The governing board of any school district shall, subject to Section 49451 and in addition to the physical examinations required pursuant to Sections 100275, 124035, and 124090 of the Health and Safety Code, provide for the screening of every female pupil in grade 7 and every male pupil in grade 8 for the condition known as scoliosis. The screening shall be in accord with standards established by the State Department of Education. The screening shall be supervised only by qualified supervisors of health as specified in Sections 44871 to 44878, inclusive, and Section 49422, or by school nurses employed by the district or the county superintendent of schools, or pursuant to contract with an agency authorized to perform these services by the county superintendent of schools of the county in which the district is located pursuant to Sections 1750 to 1754, inclusive, and Section 49402 of this code, Section 101425 of the Health and Safety Code, and guidelines established by the State Board of Education. The screening shall be given only by individuals who supervise, or who are eligible to supervise, the screening, or licensed chiropractors, or by certificated employees of the district or of the county superintendent of schools who have received in-service training, pursuant to rules and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education, to qualify them to perform these screenings. It is the intent of the Legislature that these screenings be performed, at no additional cost to the state, the school district, or the parent or guardian, during the regular schoolday and that any staff time devoted to these activities be redirected from other ongoing activities not related to the pupil's health care.
In-service training may be conducted by orthopedic surgeons, physicians, registered nurses, physical therapists, and chiropractors, who have received specialized training in scoliosis detection.
Pupils suspected of having scoliosis during the initial screening shall be rescreened by an orthopedic surgeon when there will be no cost to the state, the school district, or the parent or guardian.
No person screening pupils for scoliosis pursuant to this section shall solicit, encourage, or advise treatment or consultation by that person, or any entity in which that person has a financial interest, for scoliosis or any other condition discovered in the course of the screening.
The governing board of any school district shall provide for the notification of the parent or guardian of any pupil suspected of having scoliosis. The notification shall include an explanation of scoliosis, the significance of treating it at an early age, and the public services available, after diagnosis, for treatment. Referral of the pupil and the pupil's parent or guardian to appropriate community resources shall be made pursuant to Sections 49426 and 49456.
No action of any kind in any court of competent jurisdiction shall lie against any individual, authorized by this section to supervise or give a screening, by virtue of this section.
In enacting amendments to this section, it is the intent of the Legislature that no participating healing arts licentiate use the screening program for the generation of referrals or for his or her financial benefit. The Legislature does not intend to deny or limit the freedom of choice in the selection of an appropriate health care provider for treatment or consultation.
(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1023, Sec. 41.)