Chinook’s Edge School Division will not carry critical anti-overdose kits in its 43 schools across Central Alberta.
Trustees voted against putting naloxone kits in the division’s schools at its April board meeting after directing administration to develop a report on the kits, training requirements and practices in other school divisions in March.
Kurt Sacher, Chinook’s Edge superintendent, said there were many factors that led to the decision to not train teachers on naloxone and put the kits into its schools. He said many groups were already set up with the appropriate training, such as first responders, but not teachers.
“Teachers are extremely busy and their expectations are so high in many other areas,” said Sacher. “It also extends the potential for liability.”
He also pointed to legal and insurance concerns as other reasons that it did not go forward.
“We checked with our legal advisors and insurance providers and it was just felt that it wasn’t appropriate to go in the direction of kits in schools,” said Sacher. “We’re better off to have the appropriately trained personnel involved.”
Though there have been no overdoses in the division’s schools yet, the protocol they have in place involves calling 911.
In March, the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division decided to bring the anti-overdose kits into its schools and train its teachers and support staff on how to administer Naloxone. They are being trained for both the injectable and nasal-spray kits.
In an email, Bruce Buruma, Red Deer Public Schools Community Relations Director said, “like many other school jurisdictions, Red Deer Public Schools is currently reviewing this and working with our partners from Alberta Health Services and the RCMP seeking guidance on how to best respond.
Naloxone is a medication used to block the effects of opioids, specifically in the event of an overdose.