Saturday, September 13, 2003

Teachers want out of medical duties



The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - Jefferson County public school teachers have filed a grievance seeking to end their roles as school nurses.

Each school day, teachers provide medicine and medical care to students, tasks once handled by nurses. In their class-action grievance, now heading to arbitration, teachers say they're uncomfortable with and ill-trained for the medical duty.

"It's flat dangerous," said Steve Neal, executive director of the 5,500-member Jefferson County Teachers Association, which wants the district to bring nurses back to schools.

Only two district schools have nurses - Churchill Park, a school for disabled children, and Hazelwood Elementary, which has been cobbling together a nurse's salary after hiring one through a pilot program four years ago.

District officials say they can't afford to hire the more than 150 nurses it would take to provide one for each school. And they say the few teachers and school staff asked to do the work receive the training they need and that no child has been hurt by a mix-up.

They also say the district's insurance covers most lawsuit judgments against employees.

"Somebody has to do it," said Bill Eckels, the district's personnel director. "You can't have a first-grader running around with a bottle of Ritalin."

Eckels said it's generally school office workers, not teachers, who provide such medical help.

Because of tight budgets, full-time, in-school nurses have for years been uncommon in Kentucky, said Lisa Gross, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education.




TOP STORIES
Ach surrenders on check charge
Afghans revel in freedom
Condo buying booms in OTR

IN THE TRISTATE
Firehouse price tag growing
Naked in the garden
Schools add fitness center
Jarvi to be a pop
Hard on a scholar - giving up his books
Picture of the day: Up there showing off
Regional Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Bronson: Rumors fly around Cincinnati's Blue Ash Airport
Howard: Good Things Happening
McNutt: Black Walnut Festival will celebrate autumn

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Court reporter lauded
Event celebrates Deerfield
Edgewood's new field house is a source of community pride
Daughter of longtime Mason doctor opens animal hospital in hometown
Circling plane creates phone panic

OBITUARIES
John Aber, 52, writer and college professor
Gloria A. Byrd, 45, founded Kenwood day spa and salon
Kentucky obituaries

OHIO
Blackwell proposes repealing tax boost
Satan worshiper gets death in killings of 3
Funeral home's owner convicted of corpse abuse
Groups fear anti-gambling law could curtail charitable efforts
Man handcuffed to steering wheel pulled from burning car
Wisconsin boy missing over a year found in Ohio
HBO boosts 'Shaker Heights'
Bush plans to visit Sept. 30
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
UK announces record enrollment, rise in black students
Teachers want out of medical duties
Fletcher campaign is first with TV ads
Fletcher's trove double Chandler's
Junk TV? Hebron man shows gift for garbage
Suit filed to overturn Lexington smoking ban
Racist fliers offend, anger many
Principal wins recognition
Truants' moms ordered to court
Kentucky News Briefs