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School refused to allow emergency medical kit

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 25/10/2016. School refused to allow emergency medical kitTags: Parenting Teachers

A primary school student has been awarded €9,000 because his school refused to keep an emergency medical kit on the school premises over a period of nine days.

The boy in question, who was in second class in a gaelscoil in 2014/15, has anaphylaxis which means that he can have an extreme reaction to the presence of certain foods. Therefore, he must have access to an emergency anaphylaxis medical kit, containing adrenaline auto-injectors, inhaler and anti-histamines. An emergency kit was held previously in the school office for a period of three academic years.

However, in 2014/15 a dispute arose between the parents and the school over the wording of an indemnity form and also the content of the boy’s emergency medical kit. While the issue was resolved, there was a period of nine days when the emergency medical kit was not kept on the school premises. The boy was absent due to a family bereavement for four of those days and his parents kept him out of school for one other day.

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) ruled that the boy had suffered discrimination on the grounds of disability. The deciding officer reported “For the school to engage in a stand-off where they would not retain life-saving medication for nine school days - over one word - actually frightens me. Surely some compromise could have been reached where the emergency kit was held pending a meeting of the Board of Management. ….. The school should regard themselves as fortunate that they are not defending proceedings in the Superior Courts or, worse, giving evidence in the Coroner’s Court.”

Two other complaints of harassment and bullying were not upheld.

In September, the WRC published a ruling in which the parents of a boy who suffers from cerebral palsy were awarded €5,500 because he was not allowed to bring a dog, which was a vital aid, onto the school premises.


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