Students could be allowed to have inhaler, Epi-pen in class

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Students in Indian River County schools could be allowed to carry their asthma inhalers, epinephrine auto-injectors, diabetes testing kits and other medications.

A change in state rules allows students – who have their doctor’s blessing – to carry prescription medicines with them, rather than having them locked up in the nurse’s office. According to legislators, children who are granted control of their medical supplies tend to take better care of themselves.

The Indian River County School Board will hold a public hearing tonight before deciding whether to approve the new policy.

Under the proposed new rules, students would be also be allowed to carry pancreatic enzymes or other medications prescribed by a physician.

Students much provide proper documentation and have it filed at their school.

Along with prescription medications, parents and guardians may also provide their students’ school with a medication permission slip for non-prescription medications.

Such medications could include pain relievers aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen and ibuprofen, which the parents or guardians would provide to the school for storage and dispensing.

Also expected to receive the School Board’s approval tonight is a contract to find a new superintendent to replace out-going Dr. Harry La Cava.

The School Board has met with Dr. Wayne Blanton, executive director of the Florida School Boards Association, to discuss what qualities they are looking for in a new schools chief.

According to the contract, the School District would pay Dr. Blanton a $500-per-day consultant charge not to exceed a total of $6,000.

Dr. La Cava is set to retire by July 2011.

The School Board will also revisit whether it should sign onto a lawsuit against the Florida Legislature regarding the constitutionality of penalties assigned for failing to meet class size requirements.

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