Advice, please!

  1. I have a student who needs to take a med every AM. This med should be given at home (per school policy), but sometimes Dad will not give ( doesn't agree w/diagnosis) so Mom got an order to give med at school which was approved by principal. Mom and Dad are going through a nasty divorce. Mom is also emotionally unstable. Mom wants a letter stating Dad did not pick up medication as he should have. I said no, but because I don't know (or care, frankly) who was supposed to pick it up. I could also say Mom never picked it up, either, because it remained locked in the med room for a period of time. Mom now wants a copy of the school MAR and a letter stating she drops med off monthly, and keeps some for home use. She wants to give it to her lawyer.
    I was not in favor of giving this med in school in the first place. I was pressured into it. It is a med that should be given first thing in the morning, not 1-2 hours afterwards. Second, it is not my, or the schools place to get in the middle of this. It is a family issue. Mom was advised of this fact but had discussion with VP. Now VP wants to provide letter and MAR with note just stating facts of who picks up and drops off med. I do not, repeat do not, want to get into the middle of this. I feel if I write or even co-sign such a note, it could lead to more trouble/involvement later on. I know the MAR is school property, and they need to decide if it's given out, not me. I feel the VP is somewhat giving in because she doesn't want issue escalated up the food chain. I also feel the VP is somewhat aggravated with me cause of my hesitation (too bad...)
    Thanks for any and all opinions
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    About mc3, LPN

    Joined: Jun '05; Posts: 1,025; Likes: 1,735
    from US
    Specialty: 12 year(s) of experience


  3. by   Snowbird17
    Skip right over the VP and discuss this with the higher ups that write school policies, as well as the school districts legal teams.

    It seems she should have the right to a copy of the MAR, if she goes through proper channels. However, I don't think you can be forced to write anything attesting to the latter part. I wouldn't write a note to send home with patients at a hospital that will be use in a legal battle, I can't imagine it is required of you.

    Poor kid.
  4. by   Jolie
    I had a similar situation a while back where a kid came to school with an order for a med to be given on his way into school on certain days of the week. It made no sense to me, as it is a critical med that must be taken daily, and this is not a child who attends early morning care. Upon speaking to the mom, I learned that she was in the process of a divorce and that the dad refused to give this med on his mornings with the child. It is our policy to give only meds that must be taken during the school day, and cannot be safely scheduled outside of school time. I figured this was a case where I needed to bend.

    I can't imagine having to send my child off to a parent who is so irresponsible and hateful as to take chances with his/her own child's health over a pi**ing match with a soon-to-be-former spouse.

    We have a 2-part med form. One part is the MAR with dates/times and signatures of administration. The second part is a count sheet. When meds are received, they are counted and co-signed by the parent and staff member receiving them. As each dose is given, it is counted.

    If you have a similar record, perhaps you could copy that and make it available to the parents. It would provide the information they are seeking without anyone having to write a letter or vouch for the arrival or pick up of medication that they were not personally involved in.

    Deep breath. Count to ten.
  5. by   Flare
    Ah, nothing like getting dragged into a divorce situation. You are right - it is not up to you to write any letters that could benefit the parent - in fact it's important that you don't do anything for either side that may show favor to either parent ( unless of course it was an obvious case of child endangerment - which this does not). If the administration wants to give her copies of the MAR, then that is on them. If you don't feel comfortabe co-signing a letter - then express that to your admin - that is why she is getting paid the big bucks- to deal with crap like this.
  6. by   Purple_Scrubs
    I would give a copy of the MAR and no more. If the VP wants to write a letter, that is their right but I would not put my signature on anything that would bring me into the middle of a legal issue. If this issue is that big a deal, let them subpoena my testamony on who dropped of what and when. Otherwise I would flat out refuse.
  7. by   mc3
    Thanks, everyone, for your response. The VP wrote a letter and showed it to me. My name was not on it. She asked me for my opinion, and I told her that 1) we were taking sides in something we shouldn't be involved in and 2) I didn't agree with the letter. It's not my letter, so it doesn't matter to me what it says, frankly. I'm glad she kept me out of it. It's ridiculous - I'm sure you see Moms and Dads pulling kids in either direction. They're so selfish and self-centered; they don't care what it does to their child. BTW - The child has major issues, of course.....I fear he may turn into a sociopath or something someday. Poor kid.
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    FERPA . . . .I'd definitely contact your school district's lawyer.
  9. by   Jolie
    Steph, I assume you're concerned about improper disclosure of a protected record. I don't understand that concern, though, as FERPA allows parents to view and receive copies of their children's records if the child is under age 18.
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Jolie
    Steph, I assume you're concerned about improper disclosure of a protected record. I don't understand that concern, though, as FERPA allows parents to view and receive copies of their children's records if the child is under age 18.
    You're right . . . . I've just been knee-deep in FERPA lately and got it on my brain.

    Mom does get to decide. I'd still make sure to contact the legal folks who help out the district.

    I'm new at this school nurse stuff and work in a rural area where I haven't come across this kind of issue yet - parents fighting over control of the kids.
  11. by   Purple_Scrubs
    Theoretically, FERPA could potentially come into play if one parent was granted sole custody. I would assume that the parent without custodial rights would not have a right to the documents. Lots of gray area here. Definitely a shame for the kids who are in the middle of all of it.