Two members of the Miami delegation in the Florida Legislature–Republican state Sen. Ileana Garcia and Democratic state Rep. Nicholas Duran–filed a proposal to ensure students with epilepsy and seizure disorders receive appropriate care while attending school or school-related functions.
“Suffering from seizures as a child, I know firsthand how traumatic epileptic seizures can be for children and their parents. I endured the stigma and mockery of my peers, who oftentimes witnessed the episodes. Many times tough childhood experiences motivate people to become senators, and today I get to be part of something positive and life-changing for children just like me,” said Garcia. “As a society, we have a unique opportunity to help individuals heal and recover from past trauma, fostering an environment for our younger generations to be independent and content.”
The proposal will serve to standardize measures for students with epilepsy or seizure disorders by allowing families to create and submit individualized seizure action plans to their schools. The seizure action plans will contain essential information for school personnel to provide appropriate assistance to a student who may be experiencing a seizure, including first aid information, parent and healthcare provider contacts, and specific medications prescribed to the student.
“This important piece of legislation will give parents peace of mind knowing that when their child is at school or attending a school-related function, staff will understand appropriate protocols in the event their student has a seizure,” said Duran. “I’m proud to advocate for the epilepsy community alongside Senator Garcia and champion access to critical health services impacted students can expect to receive while at school.”
School employees, including a school nurse, bus driver, school bus aide, and/or any other staff member of the school district, will be required to attend training relating to care of students with a submitted seizure action plan. Additionally, both the House and Senate versions of the legislation provide staff members with immunity from liability under certain conditions.
“With the successful implementation of this bill, Florida students impacted by epilepsy or seizure disorders can be assured that the individuals they interact with on a day-to-day basis at school are trained to provide a high level of seizure care and safety,” said Karen Egozi, the president and CEO of Epilepsy Florida. “The epilepsy community thanks Representative Duran and Senator Garcia for advocating legislation that supports our students and families.”
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