Are Your District’s Seizure Action Plans Ready?

Ohio’s Biennial Budget Bill (H.B. 33), which was recently signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine, requires school districts to create an “individualized seizure action plan” for each student who has an active seizure disorder diagnosis. Under newly enacted R.C. 3313.7117, the seizure action plan must be created in collaboration with each such student’s parents/guardians and must contain the following components:

  1. A written request signed by the parent, guardian, or other person having care or charge of the student to have one or more drugs prescribed for a seizure disorder administered to the student.
  2. A written statement from the student’s treating practitioner providing the drug information required by R.C. 3313.713(C)(2) for each drug prescribed to the student for a seizure disorder.  That drug information includes:
    1. The name and address of the student;
    2. The school and class in which the student is enrolled;
    3. The name of the drug and the dosage to be administered;
    4. The times or intervals at which each dosage of the drug is to be administered;
    5. The date the administration of the drug is to begin;
    6. The date the administration of the drug is to cease;
    7. Severe adverse reactions that should be reported to the prescriber and one or more phone numbers at which the prescriber can be reached in an emergency; and
    8. Special instructions for administration of the drug, including sterile conditions and storage.
  3. Any other components required by the State Board of Education.

Districts are further required to provide written notice to employees, contractors, and/or volunteers regarding the existence and content of a seizure action plan if the employee, contractor, or volunteer does any of the following with a student who has a diagnosed seizure disorder: (a) regularly interacts with the student; (b) has a legitimate educational interest in the student or is responsible for the direct supervision of the student; and/or (c) is responsible for transportation of the student to and from school.  Seizure action plans must be maintained in the office of the school nurse or school administrator if the district does not employ a full-time school nurse.

When developing a seizure action plan as required by state law, school districts still will need to comply with their child find and other obligations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”). School districts may be able to simultaneously comply with both state and federal law, such as by incorporating a student’s seizure action plan into a student’s 504 plan or IEP. School district should consult with legal counsel to ensure they continue to meet the requirements of Section 504 and the IDEA when developing seizure action plans.

The requirement for seizure action plans under H.B. 33 takes effect on October 3, 2023. Pepple & Waggoner has prepared templates for school districts to use for their seizure action plans.  If your district needs such a template, or if you would like further guidance on this evolving feature of the law, contact an attorney at Pepple & Waggoner today.

Daniel L. Lautar, Esq.

Pepple & Waggoner, Ltd.