Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Why schools make bad baby sitters

Imagine if your baby sitter failed to call you or seek medical attention when your child began vomiting. That's exactly what happened in Queens, N.Y., when a teenager had a stroke at school. The school took more than an hour to call 911. What's even more horrifying is the article doesn't mention whether the school called her parents.

As it turns out, inattention to medical needs was school policy. A memo to teachers stated "No deans are permitted to call 911 for any reason." The impetus for this stunning policy was a misguided attempt to drive down crime statistics since the school was put on the state's list of dangerous schools. It could face sanctions under the No Child Left Behind Act - for the violence, not the failure to respond appropriately to medical needs.

The girl lost use of her right hand and leg and has had to relearn how to speak and walk since the stroke. She is now receiving home instruction. Let's hope her parents have the good sense to continue home instruction. At least then, the teacher will be free to call 911 in case of emergency.

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