An Inclusive Litany

4/19/02

An excerpt from a September 7 letter by Nancy Sander, executive director of the Allergy and Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics, to Pennsylvania's Bristol Township School Board, regarding its zero-tolerance drug policy:
The decision to accommodate and facilitate a child's needs with asthma is far easier than pretending their needs do not exist or that restricting student access to medications is for the safety of all students. To do so places your students with asthma at greater risk of death or missed school days, their classmates at risk of witnessing their death, and your school board at risk of lawsuits....

If a student placed a plastic bag over a teacher's head for a brief moment, the student would be charged with assault. But a school board voting to restrict a child's access to his life-saving asthma medication is no less guilty of a crime. Is Bristol Township School Board really ready to accept responsibility for violating a child's right to breathe? Are you prepared to breach the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act?

[Ed.: "In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards." —Mark Twain]

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