2013-10-24 / Local & State

After Pa. Asthma Death, Focus On School Staffing

By Maryclaire Dale

ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A Philadelphia father wonders if he should home school his two sons with asthma, after losing his 12-year- old daughter to an asthma attack that started at school.

Bryant Elementary School in West Philadelphia has a nurse on duty just two days a week.

Daniel Burch says he never knew that before his daughter, Laporshia Massey, died last month.

School nurse Peg Devine says she worked at one city school where 27 percent of the students had asthma – and left when the job was cut to part-time.

Devine says that’s not enough time to teach students how to manage the illness, and train staff to recognize a child in distress.

Burch’s lawyer says the school should have called 911 when Laporshia had trouble breathing. Instead, she was taken home.

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