Kentucky 'Teens Speak Up!' Ambassador Helps Pass Legislation to Support Students with Epilepsy
Epilepsy News From: Monday, August 20, 2018
The Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana recently announced that Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed the Lyndsey Crunk Act (HB 147) into law. HB 147 was sponsored by Representative Mark Hart and provides support and protections to Kentucky’s students living with epilepsy and seizure disorders.
Lyndsey Crunk, a Teens Speak Up! ambassador, from Georgetown, KY, advocated for two years for the passage of HB 147. This included testifying in front of the Kentucky’s House Education Committee regarding the importance of seizure first aid and training and education programs.
What will the Lyndsey Crunk Act do?
This legislation will require that:
- School personnel (includes principals, counselors, and teachers) shall complete a one-hour seizure recognition and first aid response training.
- A “Seizure Action Plan,” signed by the treating physician, be made part of the student’s file and made available to school personnel and volunteers responsible for the student.
- Any medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shall be administered to the student living with an epilepsy or seizure disorder as prescribed by the treating physician.
Principals, counselors, and teachers are to complete at least one-hour of seizure recognition and first aid response training by July 1, 2019.
“The Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana is so very proud of Lyndsey Crunk for her incredible courage and deep desire to bring epilepsy out of the shadows in Kentucky’s schools through HB 147,” said Deb McGrath, executive director of Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana. “We are very hopeful this legislation, which is the first of its kind in the country, will tear down the myriad barriers students with epilepsy have faced in the past and help them feel safe, accepted, and empowered at school.”
Lyndsey and her family will return to the Kentucky House Education Committee to advocate for an amendment to the bill. This amendment would require student education on seizures and epilepsy in Kentucky schools.
Lyndsey’s mother, Cyndi Arnold-Crunk, describes their lives with epilepsy as a “roller coaster ride.” After being diagnosed with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy in 2014, Lyndsey coped with severe seizures, side-effects of her medications, and struggles in school.
Early in her diagnosis, her family got involved with the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana and Lyndsey began to use her voice to help others.
In addition to her advocacy on HB 147, Lydnsey hosted the first Epilepsy Awareness Day at her middle school in 2015. She also educated around 300 students at her school on seizures and first aid in 2016.
“We are so proud of Lynsey and her 'Teens Speak Up!' leadership and platform of Seizure Smart Schools,” said Cydni. “We owe so much to the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana and the Epilepsy Foundation. We don’t know where we’d be without you all.”
Monday, August 20, 2018