12-year-old girl suspended because she lent her inhaler to a gasping classmate

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Remember that scene from Man of Steel where young Clark Kent saves a bus full of children and his dad gives him a lecture about how that was a bad thing to do? And every audience member said “what the fuck, Pa Kent?”

That’s the world we live in.


playing doctor has always been discouraged at school :wink:


I had a history teacher who would respond this way whenever anyone told her they had a headache:

“Well I’m sorry I can’t give you the aspirin that’s IN THE UPPER RIGHT HAND CORNER DRAWER OF MY DESK. I’ve just realized I need to go to the main office for a minute. I expect all of you to stay quietly in your seats. No one should look IN THE UPPER RIGHT HAND CORNER OF MY DESK, and if they do they shouldn’t TAKE THE ASPIRIN I’VE GOT IN THERE.”

Sadly that teacher is no longer with us. She should be running the school where this girl is a student.


albuterol is not a controlled substance

It’s not scheduled, sure, but it is prescription-only; isn’t that enough to classify it as “controlled?”


Albuterol is a controlled substance in the US, as are all prescription drugs. They just don’t fall under Schedule I which are the ones everyone gets really upset about. But are one of the lower schedules.

Has anyone come up with a decent explanation why modern organizations have become so Kafkaesque? The response is still totally extreme.


“The final punishment could change and range from no days to the maximum of 30 days.”

I think I’d rather sit it out at the “alternative school” and let the adults learn their own lesson.


Extreme responses are born from fear of lawsuits.


Laws and justice system that are an absolute mess? The scenario we see in the article is the result of a society that is in utter fear of getting sued and then having to pay laughably high fines/awards.


This happens because well, Texas.


I understand why schools don’t want students sharing inhalers as a general rule. There’s a disease transmission issue as well as the potential for someone to experience negative side-effects due to allergies, interactions between medications (my puffers sometimes cause headaches, a known side-effect of using those two medications together), or other variables. You also don’t really want to give a steroid or a bronchodilator to someone who doesn’t actually need it.

That being said, there is a time to apply the rules against sharing medication and an emergency situation is very obviously not the right time. This is especially true for students who are certainly insulated by Good Samaritan laws. I can understand a teacher maybe getting a mild reprimand for breaking procedure in an emergency because of liability concerns. I’ve had some first aid training and one of the things which was made clear to us from day one is that protecting life comes before everything else. You can break someone’s ribs to keep their blood pumping. You can risk paralysis in a spinal injury victim by moving them if it means you get them breathing. The only reason to not help someone who would otherwise die is if there would be a severe risk to your person by helping them (if they are in an electrified pool of water, for example).

If I’m off the clock (and therefore covered by those same Good Samaritan laws), you’re damn right I’ll give the person an aspirin if they’re having a heart attack or a dose of my puffer if they are having an asthma attack (though with caveats and barrier devices and only if they have no medication of their own available), no matter what the official standard of care is for someone of my training. Anything that I know to do and know how to do, I will do, if I think it will do more good than harm in a life or death situation. On the clock, where I can get my pants sued off if I deviate from “standard of care” and something goes wrong, I’m going to be a little more careful about breaking the rules. Of course, trying to save the person will always take precedence.


Cf. my high school experience when my teacher asked me for some NSAID (ibuprofen, I think) because she had a headache. (I was prone to them too so tended to have which she knew. I didn’t give because I didn’t have that day and felt bad about it.)

Freshly out of the Eastern Bloc, a year or two but not more than three after The Revolution, but attitude to medicines did not change by then yet; not sure how “freedomized” the system is now though…

Looks like for the practical uses even the Evil Oppressive Communists provided more actual freedom than the Freedom Beacon Country.


It is prescription only because it can be used for doping in sports (though it would be difficult to hide it anyway because it only helps during the event, not in training). Which is kind of stupid because it means that you need the prescription even though the side effects of it are minimal and it could be sold freely.


in gym class
So where was the gym teacher in all this?


Bureaucracy creates jobs! So all comers can be useful-idiot lackeys to somebody else’s broken control machine.


If you have a headache, I won’t give you my medicine.

Because there’s a non-zero chance you’ll literally drop dead at my feet. Stone dead.

Giving other people access to your prescriptions is not without risk… that being said, it looks like it worked out OK this time. Hooray!

I can totally understand the school wanting to strongly impress on other students that they should not share medications. As a parent, I would not complain about it, I’d just push for minimal punishment and I’d insist that any record of the event include the fact that the other student was helped, not harmed, by my child’s action.


The risk of allowing a child to share an inhaler is substantially lower than the risk from denying aid to a child suffering an asthma attack.


It’s not a dichotomy.


I love albuterol. A complete wonder drug.

Although it can make you jittery, the LD-50 for the stuff is astronomically high – 2,500 mg/kg – compared to the 1-2mg dose for a kid. You’d need to take like 30,000x the suggested dose.


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