Advocacy: Seizure Safe Schools
There are 470,000 children living with epilepsy in the U.S. Despite the prevalence, epilepsy is still highly misunderstood by the public. For students living with epilepsy, it is important that schools are well-equipped with the tools necessary to provide a safe and enriching environment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the opportunity for academic success is increased when communities, schools, families, and students work together to meet the needs of students with chronic health conditions and provide safe and supportive learning environments. Direct access to school nursing and other health services, as well as disease-specific education, has been shown to improve health and academic outcomes among students with chronic health conditions.
The Epilepsy Foundation has launched a nationwide initiative to pass Seizure Safe Schools legislation in all states. The model bill has five key components: requiring school personnel to complete a seizure recognition and first-aid response training; mandating that the Seizure Action Plan is made part of the student’s file and made available for school personnel and volunteers responsible for the student; ensuring that any FDA-approved medication prescribed by the treating physician is administered to the student living with epilepsy; educating and training students about epilepsy and first-aid response; and a Good Samaritan clause. The number of components included in the bill will vary by state.
As part of the nationwide Seizure Safe Schools initiative, the Epilepsy Foundation is working with local Epilepsy Foundation offices, grassroots advocates, and organizational partners to pass this state legislation in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Significant progress has been made in just the past few years and we applaud all states and advocates who’ve taken important steps towards Seizure Safe Schools.
To date, 20 states have enacted Seizure Safe Schools legislation that mandate school personnel to complete seizure recognition and first aid training, require students with epilepsy to have a Seizure Action Plan on file, and/or require administration of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatments in the school setting (the laws vary by state):
- Alabama (H.B. 76)
- Arizona (S.B. 1654)
- Arkansas (H.B. 1315)
- California (A.B. 1810)
- Colorado (H.B. 21-1133)
- Florida (H.B. 173)
- Illinois (H.B. 1475)
- Indiana (H.B. 1089)
- Kentucky (H.B. 147) Lyndsey Crunk Act
- Louisiana (H.B. 914)
- Maryland (S.B. 299) Brynleigh’s Act
- Minnesota (H.F. 2)
- Missouri (S.B. 1710) Will’s Law
- Nebraska (L.B. 683)
- New Jersey (S. 4141) Paul’s Law
- Oklahoma (S.B. 128)
- Texas (H.B. 684) Sam’s Law
- Utah (H.B. 241)
- Virginia (S.B. 1322) Jamie and Brie Strong Act
- Washington (H.B. 1085)
Additional states have passed bills or resolutions that raise awareness about the need for Seizure Safe Schools and/or encourage epilepsy- and seizure-related training:
- Pennsylvania (H.B. 416) DOMinate Epilepsy Law
- South Dakota (H.C.R. 6004)
Many other states are laying the groundwork for Seizure Safe Schools bills or have even introduced bills. If you are interested in learning more about your state’s legislative efforts on this issue or would like to become involved, please contact the national advocacy team at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your local Epilepsy Foundation office.
Learn More:Learn About Epilepsy Advocates
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