Blood on Governor Corbett’s Hands: Philadelphia Education Crisis Claims the Life of a 12 Year Old Asthmatic Student

He says his daughter might be alive if not for school-nurse cuts
Photo Credit: Provided to Philadelphia City Paper by Daniel Burch

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.”


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About Sean Kitchen 681 Articles
Contributor and Assistant Editor for the Raging Chicken Press. Stationed in Harrisburg covering politics in the capitol. You can send tips to or reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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4 Comments on Blood on Governor Corbett’s Hands: Philadelphia Education Crisis Claims the Life of a 12 Year Old Asthmatic Student

  1. It is time for top US Justice Department officials
    in Washington to stop covering for Tom Corbett,
    and stop silencing and discrediting the victims
    of Corbett’s horrible trail of treason throughout
    Pennsylvania. We’ve warned the public, as we have
    warned officials in Washington, to remove this bad
    apple from the barrel before he rots everything else
    in it. They haven’t listened, or perhaps they
    haven’t been permitted to by the NSA censors who
    dominate and manage all the communication which
    takes place in the American dictatorship we are now
    living in. Don’t give me this “it can’t happen
    here” nonsense – IT HAS HAPPENED RIGHT HERE IN
    PENNSYLVANIA. Remember the children – and remember
    what philosopher George Santayana said:
    Those who make peaceful change impossible
    make violent revolution inevitable.

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