Can a public school require a physical exam before admitting a student?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Requiring a physical examination is often standard practice before a child may be admitted to many schools. The requirement is usually upheld by the courts, but there may be caveats.

Requiring a child to get a physical examination to ensure he or she is healthy and free of communicable diseases is a sound public health decision, and thus such required examinations are usually permitted. Most school districts also require the child to have all of the major disease vaccinations prior to registering in any school within the district. Both the examination and vaccination requirements are a means of protecting the other students in the school from diseases with which the child may become infected if he or she was not vaccinated.

Further, in some instances, a school may require an examination of a child to ensure the child’s special needs are fully understood. Public school districts are not allowed to discriminate against any child due to a physical or mental impairment as long as the school is able to accommodate the child’s needs either physically or educationally. In a situation where a child is impaired, the school may request that a physician examine the child to verify that the school is indeed equipped to meet the needs of the prospective student. 

In any event, when a school district requires a medical exam, the school district’s need for the examination must be weighed against the parents’ rights and the child’s rights (especially the right to privacy). If a parent has a religious objection to a child undergoing a medical examination or being vaccinated, for example, there usually must be some option provided for an exemption to the requirements.

If you are concerned about the requirements in your state or need help finding out how to opt out of the requirements for a medical exam or vaccination, you should consult a lawyer in your area to identify your options.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption