A N A C T
RELATING TO EDUCATION -- HEALTH AND SAFETY OF PUPILS
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 16-21-14 of the General Laws in Chapter 16-21 entitled "Health and Safety of Pupils" is hereby amended to read as follows:
Hearing, speech, and vision examinations -- Records -- Statewide hearing screening and conservation program -Hearing, speech, and vision screenings - Records - Statewide hearing screening program. -- (a) The program shall provide for examinations screenings of the hearing, speech, and vision of all children in these schools, and the preservation of records of the examinations screenings of the children and notification of the parent or guardian of any child where there is a deviation from the normal an identified or suspected special health care need.
Beginning with the first year of enrollment, Upon initial entry, all school children in grades kindergarten through twelve (12) shall be given a hearing screening test by a properly trained audiometrist professional employed by the department of elementary and secondary education, at least once every three (3) years. intervals consistent with regulations promulgated by the director of health and the commissioner of elementary and secondary education.
(c) Pupils who failed the hearing screening test in previous years,
children who repeat a grade, those with have a history of hearing difficulty or pathology, and those or are suspected by school personnel of a hearing loss shall be screened as often as is necessary.
(d) The program shall be known as the state wide hearing screening
and conservation program. It shall be operated by the department of elementary and secondary education.
(e) The department is authorized and directed to maintain the program and provide such equipment as may be necessary to implement the purposes of this section.
(f) Upon request from a local education agency the commissioner of elementary and secondary education may grant the local education agency permission to conduct its own hearing screening program after he or she first determines that the agency has a capacity to adhere to the screening schedule as outlined above and that properly trained
audiometrists professionals defined in regulation will be performing the activities.
Notwithstanding any provisions of the general laws to the contrary, all persons employed by the department of elementary and secondary education prior to July 1, 1976, performing testing shall upon May 10, 1977, be in the classified service of the state. However, tests Tests shall not be required of any student whose parent or guardian objects on the ground that the tests conflict with their religious beliefs.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.