Mother worried that lack of school nurses puts son in danger

by: Allison Latos Updated:


SALISBURY, N.C. - A Salisbury mother told Channel 9 she fears for her 10-year-old son's life at school.

Lavonda Killian worries a lack of school nurses is putting her son, Ronald Houston, and other students in danger.

Houston was diagnosed with epilepsy about six months ago and has had several seizures, including four at Granite Quarry Elementary School.

That's how Killian learned there is not a nurse at every school.

“People don't understand seizures can lead to death," Killian said.

Killian said if her son's seizure lasts longer than five minutes, school staff must give him an injection of a potent dose of valium. She is worried they're not experienced enough to save his life.

“This can cause him to have a stroke or a heart attack.  It can induce an asthma attack," Killian said.

District officials told Eyewitness News they have 11 nurses for 35 schools, and that actually goes above and beyond the state requirement of one.

“We would love to have a nurse in every building but like many districts across the state, the funding just is not there," said Rowan-Salisbury Schools spokesperson Rita Foil.

Each nurse handles three schools, but other staff receive medical training.

“I don’t think two hours a year is enough time for them to be trained to handle an incident that can happen with a child," Killian said.

At the minimum, Killian wants more medical training.

The district is facing a $6.5 million budget cut next year. Officials said no nursing positions are on the line.