Parent says school assignment to take inventory of medicine cabinet invaded privacy

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MAPLETON, Utah  – A homework assignment sparked a storm of social media controversy after a concerned parent posted it on Facebook.

Students at a Mapleton Junior High School in Utah County were asked to take inventory of the things inside their family medicine cabinet and then turn that list into their health teacher.

A parent, Onika Nugent, was not pleased with the assignment, so she posted the assignment on Facebook and sent a note to the teacher and the principal.

She shared a portion of the letter she sent school officials: “I said, 'Although it may be a good idea for parents to do an inventory of their medicine cabinet, I believe it is inappropriate for students to counsel their parents, or report to the school what that inventory is. It is a complete invasion of privacy.'"

Part of the conversation online centered around whether or not the assignment was part of a larger curriculum. Nugent said the school has since responded and said the teacher made the assignment and the form herself and that it wasn’t part of a larger curriculum.

Lana Hiskey, a communication specialist for Nebo School District, said they appreciate the parent’s concerns.

“Sometimes we're blindsided, we don't know if a teacher is giving something out that they shouldn't be doing, ” Hiskey said. “And so we absolutely want parents to come forward, let us know.... I wouldn't be comfortable having my own children go through my medicine cabinet.”

FOX 13 News' Max Roth has more details on the issue and the discussion it sparked on Facebook, see the video above for his report.



  • Manny Fragoza

    Teachers do not create their own curriculum anymore,this teacher must be following a stringent curriculum,it may not be common core,but could be one of the many U.N. Goals curriculum.

    • Dave

      Manny: do you have any evidence to support your assertion that this bonehead teacher did not come up with is on his/her own? Or was this just an opportunity to throw conspiracy theories out there ?

      • Jillyn

        Dave : I could send you a stack of inappropriate worksheets my kids have brought home from school in the last couple of years. Don’t be fooled that this kind of information is isn’t making it into childrens school files. You would be shocked if you knew some of the data they have on students. No conspiracy theory, just many concerned parents that believe some things are meant to be private. By the way, if the teacher had made her own worksheet why did she put Unit 3 at the top of the worksheet? The answer is she didn’t make it up herself.

      • Pamela

        Jillyn: It’s not like “Unit 3” is copyrighted by Pearson or something. The teacher sure could have created her own assignments and put Unit 1, 2, 3, etc. on them.

    • Bob

      I don’t think Manny read the story. It says that the teacher made up the assignment. Here is a conspiracy theory for you…Obama made her do it.

    • Pamela

      “may not be common core” no it is absolutely NOT Common Core, period. Jeb Bush and his Common Core do not say anything about a medicine cabinet inventory.


    Nothing wrong with this unless the parents are to stupid to lock up the prescription drugs away from children.

    • Just me

      Reading is fundamental. The kids were told to take inventory of the MEDICINE cabinet. Where to you lock up your meds? A bread box? Besides, maybe Dad doesn’t want the whole 7th grade knowing he has jock itch. Has it occurred to you that maybe some people don’t want to share what over the counter remedies are in there, either?

  • Connie

    Or something to hide. Something simple turned into something big. I think her intentions were good. It is not like they are going to be called out on the PA system at school.

    • Chris Parker

      Connie, tell me what prescription medications you and your family members take. You should have no problem with this (unless, of course, you have something to hide).

    • Just me

      Mind if we all cone over and read your diary? Why don’t you take down all your window coverings so we can see in your home? Have you never once gone to the doctor with an embarrassing condition and been given a prescription or told to buy an over the counter remedy? Would you want your child going to school with a worksheet letting the teacher and any other student who saw it know that you had medications for hemorrhoids or yeast infections in your cabinet?

  • absurd!

    I dont have anything to hide in my medicine cabinet, but I find the homework assignment completely inappropriate! It doesnt matter that this is a health teacher or not! Find other ways to teach our kids about medications and keep home life and school separate unless you know for a fact a child is in danger! Teachers dont have the right to teach our kids to invade our privacy and then share that invasion! There are boundries we teach our children and others shouldn’t teach them to cross the boundry line

  • Robert Lindley

    Wouldn’t this be a violation of HIPAA? The use of medications and their disclosure to anyone other than the user of the medication or their legal guardian, without written permission by the prescribed, to anyone outside the medical community is against federal law. This seeming “research project” by a nosey school teacher, under the guise of being a homework assignment should be screened by the county District Attorney for charges. This is HIGHLY improper AND illegal! This should be reported to the police by the parents of the children and the school and teacher prosecuted. Invasion of Privacy!

  • Rodney Eric Gaines

    And I thought Oklahoma had a poor Educational System, this trumps. Actually, this is illegal and I’m surprised the teacher wasn’t even placed on leave. Charges can be filed against the school, for violations of the HIPAA law as the medications point to medical conditions family members have.

    • Greg

      What section of HIPAA does it violate… I will tell you, none. Title II specifies the entities it covers and this in no way does.

    • SCClockDr

      If you believe it is perfectly legal and proper for a government employee to ask a minor to report an inventory of my medicine chest then you must also believe it legal & proper to do the same in person. A search of ones private dwelling without warrant in person or by proxy is a violation of their civil rights regardless what might or might not be revealed.

    • Matt Parker

      So, just because I don’t want everyone one in the world or even just certain people and organization and Departments of the Government to know certain things by my choice does not mean i am up to something….it just means I get to decide who knows what about me and when…..

    • Just me

      Or maybe she didn’t want to discuss her birth control choice or yeast infection with her child. Or maybe Dad would rather his child know he’s taking Viagra. Just because someone prefers to keep something private doesn’t necessarily mean they’re doing something wrong.

  • Matt Parker

    Someone should suggest to these parents that they sue the district and the teacher for a violation of HIPPA laws

  • justalady21

    A teacher encouraging children to reveal private information about their parents? You have to wonder what the teacher was thinking and why she felt that is was a positive assignment. Mostly we hear that teachers are not allowed to stray from the curriculum; was this teacher unaware of this?

  • Melody Farnsworth

    Absolutely not!!! What may or may not be in my medicine cupboard is no one’s business save my own! Would that Teacher allow her students, or their parents, to go through her’s??? Completely inappropriate!

  • Carol Hook

    My Grand kids called me about a paper they were to do. The school wanted to know what kind of guns was in there house, I told them to put down A glue gun, heat gun and a nail gun. The school was going to kick them out, until they found out ther Father was a police man.

  • Phyllis

    I would like a follow up on this. More info. Is it a Commoncore school? Was the teacher disciplined? Was it assigned by the teacher or the district ?
    Whom ever it was what were their intentions?

  • Angie

    From what I understand Hippa laws don’t apply to this circumstance because you’d be giving the information yourself. If they ask and you tell its different then if they ask your Dr and HE tells. The law applies to health professionals who know your medical information-they are not allowed to give that information to others without your consent. This questionnaire is way out of line and it is certainly not anyone’s business especially not the school’s what kind of medicines are in the home. I would not fill it out if my child brought it home.

  • honestmistake

    I think that the teachers thought was good, but they didnt think that people would take it the wrong way. It was an honest mistake that any NEW teacher could make, the teacher wanted the students to be aware what is in their medicine cabinets, and not to get data for the government. My Sons health teacher from the same school did not give them the assignment and the teacher made her own assignment

  • Chas

    I would be torn between a nasty response and putting some serious antipsychotic meds in the highest doses available on the sheet. Plus Marinol, Morphine, etc. That would certainly raise peoples eye brows and would expose where things are going from there! LOL!

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