SECTION 1. Section 1L of Chapter 69 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the second paragraph, the following new paragraph:-
Parent education services relative to prevention of substance abuse shall include, but need not be limited to, awareness programs about the risks for abuse and addiction presented by certain prescription drugs. The board, in consultation with the department of public health, shall establish guidelines for topics to be presented through such programs, which shall include information about: (i) trends in misuse and abuse of prescription drugs by adults and children; (ii) the risks of developing dependency and addiction; (iii) best practices for the safe storage of prescription drugs, and disposal of unwanted drugs; (iv) warning signs of a developing addiction and available resources for education, counseling or treatment for addiction; and (v) other topics as the board and the department may find to be relevant to help prevent prescription drug misuse.
SECTION 2. Chapter 69 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting the following new section:-
Section 1Q. The department of elementary and secondary education shall adopt regulations establishing requirements for parents or guardians to attend education programs about the risks for abuse and addiction presented by certain prescription drugs, as such education is described in section 1L. Such regulations shall require that, as a condition of a student’s entrance to the seventh grade, the student’s parent or guardian shall attend not less than 2 hours of said education.
The regulations shall also require that such parent or guardian education programs be instructed and attended in person, but shall provide for hardship exemptions due to financial considerations, travel or mobility restrictions, or other exemptions deemed appropriate by the department. Parents or guardians requesting such an exemption will do so in writing in a manner determined by the department. The department shall establish or provide for an alternative means of delivering the instruction and information to parents or guardians whose exemption applications are approved, which shall include but need not be limited to online courses and delivery of informational literature by mail or electronic mail, and a process by which parents or guardians shall provide evidence to the corresponding school district of their participation and completion of the requirement of this section through said alternative means.
The regulations shall exempt a parent or guardian from participation if the parent or guardian has participated within the preceding 5 years, or if the parent or guardian presents evidence of having received similar awareness education within the preceding 5 years through a community-based health provider or health or safety advocacy organization.
The regulations shall exempt a student from the requirements of this section if the student is an emancipated minor.
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