In A Flash

Legislator defers bill that would prohibit schools from giving names of contagious students to health department

By: - October 20, 2020 2:01 pm

(Getty Images stock photo)

Rep. Beryl Amedée, R-Houma, withdrew a bill that would have blocked schools from sending the names of students with infectious diseases to the Louisiana Department of Health.  Amedée voluntarily deferred her bill after it was brought up by the House Health and Welfare Committee Tuesday morning.

“At this time, because of the shortness and quickness of the special session, I would move to voluntarily defer this bill,” Amedee said.

House Bill was sent to that committee after getting a frosty reception on the House floor Monday afternoon.  It would have stopped schools from sharing a student’s personally identifiable information relative to illness or disease with the Louisiana Department of Health — unless parents approved.

Amedée acknowledged Monday that she had not consulted the health department before filing her bill. Rep. Joseph Stagni, R-Kenner, said, “This bill has so many concerns.”

The law currently mandates that schools notify the health department immediately in the event of a possible infectious disease outbreak. In such a case, a school can disclose a student’s name or other identifiers without parental consent if LDH says it needs the information. The agency does not disclose students’ personal information to the public.

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JC Canicosa
JC Canicosa

JC Canicosa is a former Louisiana Illuminator reporter. Prior to working with the Illuminator, Canicosa worked for Investigate-TV and The Loyola Maroon. Canicosa earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University New Orleans. At Loyola, he was the senior staff writer at The Maroon and the president of the school's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Off the clock, Canicosa enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and dabbling in comedy writing.