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(14.15) If my child has a communicable disease, can the district refuse to provide a home instructor or prohibit him from attending school on the basis of a risk to staff or other children?

(14.15) If my child has a communicable disease, can the district refuse to provide a home instructor or prohibit him from attending school on the basis of a risk to staff or other children?

Under state regulations, a student “while infected with any contagious or infectious disease may not remain in any public school.”  [5 C.C.R. Sec. 202.]  However, a district policy that denies home instruction or school attendance to a student with a communicable disease on the ground of risk to others will be closely examined by the courts.  At least one court has held that these factors shall be considered: 

  1. How great the risk really is in terms of how the disease is transmitted;
  2. The duration of the risk;
  3. How great the risk is in terms of the consequences of infection;
  4. The likelihood of transmission of the disease; and
  5. The reasonable steps that could be taken to reduce any risks.  [Martinez v. School Board of Hillsboro County, 861 F.2d 1502, 1505 (11th Cir. 1988).]