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A Budget Cut That Slashes and Bleeds

Voices / A Forum For Community Issues

June 27, 1998|MARK D. WALKER

A few weeks ago, my 5-year-old son was injured at school (Short Avenue Elementary near Marina del Rey). Considering that the injury was near his eye, I went to the school to question what had occurred.

When I asked to speak to the principal, I was told she was out for the day. When I asked to speak to the assistant principal, I was told the school didn't have one. When I asked to speak to the nurse, I was told they didn't have one.

The secretary said the nurse was on this campus only once a week and split her time among six schools.

I asked what the school did if a student was seriously injured and was told, "We would have to page her or call 911." When I asked why this was the case, I was told "budget cuts."

I am extremely disturbed by this: A school does not have a nurse or emergency medical aide on campus. It is reprehensible that due to budget cuts a school cannot afford to have a full-time nurse.

Why should a school ever be left to call 911 or page a nurse when a child is in need of immediate medical attention? I cannot fathom the liability incurred should a child be seriously injured and his or her well-being is compromised because no medically trained personnel are on the campus.

I believe we pay entirely too much in taxes for this type of "budget cut" to exist.

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Mark D. Walker lives in Los Angeles.

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