When is it ok to label a state or local politician a “murderer?” Should it be ok to label Governor Tom Corbett a “murder” because of his attacks on public education which killed a 12-year-old student because no trained school nurses were present to treat an asthma attack?
If these sickening accounts are true, Philadelphia student Laporshia Massey picked the wrong day to have an asthma attack at Bryant Elementary School because there was no nurse present to take care of her medical emergency. According to Daniel Denvir’s reporting, Laporshia Massey had an asthma attack during the school day, but there was no full time nurse, who is only at the school 2 out of 5 days, present. Laporshia had been having troubles throughout the school day and received a ride home from a school official. When she arrived home, Laporshia’s father drove her to the hospital, but while driving to the hospital she collapsed in the car and was then shuttled to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia by an ambulance.
Excerpts from Denvir’s reporting reads:
“They told her school was almost out, and she’d get out of school and go straight home,” says one district source, who requested anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the press. “She went to the teacher,” who told her “there’s no nurse, and just to be calm.”
The District source believes that Laporshia’s life could have been saved if the school had responded appropriately to her illness. “If they had called rescue, she would still be here today,” the source said.
The School District of Philadelphia, long underfunded and now reeling from budget cuts implemented by Gov. Tom Corbett, has nearly 3,000 fewer staff members than it did in June. Today, there are 179 nurses working in public, private and parochial schools, down from 289 in 2011. (The District did not provide the ratio of nurses to students in its schools as of press time.)
After the initial cuts, one protesting nurse specifically warned that other staff were not competent to deal with asthmatic students in her absence. This year, Parents United for Public Education and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia have compiled a list of complaints filed with the state Secretary of Education, including those having to do with health and safety — some of which were made by parents worried for their asthmatic children.
Read this quote by Senator Angus King, change-up some of the context of what he is talking about, and then tell me what you think of Governor Tom Corbett:
“That’s a scandal — those people are guilty of murder in my opinion,” Sen. Angus King, a Maine Independent who caucuses with Democrats, told me in a Friday interview. “Some of those people they persuade are going to end up dying because they don’t have health insurance. For people who do that to other people in the name of some obscure political ideology is one of the grossest violations of our humanity I can think of. This absolutely drives me crazy.”