11/19/2004

Halls of Education

Students in Dothan City, Alabama will no longer be allowed to take cough drops at school unless they have written permission from a doctor, and they won't be allowed to "administer" them without assistance from an adult...

Board members OK'd the policy revision during a regular board meeting held Monday night, but some weren't happy with the extent of the new restrictions, which also require written permission from a doctor for elementary-age students to take things like Tylenol and will prohibit adolescent girls from administering their own monthly pain relief.

"I realize that all of this is mandated, but I really just thought it was ridiculous," Gayla White, the board's District 3 member, said Thursday, adding that the cough drop policy upset her most because her own son regularly carries lozenges to school to soothe a drainage problem. "I mean, I really think parents have enough sense to know whether or not their child needs cough drops."
I have a hard time imagining any reasonable person standing up and defending a policy that requires a student to have a doctor's note before taking a Luden's cherry cough drop. Then again, the school nurse at the school in question seems enthusiastic about the measure.
"This is a really good thing," she said, "because if you work in the front office and you have to administer eye drops, at least you'll know how to do it right."
I suppose that it's possible that the students in Dothan City don't know how to take cough drops without adult supervision. If that's the case, however, shouldn't the school immediately be taken over by the state and all the teachers fired?

Violating the medication policy by carrying unauthorized drugs to school is considered a Class III offense - according to Dothan City Schools' Secondary Code of Conduct - and it could be punished with suspension, a stay at alternative school, placement in the Permanent Alternative Program at P.A.S.S. Academy or even expulsion.

Words fail me.