Overdose medication to be available
By Angie Landsverk
The Weyauwega-Fremont School District hopes to have a process in place by the start of the 2017-18 school year allowing Narcan to be administered on school property in emergencies.
That follows the school board’s unanimous vote on Monday, Feb. 27, in favor of the district creating such a policy.
Board members Tim Baehnman and Dan Kohl were absent.
“We’re being on the proactive side rather than the reactive side,” District Administrator Scott Bleck said.
He referred to Gov. Scott Walker’s recent comments about the need to address the opioid epidemic in the state.
When Rachel Loehrke asked if there have been any incidents in the schools, Bleck said, “Fortunately, we have not.”
Loehrke said maybe she is a naive parent but said she was curious if there had been.
Her daughter, Amanda, is a senior at W-F High School and the student representative on the school board.
Amanda was among the students involved in last summer’s local filming of “Heroes Rising: A New Hope.”
The narrative film is about a group of teenagers who morph into superheroes and take on the opioid and heroin epidemic.
Amanda described to the board how she learned about the heroin epidemic, as part of the filming process, and saw the policy the board was discussing as something the district should do.
Narcan, also known as Naloxone, is a medication used to counter the effects of an opioid overdose.
Bleck said it will be stored in secure, locked areas in each of the district’s schools.
There will be points of contact in each building during the school day and also points of contact at after-school events, he said.
Individuals will need to be professionally trained about how to administer Narcan.
Janet Meyer, the district’s school nurse, will be that person.
She already trains Weyauwega’s police officers.
The Weyauwega Common Council approved a policy to allow the city’s police officers to carry Narcan with them when they are on duty.
That was just over a year ago, and Sgt. Brandon Leschke was among those who attended Monday night’s school board meeting.
Bleck said the school district’s process will include educating local and county officers about the fact that the district will have Narcan on school property and have staff members trained to administer it.
The National Association of School Nurses is recommending public schools establish a policy to support the administration of Narcan in an emergency.
Bleck said the district’s protocol will include calling 911 and said most of the language in its policy is from the National Association of School Nurses, the driving force behind it.
“I can’t imagine why we wouldn’t do this,” board member Sandy Smith said before the board voted on the policy.
Board member Deb Bartel agreed, referring to the numerous newspaper articles related to opioids and said she feels strongly the district should have Narcan on hand and hopes it never has to be used.
When asked how much Narcan costs, Bleck said the price is negotiated and there is talk the price will be coming down.
Smith said she is sure people in the community would come forward to help cover the cost, if the district cannot afford it.
Board member Kurt Duxbury said he understands the need to have Narcan available in emergencies.
Referring to the film project local students were involved in last summer, he described the film as an example of using a platform to educate others.
“It’s great that people are doing things,” Duxbury said.