AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, more than 300,000 children under the age of 15 have some type of seizure disorder, and more than 90,000 of these have seizures that cannot be adequately treated (Epilepsy Foundation); and

WHEREAS, seizures may range from mild to moderate to severe in duration. Some may require emergency intervention if lasting more than five minutes; and

WHEREAS, children are at risk for injuries related to the seizure itself by falling against objects or onto a hard surface, many times requiring professional assessment of potential injury; and

WHEREAS, Diastat is one type of medication used for the emergency management of seizures. It is a controlled substance, rectal valium; and

WHEREAS, Diastat medication should be administered as per medical doctors' orders; and

WHEREAS, Diastat gel is to be administered via rectum, as per medical doctors' orders and pharmaceutical company and manufacturer's recommendations; and

WHEREAS, assessment of the effectiveness of medication should only be made by a professional school nurse, and/or a licensed professional nurse, in order to determine if further intervention and emergency services are required; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers supports emergency care and treatment of students with seizures by licensed health professionals. The school nurse is the most qualified provider in the school setting;

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will work to ensure that all students in our schools are safe and receive the highest quality of necessary health services; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will continue to lobby for at least one full-time licensed registered nurse in every school building; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will lobby to ensure that, in states where it is permitted, unlicensed school personnel should be allowed to decline to participate in the administration of Diastat and be informed of this right; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will advocate that all school districts must defend and indemnify the volunteer from any civil liability; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will fight to ensure that no employee will incur pressure to administer or be subjected to disciplinary action if one declines to administer the medication; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will lobby for education and the use of the most appropriate personnel to administer emergency care to students with seizure disorders.