Deadline Fast Approaching to Adopt Disciplinary Policy Prohibiting Abortion Referrals

September 2nd, 2019

By October 1, 2019, State School Aid Act Section 166 requires school boards to adopt a disciplinary policy that, among other things, includes a financial penalty against a school district, ISD, or public school academy (PSA) employee who violates Revised School Code Section 1507, refers a student for an abortion, or assists a student in obtaining an abortion.

A school district, ISD, or PSA that fails to adopt this required policy by October 1, 2019 is subject to a $100,000 state aid deduction.

To assist our retainer clients in timely adopting the required policy, sample policy language is provided below.

Important: In determining how to incorporate the sample policy language, school officials and board members must consider that board policies often address the conduct of employees, board members, contracted services providers, visitors, and volunteers in various sections. School officials and board members will, therefore, need to consider whether they prefer to:

  1. insert the policy language into multiple policy sections (limiting the two concluding sentences about financial penalties to policies about employees); or
  2. incorporate the policy language into a single overarching operations policy, ensuring that this policy is incorporated by reference into any other policies that require employees, board members, contracted services providers, visitors, and volunteers to comply with board policies.

Sample Policy

Employees, board members, contracted services providers, visitors, and volunteers shall comply with Revised School Code Section 1507 (sex education) and are prohibited, while on school property or act­ing within the scope of their respective board duties, employment, contracted services, or volunteerism from referring a student for an abortion or assisting a student in obtaining an abortion.

The [District] [ISD] [PSA] may investigate suspected violations of this Policy, and if a violation is substantiated, the [District] [ISD] [PSA] may disci­pline that person in accordance with Board Policy and any applicable collective bargaining agreement or employment contract. In addition, a person em­ployed by the [District] [ISD] [PSA] found to have vi­olated this Policy will be fined an amount totaling [insert amount not less than 3%] of the person’s an­nual compensation. Any fines collected by the [Dis­trict] [ISD] [PSA] under this Policy shall be remitted to the state school aid fund.