Answer: The emergency contact can be whomever the district wants. It can be the parents, even though they are not involved. (The district may want to leave the parents as the emergency contact for liability or other reasons, depending on the specifics of this situation.) It can be the liaison. (Again, the district may or may not want this due to liability concerns.) It can be the person the student is staying with in his/her capacity as caregiver, not as district employee. It can be a CPS worker of some kind. The only requirement under McKinney-Vento is that the question of who to list as emergency contact cannot delay enrollment, including full participation in school. If the student has an allergy emergency during the school day, then the appropriate school employee should respond rapidly and appropriately, following the protocols that are in place for such an event. I assume that would be administering an Epipen, if the student has one. If not, it would probably be calling an ambulance. Emergency medical teams will treat an emergency without any adult consent. If the district is concerned about liability, administrator should consider the possibility of the child having an allergic reaction alone and getting very ill or dying, when the child should have been in school surrounded by adults who could have dialed 911 and saved his/her life. Violating the McKinney-Vento Act certainly would be a significant aggravating factor in a civil lawsuit should something happen to the student while the school is illegally keeping him out of school.
A student has a severe allergy. The district wants to know who to list as emergency contact, as the parents are not involved, and there is no adult to sign the documents needed for an Epipen, etc. The student is currently doubled up with a district employee, CPS has been contacted, and the district is concerned about liability.
Aug 31, 2018 | Q and A