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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

School Staff Under Fire

A story has emerged today about a young girl with severe eczema whose school is refusing to assist in applying her medicated cream. The right wing media is banging its 'political correctness gone mad' drum, reporting that the school is using child protection fears to excuse itself from the responsibility.
How easy it is if you don't look at the other side of the story.
I used to work in a school, so I have some insight. There were often days when we could hardly move in the school office for medicine bottles, dropped off each morning by parents who assumed it was part of our duties to administer medicine. It wasn't. Not only did we not have time to be medicating twenty or even thirty different children, but we also had no legal protection if something had gone wrong. It was something we did as a favour, to help, but it was risky.
We all drew the line when a parent arrived demanding that we administer insulin injections. Given that we sometimes had parents threatening us with all kinds of retribution, simply because their child had taken a tumble in the playground, injecting a child was not something any of us wanted to take responsibility for.
Schools are there to teach. That's their purpose. They aren't childcare centres and they certainly aren't medical centres. If they are willing to help with your child's medication be very grateful, but please, don't automatically expect it.

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