6000 - Support Services

6125 Administering Medicines to Students

The board recognizes that students may need to take medication during school hours.  To minimize disruptions to the school day, medicines should be taken at home rather than at school whenever feasible.  School personnel should not administer any medication that could be taken at home.  In addition, school personnel and contracted personnel will not administer any medication not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will not administer any medication in doses in excess of that recommended by the FDA and the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) and will not administer any medication for a purpose or use not approved by the FDA and the PDR for that medicine.  Standards for handling and administration of medications adhere to National School Nurse Standards, NC Nurse Practice Act, and state laws governing these practices.


1. School nurses are authorized to administer, or delegate administration of,  prescription drugs or medication during school hours or during school sponsored events, on a case by case basis, once all of the following conditions have been met:

a. The student’s parent or legal custodian has submitted a completed  “Request for Medication Administration in School” form which provides written consent for the administration of the drugs or medication; 

b. A Request for Medication Administration form must be completed by a licensed doctor prescribing such drugs or medication; 

c. The doctor has certified that administration of the drug or medication to the student during the school day or during a school sponsored function is necessary;

d. The school nurse or delegate administers the drug or medication pursuant to the written instructions of the doctor as provided by the student’s parent or legal custodian; and

e. All medication, except self-carry medication approved by the school nurse, and authorized by this policy, must be transported to and from school by an adult and checked in by designated school personnel.  All medications must be in the newest, labeled container, as received from the pharmacy.

2. The superintendent shall develop procedures for the implementation of this policy. These rules and a copy of this policy must be made available to all students and parents each school year. The superintendent’s procedures should be developed according to the guidelines listed below.

a. The health and welfare of the student must be of paramount concern in all decisions regarding the administration of medicine.

b. Students with special needs are to be afforded all rights provided by federal and state law as enumerated in the Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities.  Students with disabilities also are to be afforded all rights provided by anti-discrimination laws, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

c. No student may possess, use or transmit any drug or counterfeit drug prohibited by policy 4325, Drugs and Alcohol.

d. In all instances, whether from a centralized location or multiple locations, any medicines kept at school for a student must be kept in a locked and secure place.

e. All school personnel who will be administering medicines must receive appropriate training by the school nurse.

f. Only drugs clearly prescribed or intended for the student may be administered by school personnel. If the school nurse has concerns regarding the appropriateness of a drug or dosage for a student, a confirmation should be obtained from the student's doctor or another doctor prior to administering the medicine or allowing a student to self-administer a medicine.

g. Although efforts should be made not to disrupt instructional time, a parent will not be prevented by school personnel from administering medicines to his or her child  while the child is on school property, 

h. Written information maintained by school personnel regarding a student’s medicinal and health needs is confidential.  Parents and students must be afforded all rights provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and state confidentiality laws.  Any employee who violates the confidentiality of the records may be subject to disciplinary action.  Parental consent for exchange of information between the school nurse and prescriber must be obtained for clarification of administration, report of response to medication, and to consult on adverse effects.


Consistent with the above requirements, over-the-counter medications may be given by school personnel during school hours or during school sponsored events only if they are received in an unopened container, complete with instructions from a licensed healthcare provider, and the requirements of Section A above are met, except that a prescription from a licensed doctor is not required and other references to a doctor in that section may include other licensed health care providers.  Parents who want school personnel to administer over-the counter medication must provide the medication to school personnel pursuant to the requirements of this policy.


Students who are at risk for medical emergencies, such as those with diabetes, asthma or severe allergies, must have an emergency health care plan developed for them by the school nurse to address emergency administration of medicine.


The board recognizes that students, especially those with asthma, diabetes or who are subject to severe allergic reactions, may need to possess and self-administer their medication.  The following procedures govern student self-administration of medications on school property during the school day, at school-sponsored activities, and/or while in transit to or from school or school-sponsored events.  The superintendent shall develop further procedures, as necessary, for the possession and self-administration of medication by students with the above-named health conditions

1. Before a student will be allowed to self-administer medicine pursuant to this section, the student’s parent or guardian must provide to the school nurse all of the documents listed below:

a. written authorization from the student’s parent or guardian for the student to possess and self-administer the medicine and a Request for Medication Administration in School form as described above;

b. a written statement from the student’s health care practitioner verifying:

i. that the student has asthma, an allergy that could result in anaphylactic reaction, diabetes or other serious health condition;

ii. that he or she prescribed medication for use on school property during the school day, at school-sponsored activities, or while in transit to or from school or school-sponsored events; and

iii. that the student understands, has been instructed in self-administration of the medication, and has demonstrated the skill level necessary to use the medication and any accompanying device.

c. for students with asthma or subject to anaphylactic reactions, a written treatment plan and written emergency protocol formulated by the prescribing health care practitioner for managing the student’s asthma or anaphylaxis episodes and for medication use by the student;

d. a statement provided by the school system and signed by the student’s parent or guardian acknowledging that the board of education and its agents are not liable for injury arising from the student’s possession and self-administration of medication; and

e. any other documents or items necessary to comply with state and federal laws.

2.  In accordance with policy 6120, an Emergency Action Plan or Individualized Health Plan will be developed dependent upon the severity of the health condition, as determined by the school nurse.

3. Prior to being permitted to self-administer medicine at school, the student also must demonstrate to the school nurse, or the nurse’s designee, the skill level necessary to use the medication and any accompanying device.

4. If the student has asthma, the student’s parent or guardian must provide to the school backup asthma medication that school personnel are to keep in a location to which the student has immediate access in the event of an emergency.  If the student has another condition for which he or she is allowed to self administer medication under this policy, the student’s parent or guardian should provide backup medication to school personnel as well.

5. All information provided to the school by the student’s parent or guardian must be kept on file at the school in an easily accessible location.  Any permission granted by the principal for a student to possess and self-administer medication will be effective only for that school and for the duration of that school year.  Such permission must be renewed for each school year.

6.     A student who uses his or her prescribed medication in a manner other than as    prescribed may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to the Student Code of Conduct.  School personnel may not impose disciplinary action on the student that limits or restricts the student’s immediate access to his or her asthma medication for use in compliance with this policy.

7.  The board and its employees do not assume and disclaim any responsibility for the administration of drugs or medication to a student by the student, the student’s parent or legal custodian or any other person.  The board specifically retains all immunity to liability for itself and its employees and agents including but not limited to the immunities set forth in G.S. 115C-375.1 and 115C-375.2.

Legal References:
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12134, 28 C.F.R. pt. 35; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., 34 C.F.R. pt. 300; Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. -705(20), -794, 34 C.F.R. pt. 104; G.S. 115C-36, -307(c), -375.1, -375.2; Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities, State Board of Education Policy GCS-D-000
Cross References:
Parental Involvement (policy 1310/4002), Drugs and Alcohol (policy 4325)
Monday, 14 May 2012
Last Updated: