Arkansas Governor Huckabee Sanders Signs HB 1315 into Law
Epilepsy News From: Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Seizure Safe Schools Legislation Now Passed in 20 States
Bowie, Md., March 22, 2023 — Epilepsy Foundation announced today that Arkansas Governor Huckabee Sanders signed House Bill 1315 into law on March 16, bringing Seizure Safe Schools legislation to 20 states in the nation. The Epilepsy Foundation is grateful to all the advocates, families, and legislators who worked tirelessly to get the bill across the finish line. This is the first Seizure Safe Schools bill victory of the 2023 state legislative session.
“I am proud to have sponsored this bill which will help the nearly 5,000 children living with epilepsy in Arkansas,” said Representative Denise Jones Ennett (District 80), the bill’s lead sponsor. “Beginning in the 2024-2025 school year, HB 1315 will create a safer school environment not only for those living with epilepsy, but for all students and school personnel, while providing much-needed assurance to parents.”
The other primary sponsor of the bill was Senator Linda Chesterfield (District 12), and co-sponsors included Representatives Jack Fortner, Denise Garner, Delia Haak, Lee Johnson, Julie Mayberry, and Johnny Rye.
The legislation will require training for all school personnel in seizure recognition and first-aid response every two years, as well as an age-appropriate seizure education program for students. Parents or legal guardians can collaborate with school personnel to develop a Seizure Action Plan that will be kept on file and made available to all personnel responsible for the student. Additionally, the bill requires at least two school personnel to be trained to help administer seizure rescue medications or manual pulses using a vagus nerve stimulation device in case of emergency. Lastly, there is also a Good Samaritan Clause for those acting in good faith in accordance with the bill's provisions.
“As a mother of a teenager living with epilepsy, I know this legislation will help many families in the future,” said Charlene Kirk, Epilepsy Foundation Arkansas Board Chair. “We are incredibly thrilled to see this bill become a reality after a lot of hard work. I am very grateful to everyone who advocated alongside us, including my daughter and fellow Board members, and the bill sponsors who championed this legislation.”
The Epilepsy Foundation continues to work with its network of staff, grassroots advocates, and nearly 40 organizational partners to pass this bill in the remaining 30 states and Washington, D.C. To learn more about each state’s legislative efforts, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about free seizure first aid trainings, visit epilepsy.com/FirstAid.
According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder worldwide with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.4 million people in the United States are affected by epilepsy. Epilepsy is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions.
About the Epilepsy Foundation
With a network of partners throughout the United States, the Epilepsy Foundation is leading the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy. The Foundation connects people to treatment, support, and resources; leads advocacy efforts; funds innovative research and the training of specialists; and educates the public about epilepsy and seizure first aid. For more than five decades, the Epilepsy Foundation has shone a light on epilepsy to promote awareness and understanding, and to advocate for laws that matter to people with epilepsy, while also funding epilepsy research and supporting epilepsy investigators and specialists in their early careers. In partnership with the CDC, the Epilepsy Foundation has helped to improve access to care for people with epilepsy, expanded its digital reach and online resources in homes across the country, and trained more than 600,000 people in seizure recognition and first aid. The Epilepsy Foundation has also assisted more than 140,000 people through its 24/7 Helpline, and continues to focus on innovation, new therapies, community services, advocacy and education as key priorities. To learn more visit epilepsy.com or call 1.800.332.1000. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and YouTube.
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