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Laporshia Massey, Philadelphia student who died of complications from asthma.
Laporshia Massey
The massive cuts Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett forced on Philadelphia's public schools included layoffs of many school nurses. Nurses protested the cuts, saying students would be endangered. Sadly, that point has been made in the worst way possible: 12-year-old Laporshia Massey, who attended a school staffed by a nurse only two days a week, died of complications from asthma on a day the nurse was not at the school.

Laporshia's parents say they were not notified she wasn't feeling well until late in the school day, and were not told the severity of her situation:

Seeing his daughter’s state when she arrived home at about 3:15 p.m., Burch says, he immediately gave her medication and then rushed her to the hospital. She collapsed in the car, at which point Burch flagged down a passing ambulance in the middle of traffic. Burch says his daughter later died at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which could not confirm any details, including the time of her arrival, due to privacy constraints.

“They told her school was almost out, and she’d get out of school and go straight home,” says one district source, who requested anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the press. “She went to the teacher,” who told her “there’s no nurse, and just to be calm.” [...]

The District source believes that Laporshia’s life could have been saved if the school had responded appropriately to her illness. “If they had called rescue, she would still be here today,” the source said.

But there wasn't anyone there who was trained to know how serious her condition was, because Tom Corbett specifically targeted Philadelphia's schools for massive budget cuts, holding badly needed money hostage for huge concessions from teachers who are already paid significantly less than their suburban counterparts, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter failed to push back effectively to defend his city's children.

(Via Raging Chicken Press)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 10:47 AM PDT.

Also republished by Philly Kos, DKos Pennsylvania, and Daily Kos.

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