In its 1981 session, the General Assembly amended Chapter 16-21 of the General Laws as follows:
Section 1. Chapter 16-21 of the RI General Laws entitled “Health and Safety of Pupils” is hereby amended to adding this to the following section: 16-21-10 Scoliosis Screening: The school health program shall provide for the yearly screening or examination for scoliosis of all school children in grades six, seventh, and eighth and the preservation of records of the screening or examination of these findings. However, such test shall not be required of any student whose parents or guardians objects on the grounds that such a test conflicts with their religious beliefs. A certified school nurse-teacher shall conduct the screening. The screening of all male and females shall be conducted separately. Section 2.: The Act shall take effect upon passage.
Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine; it can be functional or structural. Functional curvature may arise from carrying backpacks and structural can be related to many causes. It is more prevalent in girls than boys, occurring in the growth spurt of their teen years.
The screening procedure is a simple process of running the thumb down the length of the spine to see if it curves to the right or left, examining the shoulders and hips to see if one side is raised. If your child should show any deviation, you will be notified after the rescreen, which will take place 4-6 weeks after the initial screening.
The screening will be conducted during the regular physical education classes. If a student misses the initial screening he/she will be screened in the nurse’s office.
Students who have submitted a 2007-08 physical exam form and the physician has noted no scoliosis on said form, they will not be included in this screening.
**If I do not receive the note excluding your child due to religious beliefs by JANUARY
28TH your child will be included in this screening. ** The screening will take place during the week of January 29th -February 4th in their PE classes.
Renie Sullivan, RN
REFUSAL TO BE SCREENED FOR SCOLIOSIS DUE ON/BEFORE: 1/28/08
I prefer that my child, _____________________________grade______ NOT BE SCREENED for scoliosis in school since this test conflicts with my religious beliefs.
__________ __________________________ ______________________
Date Printed Parent’s Name Signature of Parent’s Name
*** Return the refusal form to Mrs. Sullivan only before 1/28/08 ***