Parents from school districts as far as 500 miles away are dropping their children off at school to demand meetings with board members about a proposal to ban naloxone.
“Why is there not one meeting where I can directly say ‘look I’m pissed about this?’ I’d love to have that happen,” said Sheila Glorioso of Staten Island, New York, who is an occupational therapist.
“I want you to see just how angry we are at this point,” said Barbi Lenz of the Westchester County Regional Association of School Nurses.
“They see us as the enemy,” said Parent Thomas Steiner of New Hyde Park, New York. “You do not ban something that is absolutely essential to save a life.”
There is an all out push to save lives of school nurses who have been told their job is no longer needed by some school districts.
Erika Zellner and Tania Wymore rushed into the hallway to save the life of a child they thought overdosed in August.
“All I said was, ‘It’s OK. You are going to be okay, little brother.’ She had this beautiful, innocent little face,” said Zellner.
But how will this affect those who work to save others lives?
“I would like someplace where we can feel like we’re still important,” said Lenz.
But that desire to save other lives doesn’t have the same scope, especially as Nurse Wymore and Zellner realize the impact their work has on others.
“It’s been good to see the support from my neighbors and the schools where we have worked, but it’s such a mixed message,” said Zellner.
School district nurses, fearful of mass suicide, mass shootings and gun violence are being directed to leave the profession.
School nurse numbers are dropping by a third over the last decade, and now some schools are taking it a step further.
“Many schools are looking for solution that will limit the impact on the school nurse,” said Laurie Lane, associate superintendent at Astoria, Queens, Public Schools.
While they fear the possible death of the source of life-saving treatment, school nurses also know it could save them.