Local News

Teachers Not Required to Know First Aid

Posted September 4, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

Even under supervision and with helmets, accidents can happen.

— Under pressure to tighten budgets, schools across North Carolina are cutting back. Money that use to pay for one thing, now pays for something else. There used to be a school nurse. Not anymore, and the teachers that are there are not required to know the first thing about first aid.

Many states require teachers to know first aid. North Carolina is not one of them. While some school districts provide free training to employees, it's all voluntary.

And to compound things in budget cutting times, many school districts use traveling school nurses, nurses who visit only day week. Parents are raising the question, "Who is qualified to save my child?

We've seen how important seconds can be when it comes to medical emergencies. Sometimes it's what happens before the paramedics arrive that keeps someone alive. But what happens when there's no one trained to help and that place is your child's school?

Marla Peoples of the Franklin County Schools says educators are in a real predicament because they see the importance of first aid certification, but it's not a requirement.

It's not a requirement for teachers or administrators to know CPR or basic First AID. Many teachers like Judy Stover have taken it upon themselves to get certified.

"You have to have your eyes open every minute and be watching," says Stover. "You want them to have a great day and get home safe to their parents."

Stover also believes as a parent and an educator, first aid should be something the school boards should look at.

Bunn High School athletic trainer Thomas Morris says there's no telling what could happen in the ten seconds or two minutes it takes to find the person who has CPR training.

The North Carolina General Assembly just passed a law that says all students have to be taught CPR and the Heimlich manuever, but teachers are still not included.

A spokesperson for the American Federation of Teachers says "a teacher's job is to teach, not to be a nurse." She blames budget cuts and school boards for a lack of safety.

Reporter:Bret Baier