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Expert response: can the Covid-19 test be imposed on students?

Mom’s question:

My child’s school requires a certificate to prove that my child does not have the coronavirus. Do I have to have it tested ?

The response of Valérie Pau, lawyer specializing in education law.

The back to school 2020 is a bit special, because of the Covid-19 which pushes the whole educational body to upset its habits. Thus, for the good organization and the safety of the pupils, the establishments need reliable information. So that the health protocol of schools requires the cooperation of parents of students. Thus, he asks that the latter do not bring their children within the establishment for two main reasons. On the one hand if the child at 38 ° C (or more fever), in the event of symptoms related to Covid-19 in the child or a member of his family. On the other hand, parents are urged to keep their children if the latter or a family member is positive for SARS-Cov2.

Covid 19 test: the rights of the school

Parents have a responsibility for providing information to the establishment their children attend, with the right to reserve. Remember that the Data Protection Act regulates the collection of certain information, so except for a specific case, the information that the school may have must not contain information revealing data related to health, racial, ethnic or religious origins. of the minor concerned. Thus, it becomes evident that the school does not have the right to force anyone to do a test against Covid-19 or any other test for the purpose of obtaining medical information without the consent of the legal guardians. However, with the agreement of the latter, the school is entitled to request information on the student’s allergies or pathologies for the health care and psychological of the minor. And of course, the data must remain confidential.

What if the school requires the Covid 19 test?

Normally, the school knows that it cannot force you to give any medical information related to your child without your consent. You are therefore entitled to refuse. However, in the event that the latter insists on the issuance of a certificate proving that your child is not affected by Covid-19, two choices are available to you. You can enter the CNIL (National Commission for Computing and Liberties), which is responsible for ensuring the protection of personal data contained in computer or paper files and processing, both public and private. Or, you can also turn to the Defender of Rights for legal action. The latter specializes in cases of discrimination and contempt of children’s rights. Once your case is studied and deemed legitimate, the latter will transfer it to specialized lawyers who will take over.

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