Thursday, August 14, 2014

N.C. schools now required to have EpiPens

There've been plenty of stories about pieces of the state budget that educators and the public aren't thrilled with. Here's one that seems to make people happier.

The legislation requires all North Carolina schools to keep a supply of emergency epinephrine auto-injectors on hand at all times. You probably know these better as EpiPens, used when a severe allergy causes anaphylactic shock. Students at risk for this have already been able to keep an EpiPen at school with a doctor's permission.

The budget (page 38, if you're interested) also requires schools to have a staff member trained in how to administer the shot.

The North Carolina Pediatric Society came out strongly in favor of the new requirement. "Children spend half their day in school, where they can encounter life-threatening allergens, such as bee stings, for the first time," said Dr. John Rusher, president of the society, in a statement. "All students need access to epinephrine, which slows the effects of an allergic reaction in the critical minutes following exposure."

At CMS, it's unclear whether these new EpiPens are going to be ready to go for the start of school. A spokeswoman said the district is waiting for more information from the state Department of Public Instruction and health officials to figure out how this was going to be implemented. The spokeswoman also referenced a free distribution program, so there may be no impact to the CMS budget.

Virginia passed a similar law two years ago. South Carolina passed one in 2013. The N.C. Pediatric Society says 45 states now allow or require emergency epinephrine on campuses.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, who writes the prescrition for this prescription only drug - what liability attaches when a school employye administers a prescription only drug ???

Anonymous said...

Nothing new here, we've had required training in our school every year for almost a decade. Now peanut reactions are another story………...

Pamela Grundy said...

This is a meaningful step, taken thanks to dedicated lobbying by parents and health professionals. As the parent of a child who suffered an out-of-the-blue, potentially fatal anaphylactic attack while at school, I'm glad to know that more NC children will have access to the rapid assistance my son received, whether or not a nurse is on duty at the school.

Carol S. said...

This is good news for students and parents.

Anonymous said...

Who's responsible for administering them? Schools do not have nurses everyday. What about prescriptions? What are the legal ramifications? Everyone knows CMS or the state of North Carolina will not back the teachers. This sounds good but not well planned.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't parents provide Medication? Are teachers expected to be doctors as well?

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a rule created by people who don't have to do it... When I was a kid my friend had a pen. He carried it and new how to use it. Why don't we just let teachers TEACH!!! When I go to my kids school, they are pulling hallway or lunch duty. They have to run clubs or head new committees on the hot topic of the day. They have all this paperwork that has very little to do with teaching. Why don't we let teachers do their jobs. Wasn't the point of administration too do all this other crap? It used to be teachers, students and Mabey a janitor. Schools seemed better back then.

Anonymous said...

Anyone remember the CMS elementary kid who got in trouble for bringing a contraband cough drop to school?

I can't make this stuff up.

Alicia

Anonymous said...

If you do not do ALL these other jobs that should be done by the administration, then you get CANNED by the administration!

Teaching is the best part of the job.It is a shame that now that is only about 30% of the daily activity.

Pamela Grundy said...

Just want to clarify a couple of points here. This legislation is specifically designed so that an EpiPen or other similar device will be available for children, such as my son, who have a serious, first-time allergic reaction at school -- something that cannot be predicted. It is not for children who have known allergies, and thus have prescribed EpiPens.

We were fortunate that the school nurse was on duty when my son suffered his attack, and was able to use her professional judgment and administer epinephrine. If she had not been there, nothing could have been done until paramedics arrived. If all schools have emergency EpiPens, and staff members are trained to use them (which is not difficult), then a child who suffers an out-of-the-blue attack can get immediate, potentially life-saving help even when there is no nurse on duty at the school.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! No disrespect to teachers at all. They have a hard job that is day in and day out...doesn't end when the bell rings. 100% support our teachers but as a mother of a child who has food allergies I will 100% all day stand beside just having an EpiPen and someone that is familiar with giving it to my child IF by chance she comes in contact with something that could take her life. Come on people...really not a debate here. The education or awareness alone could save someones life. Funny to me that people complain about a school having on hand a life saving medication and someone being told how to use it. I for one am appreciative that someone will be there to help her god forbid she ever need it because I can't be there at school. Sigh

Anonymous said...

Andrew,
In another blog regarding another article you posted. A person mentioned the discrepency in spending per student. A person stated that per student spending at AK is $4,000, but at schools like West Meck and West Charlotte per student spending is $12,000. I am respectfully asking you to research this and report on it. I think the tax payers in Charlotte need to be made aware of this, so this pratice can be stopped, it is wrong. I believe in equality and fairness, and this practice is clearly neither.

Wiley Coyote said...

11:36

This was in 2011 comparing south Charlotte schools to others:

According to data released by district officials, the district spent the most money per student, $10,393, at Thomasboro Elementary. The district spent the least, $4,406, at Ballantyne Elementary. The district average for elementary schools was $5,859.

In middle schools, there was a similar disparity between the most and least spent on schools. The district spent $8,377 per student at Sedgefield Middle, compared to $4,014 at south Charlotte’s Community House Middle. The district average was $5,332.

In high schools, the most money per student went to Midwood High, an alternative school for high-risk students. The district spent $10,086 per student at Midwood, compared to $4,538 at Hopewell High in Huntersville. Myers Park High ranked second for the least funding per student with $4,584. The district average was $5,310.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, couldn't agree more with your comments about the amount of money spent of each child.

It should be imperative, in my book, that every government or public official who is in charge of any public money should be required to read William Graham Sumner's essay called "The Forgotten Man" every month.
We have come to a point in our society where the middle common man is being forgotten about, off on their own, getting no support, left out to dry and it is most apparent in schools. The common child, the good child, the B average child, no social issues, no grease to make the wheel squeal, these kids are forgotten about, but no one realizes it is these kids that are the real producers of our society in the future, the worker bees, the steel of our societal building. If we focused all of our attention and money to these children everything else would come into place, less poverty, less crime which would create a society to run for the better of everyone.


When are we going to learn?

Wiley Coyote said...

2:21

Those same kids you speak of will grow and be labeled "angry White men" because they dare to speak the truth.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the issue is that ability of a teacher to administer the medication. Nurses have education and experience in making such decisions. A classroom teacher with 30 students in the room may make the wrong decision. Will the teacher be held liable? We are talking about students with known allergies. Are teachers going to be sued if they administer the medication to a student in distress that does not need it? Are there any protections for well intentioned teachers?

Pamela Grundy said...

3:53: I'm not sure who the "we" is here, but this piece of legislation is specifically for a situation where a child who does not have a known allergy has an anaphylatic attack. Teachers all over CMS are already trained to deal with students with known allergies. Fortunately, Epi-pens don't have significant side effects, so it is a "better safe than sorry situation."

Thanks to effective advocacy, the County Commission decided to fund a full-time school nurse for every CMS school this year, which will help a great deal. But even full-time nurses aren't always at the school, and many school systems don't have full-time nurses in every school.

Wiley Coyote said...

Designated personnel will be trained to administer the pens.

There is a "Good Samaritan" rule in effect where someone believing in good faith a child is at risk, uses a pen and something happens to the child if it turns out they didn't need the shot, will be held harmless.

This is a no-brainer and in fact, something could happen to an adult in the school such as being stung by a bee or wasp and need the emergency shot.

It's the same is having a defibrilator on planes and other places.

Anonymous said...

11:36--Wiley has given you the pertinent facts. But, wow, was it ever a struggle to get these facts before the public back in the time period of 2005 to 2010 or so. "Lack of funding" was one of the major excuses for poor performance at high poverty schools, while suburban schools supposedly thrived because of an abundance of resources. Some ed advocates and (unfortunately) some journalists were quite content to promote this funding version. I think most of the public now recognizes the real funding disparities, although it doesn't hurt to remind them occasionally, especially as new people move into the area.

Anonymous said...

Westside schools have over $12,000 per pupil spending and Lift Money ($55 MIllion) and now Beacon funding. The class size is 15 compared to 32 at AK. Some classes at AK have over 40 students in them.

There is no equality spending in CMeS.The middle class is forgotten never to be spent on again.All funds go to one area and one area only. Sadly the millions spent have shown no measureable results. Not to worry however. Joyce said we will keep on spending util we get it right.

That is why you have "white flight". CMeS better worry about home school as well as charters.

Anonymous said...

didn't I read recently that every school will have a school nurse starting this year?

Anonymous said...

Teachers at AK do twice the work as teachers at West Charlotte. The big classroom at WC is about 15 where as the big classroom at AK is 40+.

Those AK teachers are doing well over 2x the classwork and classroom management as a WC teacher. Where is the fairness and equity in that. If I did three times the work as my peer I would hope to get more money for doing it.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know more about individualized learning. And how a principal in a south charlotte school that admits he lacking appropriate staff (claims he cannot answer or address parents concerns as he does not have an assistant principal or other staff to help him) can spring this change in curriculm on parents over the summer and the request money from the parents as it requires a large change in outfitting of the existing facility. (Removing desk, chairs and other items from classroom for what?) If teachers are going to be reduced to glorified babysitters what was the point of the raise?

Anonymous said...

Smoke and mirrors by an administrator in South Charlotte. Probably has a deal with Elevation on Sundays as well.

Anonymous said...

@8:28-same school where the PTA holds you hostage by demanding membership to receive communication.
Also find it horrible that a principal cannot respond to emails - several new families have questions!!
Personalized learning=parents being asked to buy furniture! Insane!!!

Anonymous said...

Same school where you are asked to follow the principal on Twitter!
you can't make this stuff up!!!

Anonymous said...

I just wish the principal would have spent time talking about individualized learning during the last school year so we would have a better idea if this is even a good idea. As it is all the email communications from him last spring were just about how little teachers get paid and how we need to tell our state representatives to do something about it and which city meetings to go to make an impact. All well and good but what about the students?

Wiley Coyote said...

As it is all the email communications from him last spring were just about how little teachers get paid and how we need to tell our state representatives to do something about it and which city meetings to go to make an impact.....

Of course. When teachers get raises, so do administrators.

How about for once, if you're not in a classroom every day interacting with students in the learning environment, you don't get a raise.

Teachers only.

Anonymous said...

Adminitrators, Principals and "Market Adjusters" have been getting raises and bonuses all along.

I would like to find any that have a direct day to day impact of the student in the classroom or an impact on their scores.

Most principals will simply arrange numbers on their own to pad the graduation scores aka their bonus.

Fraud is in every high school.

Anonymous said...

Andrew,
I have a suggestion for you, one that is a little more interesting. How about contacting Charter schools USA(based in Fort Lauderdale) and ask them why they are not interested in opening charter schools in struggling communities in Charlotte. Currently the company is more interested in opening charter schools in nice school systems/communities such as Union County, Mooresville(2 schools), Concord and Kannapolis. Could the reason that are avoiding opening schools Charlotte is to avoid minorities, even though they claim on their charter applications that they are interested in closing the achievement gap?

Anonymous said...

I just realized that the furniture for the school is coming from ikea. It is shown on the twitter account. Sturdy metal desks and chairs are being discarded or sent back to cms central and being replaced with ikea furniture. Particle board stuff that won't last a year. I 'd ask with money so tight how they can afford to replace everything but I guess ikea is cheap and they are hitting the parents up to help pay for it. There is a disclaimer on our open house invite to not be concerned with the bare appearance of the school as furniture will be acquired to fill it out. Problem is the open house is in September, kids start school. In August. Are the children going to be sitting on the floors in this school til when?

Anonymous said...

11:00pm I would imagine that Charter Schools USA wants to be profitable and/or successful. So why would they be attracted to areas of Charlotte where this would be impossible? You can't even get parents to be concerned about the importance of proper behavior, respect or their child's education. Smart move on their part.

Anonymous said...

Still not a word on what individualized learning actually is at my sons school. What recourse do parents have in CMS that do not want to send their child to a school with this learning mode. Can we send them to another local school? We haven't been given any adequate information about this new program. I'm sure it's just wonderful, just like all the other new programs that we try every year.

Anonymous said...

"We will keep on spending until we get it right"

Joyce Waddell

Anonymous said...

11:59,
Quit whining and complaining and identify the horrendous school that has the entire region wondering? Inquiring minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:00,
I suspect you are probably correct.

Anonymous said...

The school's name start with an "H", rhymes with "rock", and prides itself on being "A place where kids soar".

That may need to change to: A place where kid's bottoms are sore - from sitting on the floor all day!.

Anonymous said...

This horrendous school, as you call it, has a principal who volunteers to pilot every test program CMS district minions can conjure up.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:59,

There is so much money flowing into this school's PTA that the principal has plenty to buy whatever CMS' latest iteration of an elementary school requires: SmartBoards - check, iPads - check, flat screen TV in the front lobby (never used) - check, personal learning devices - check.

Furniture for this year, or the next, or the year after that won't be a problem.

The kids are being asked to set up their classrooms. WOW!!! BRIC country school kids will be working on higher level STEM classes, and our kids will be learning to be interior decorators. No offense to interior decorators....

Anonymous said...

I like the fact that Hawk Ridge has eliminated sending out the new assignments via US Mail to save funds yet depends on parents to drive to school and pick them up at a designated time "a week early."
Genius, pure ecological genius.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that the elementary school starting with "H" is rolling in the dough from the PTA. But then, that would mean the PTA communicates with the parents-NOPE.

Good point-do the kids sit on the floor for weeks on end? I'd ask the principal but he already stated he will not respond.

I've heard that its mass confusion there.

Anonymous said...

@ 8/17 5:46 and 8/18 8:07

You should try using Google. I Googled individualized learning and here's a sampling of what I found...

http://www.ed.gov/technology/draft-netp-2010/individualized-personalized-differentiated-instruction

http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_197005_baker.pdf

http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3757049

http://www.dreambox.com/individualized-learning

Anonymous said...

I dont need Google to know about the inept leadership in CMeS that continues to oversee fraud and waste in several departments.

The ship is to big to oversee much less turn around.

Anonymous said...

Wiley,
Thank you for providing the information regarding CMS per student spending.

Anonymous said...

Is CMS charging for breakfast this year? My CMS middle school mailer states $1.25 for breakfast. I guess that free program didn't last long.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone complaining so much about CMS?

Don't you realize that your child is receiving a FREE education!

What do you expect for FREE!!!

That's been the attitude expressed to my husband and me when we expressed concern about troublesome kids in our daughter's South Charlotte middle school class.

Wiley Coyote said...

10:46

Many people believe there is such a thing as a Ticket Oak. These same people believe there is a Free Oak, just pick what you want because it's free!

They also believe Medicaid is free and can't understand why many ststes won't expand it.

....buckets of money.

Anonymous said...

We received a letter from Community House Middle School stating that lunch will cost $1.25, also.

Panthers Fan said...

10:46 You get what you pay for. Administration is too busy to worry about the "troublesome" kids at your daughter's school, even if it hampers her learning. Sorry, that's why we send our kids to private school now.

Wiley Coyote said...

"Troublesome kids" IN school = higher graduation & lower dropout rates.

Whether they or your child learns anything is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

We got a letter from the Community House principal saying there would be a $1.25 charge for breakfast, also.

Andrew Dunn said...

CMS is still providing universal free breakfast, I'm told. Not sure why you guys are hearing otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Dunn,

The letter we received from the CHMS principal stated $1.25 for breakfast.

Something's clearly amiss here.

Either she doesn't read what she sends our to her families, or she doesn't care what she sends out to her families....

Wiley Coyote said...

4:28

My opinion is pretty much the same for everything else coming out of CMS..... lousy data/information.

Last year, the breakfast benefit was FREE for all 147,000 students (includes pre-k).

....Tens of thousands of students will get free breakfasts next school year, after the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board voted 7-1 for a program that aims to improve academics by fighting hunger.

“We all know you can’t teach a hungry child,” Cindy Hobbs, the district’s executive director of child nutrition, told the board.

The universal breakfast program, part of a national movement, uses federal money to provide morning meals for all students, regardless of family income.


Then this from the CMS website:

Meal Cost

Pre-kindergarten - breakfast-$1.00 lunch-$1.90

Elementary, middle, high school - breakfast-$1.25 lunch-$2.15

Adult - breakfast and lunch - a la carte

Misinformation such as this is why you cannot believe anything coming from CMS.

The sad fact is, it goes on and on and on year after year.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the new CMS communications direction should already be fired! Fail on CMS's communication on the "free breakfast for all".

Anonymous said...

Ready
Fire
Aim

The CMS mantra for years. Another $100,000 + job filled by an inept person that is a flunkie.