5411 - Comprehensive HIV and Bloodborne Pathogens Policy for Schools K-12

policy 5411 title box

It is the policy of the Boards of Directors of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, Bennington School District, Inc., Mount Anthony Union School District, North Bennington Graded School District, Pownal School District, Shaftsbury School District, and Woodford School District to provide all students with a safe environment. All schools are required to have a bloodborne pathogens exposure control plan. Universal precautions are to be utilized with all students and with any exposure to blood or bodily fluids.

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is not transmitted through casual contact and, therefore, is not reason in itself to treat individuals having or perceived as having HIV differently from other members of the school community. Accordingly, with respect to HIV disease, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union and its member districts:
  • the rights of students and employees with HIV,
  • the importance of maintaining confidentiality regarding the medical condition of any individual,
  • the importance of an educational environment free of significant risks to health, and
  • the necessity for HIV education and training for the school community

A. General Provisions:

  1. The school district shall not discriminate against or tolerate discrimination against any individual who has or is perceived as having HIV.
  2. A student who has or is perceived as having HIV is entitled to maintain his/her attendance in current educational setting, unless otherwise provided by law, and shall be afforded opportunities on an equal basis with all students.
  3. No applicant shall be denied employment and no employee shall be prevented from continued employment on the basis of having or being perceived as having HIV. Such an employee is entitled to the rights, privileges, and services accorded to employees generally, including benefits provided school employees with long-term diseases or disabling conditions.

B. Confidentiality, Disclosure, and Testing:

  1. A student or student's parent/guardian, or an applicant/employee, may, but is not required to, report HIV status to any school personnel.
  2. Except as otherwise permitted by law, no school personnel including school board members and volunteers, shall disclose any HIV-related information, as it relates to prospective or current school personnel or students, to anyone except in accordance with the terms of a written consent. The superintendent shall develop a written consent form (see Appendix A) which details the information the signatory permits to be disclosed, to whom it may be disclosed, its specified time limitation, and the specific purpose for the disclosure. The school district shall not discriminate against any individual who does not provide written consent.
  3. No school official shall require any applicant, employee, or prospective or current student to have any HIV-related test.

C. Education and Instruction:

  1. HIV is not, in itself, a disabling condition, but it may result in conditions that are disabling. To the extent that a student who has HIV is determined to meet the criteria for eligibility for accommodations under state and federal non-discrimination laws or for special education services, the school district shall meet all procedural and substantive requirements.
  2. The school district shall provide systematic and extensive comprehensive health education which includes education on HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases as well as other communicable diseases, the prevention of disease, and safe procedures in universal precautions as required by state law.

D. Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens and Universal Precautions:

  1. The school district shall comply with applicable Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration (VOSHA) rules in order to protect employees who are reasonably anticipated to be exposed to bloodborne pathogens as part of their regular job duties.
  2. In the event that the school nurse determines that a student has had a significant exposure to blood (as defined in the district's VOSHA Exposure Plan), the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified immediately and advised to consult the child's physician at once.
  3. The superintendent or his/her designee shall determine those employees (by job class and possibly by task or procedure) who are reasonably anticipated to have occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials as part of their duties. These employees will be protected in strict accordance with the positions of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and given training in safety procedures and responsibilities as detailed in the exposure control plan.
  4. Universal Precautions shall be posted in key area(s) in each school.
  5. All staff must complete annual mandated bloodborne pathogen training provided by the District.

E. Definitions:

Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan – A plan which defines the employees who may incur occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials, the response to possible contamination and hazards and section on training.

F. Enforcement:

  1. A person who violates this policy may be subject to remedial and/or disciplinary action in accordance with applicable laws, collective bargaining agreements, policies, and/or disciplinary codes.

Legal References:

1 V.S.A. §317(b)(7) and (11)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
18 V.S.A. §1127
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, and as amended by the Equal
Employment Act of 1972
American with Disabilities Act, P.L. 101-335 (1990)
16 V.S.A. §131 et seq., §906
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970
29 C.F.R. §1910.1030 Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Standard
21 V.S.A. Chapter 3 §201 – Occupational policy
21 V.S.A. Chapter 3 §224 – Rules and standards

policy 5411 warning and adoption dates

See attached:  Exposure Control Plan