Onslow Schools joins lawsuit effort

Onslow Schools joins lawsuit effort

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The Onslow County Board of Education has joined the N.C. School Boards Association and more than 70 other school boards in a lawsuit against the state.

What fueled the lawsuit began Aug. 11, when the N.C. General Assembly enacted legislation amending the state’s public health laws as they pertain to kindergarten-age children entering school beginning in 2006-07.

The new law requires that every child entering kindergarten in the public schools receive a comprehensive eye exam by a licensed North Carolina optometrist or ophthalmologist within six months of enrollment. The only exceptions to this requirement apply to students who move to North Carolina within 60 days of the start of the school year, children of parents with a bona fide religious objection to the exam or children who attend private schools.

In addition, the law provides no funding to cover the cost of these exams, which have been estimated to be between $65 and $120.

Ann Majestic, a lawyer for Tharrington Smith in Raleigh, said the law’s basic flaw is it infringes on a child’s constitutional right to a free public education. (more…)