A teacher has put a Utah school in the spotlight of the nation today with a homework assignment that is a blatant violation of privacy for her students and their family members. A pink form was handed out in a Utah health class to junior high school students to go home and list all the medications that are found in their home’s medicine cabinets for all the family members, according to “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday morning Oct. 28.
The HIPAA Laws that exist today won’t even let a doctor give out that information on a patient’s medication use to another doctor unless you give them permission. Doctors can’t even acknowledge if you are a patient or not of theirs, but this health teacher took it upon herself to send this very intrusive inquiry home with the students. The assignment wasn’t meant to pry, but the teacher’s attempt to educate students on the proper disposal of medication that is no longer in use has backfired big time, reports Fox News.
The Mapleton Junior High School health teacher gave this assignment to the students because one of the major factors of drug abuse in the state of Utah is the medications accessible in the kids’ homes that were not properly disposed of when they are no longer in use. For this reason they were asked to list the medications by name found in the medicine cabinet, what the medications was used for and if it is still in use or not, reports Opposing Views.
As you could imagine, this invasion of privacy infuriated some of the parents. They were outraged to think that their family’s personal health information would be asked for by the school via their kids. The school was quick to say they did not know about this assignment and that they don’t condone the assignment, according to Fox 411.
A spokesperson for the school department, Lana Hiskey, said that they don’t always know what the teachers are handing out for assignments. Hiskey said that the assignment was an “innocent mistake.” She continued by saying, “It was part of a health unit. (The teacher) wanted parents to know how to clean their medicine cabinets.”
Hiskey also conveyed that the teacher who assigned this homework is a first-year teacher with lots of enthusiasm. “We want all parents to know that this is not an acceptable assignment,” said Hiskey. She views the teacher as having good intentions, but she gave out an assignment that “missed the mark.”
“Sometimes we’re blindsided, we don’t know if a teacher is giving something out that they shouldn’t be doing,” said Hiskey.
This assignment could have caused a lot of embarrassment for parents if their child had just come home, went into the bathroom and made the list without letting their parents know. Once some of the parents got a look at the assignment their concerns were heard loud and clear by the school department over this invasion of their privacy.