Ryan Gibbon died from a severe asthma attack when he was only 12 years old. He would have simply reached for the prescription inhaler that he had always in his school bag. But his school teacher took it away from him and locked it in the principal’s office.
When Ryan came under asthma attack, his friends picked him up and carried him to the principal office where his inhaler was held. But they could not reach there in time and the small boy passed away. He never recovered. The date when Ryan left this world was October 9, 2012.
This tragedy took place at Elgin County School in Straffordville, Ontario, Canada. Now Sarah Gibbon, the mom of 12 years old Ryan is leading a campaign to get schools to change their senseless policy. That was a policy of the school of keeping essential inhalers away from asthmatic children- by law.
She wants lawmakers to pass the bill, dubbed “Ryan’s Law,” in honor of her son’s memory. This law would force schools to let kids who have their essential inhalers in their school bags or in a pocket.
Gibbon told Canada’s national TV network that her son was only having a spare inhaler exactly for this reason. What happened to my son when he couldn’t get to the principal’s office in time?
she told, “I received many a phone call stating Ryan had taken an inhaler to school and they found it in his bag and would like me to come pick it up because he wasn’t even allowed to bring it home with him. There’s supposed to be one in the office and that’s the only one he can have. I didn’t understand why.”
In fact, it is difficult to understand why. What possible reason that force schools to have the bizarre anti-inhaler policy? All 50 states of United States have already passed laws permitting children to carry their inhalers in school, but some American schools still don’t allow it.
Some expert says schools are sometimes fearful that they could be hit with liability claims if a student uses it in a wrong way or asthmatic child allow another kid to share the inhaler.
“I understand these concerns, but what’s the liability in allowing a child with asthma to exercise without having access to an inhaler when a nurse may or may not even be at the school?” asks Maureen George, a nursing professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
She says that schools sometimes ban inhalers under a blanket anti-drug policy as well.
“But do prescription medications really need to be grouped with illicit drugs?” George wonders.