Florida Legislature Poised for Final Action on Epilepsy in Schools Legislation
Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, the Florida Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved Senator Ileana Garcia’s (R-Miami) Senate Bill 340, which will create a seizure action plan in public schools for students who deal with seizures, meaning the legislation is ready for action by the Florida Senate.
The House companion, House Bill 173 by Representative Nick Duran (D-Miami), has also passed through all of its assigned committees, and will be considered by the full Florida House of Representatives tonight.
“We are truly grateful to the hard work of both Senator Garcia and Representative Duran carrying this important legislation,” said Karen Basha Egozi, CEO of Epilepsy Alliance Florida. “Thanks to their hard work, Florida is giving parents the tools to know that their kids can attend school safely, and with the full knowledge that if their child has a seizure, school personnel will be ready to deal with it.”
The legislation sets forth several new policies. First, students with seizures will be able to file a plan with the school that explains the child’s diagnosis, as well as what to do if the child has seizure in school, and this plan will go to every school staff person who has responsibilities over the student. Secondly, the bill will set up a training process for personnel who interact with the child to ensure that if the student has a seizure at school, that school personnel will know how to react in a safe manner.
“Both Senator Garcia and Representative Duran have been tireless advocates this year for students with epilepsy,” said Steve Schale, Board Member of Epilepsy Alliance Florida. “When I was a student, I dealt with the fear of having a seizure in school – and this bill will demystify seizures in schools, making it easier for students to have a normal experience. We are truly blessed to have passionate advocates like Senator Garcia and Representative Duran.”
Both the Senate and House bills have passed all of their committees unanimously. Once they are passed by the both the full Senate and House, the legislation will go to the Governor for his consideration.