School Nurses: A thing of the past? -

School Nurses: A thing of the past?

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Will Briggs is used to solving middle school math – but now he has a bigger equation on his hands that deals with adding nurses and getting commissioner support for the funding.

“My brother Jake was injured when he fell on the playground. Thankfully this happened when the nurse was there. By the time my mom arrived, the nurse had set his arm ready to take him to the hospital.”

But nearly half of the time… there’s not a school nurse on site.

Laurie Briggs finds that unacceptable.

“Oh gosh, I think it’s horrible," she said. "We are dealing with kids with food allergies where every second counts.”

CMS parent Carrie Merner says she’s always on edge when she sends her son to school.

“I’m scared – my child has serious food allergies and has had 7 anaphalytic reactions.”

Briggs is concerned about her daughter.

“I have one child out of my four who has diabetes," she said. “My daughter could have blood sugar drop and go into a seizure.”

As it stands, caring for that health concern falls on other school staff.

“The school secretaries are scrambling," Merner said. "Teachers are having to take on these duties.”

“It’s not fair to school staff who aren’t trained and they have to make a judgement call and see if they should send that child home or back to class with a possible injury," Briggs said.

It’s that extra work that takes away from teaching time in the classroom, a problem soon-to-be seventh grader Will Briggs said needs to be solved.

“Healthy children learn better and school nurses make it happen.”

The goal is to add 33 more nurses at a price tag of nearly two million dollars, money comes from the health department--not the school budget.

Thursday there will be a straw vote on the budget which will most likely determine how commissioners will vote. The final budget will be approved next Tuesday.

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