies beginning with the 2024-25 school year.