Did you know about our law regarding seizure management?

The Commissioner’s decision in Parent v. Cypress-Fairbanks ISD is another one in which the Commissioner holds that he lacks jurisdiction to hear the parent’s appeal. That part of the decision is not newsworthy or interesting. But the decision highlights an obscure statute that I want to call your attention to.

This was a complaint that arose from an injury that the student suffered on the school playground. The parent believed that the school should be held responsible for this because the school never developed a seizure treatment plan for this student.  It turns out we have a statute in the Education Code that addresses seizure management.  However, it does not require a school to create such a plan.

Section 38.032 of the T.E.C. allows for parents to “seek care for the student’s seizures” while the student is at school.” But it’s up to the parents to start this process by “submitting to the school district at which the student is enrolled a copy of a seizure management and treatment plan developed by the student’s parent or guardian and the physician responsible for the student’s seizure treatment.” 

The parent in this case did not submit such a plan to the district.  Therefore, there could be no violation of 38.032 by the district. Case dismissed.

The Code does require school staff to be trained about seizures.  Section 38.033 of the Code requires nurses to complete an online course regarding seizure management.  School employees whose duties “include regular contact with students” must also complete an online course to raise awareness about seizure recognition. This section does impose a duty on the school to make sure that staff are properly trained, but there is no duty to create a seizure treatment plan. That’s up to the parents and their doctor. They can then share it with the school to ensure that the child is served properly.

It's Parent v. Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Docket No. 044-R10-06-2022, decided by the Commissioner on October 12, 2022.


Got a question or comment for the Dawg?  Let me hear from you at jwalsh@wabsa.com

Tomorrow: the Aggie ACHIEVE program ends up in litigation….