By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia teachers’ union has filed a complaint with the state, saying the school district is now using non-medical personnel to give medications to students.
With fewer school nurses because of budget cuts, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers says the School District of Philadelphia is now requiring non-medical staff, including principals and counselors, give out medications.
PFT president Jerry Jordan says that violates state health department guidelines.
“We’re fearful that medicine is not going to be given to the right student, and that we will ultimately end up with a child who is going to be very, very ill or harmed as a result of this practice,” he told KYW Newsradio.
The school district laid off 47 school nurses in December (see related stories), and has about 100 fewer than last year.
Jordan acknowledges the district is in a budget crisis, but he says it’s not a good idea to gamble with the health and safety of kids and he’s calling on the Pennsylvania Department of Health to direct the school district to follow state guidelines.