NEW BETHLEHEM – Returning to a motion that had been tabled at last month’s meeting, the Redbank Valley School Board once again considered the district’s need to further investigate the implementation of a Narcan policy and the development of an administrative procedure to administer such a policy.
Kicking off the discussion at Monday evening’s meeting, board president Dr. Chad Shaffer said that while he understood positions on both sides of the issue, he believed the implementation of a Narcan policy could be a vital tool in helping students learn, and most importantly live, from their mistakes.
“I think we as kids and adolescents growing up make mistakes, [and] I want kids to be able to live and learn from those mistakes,” he said. “I think it’s a low-cost change for the district with a potentially, although unlikely, large reward.”
Shaffer noted that Narcan — which can block the effects of an opioid overdose — has been deemed safe by the commonwealth for the average person to administer, but that only select Redbank Valley staff members would be trained in its usage.
Board members also heard from a district resident, who as a former user himself, said he did not support a Narcan policy in the school district. He explained that more drug abusers are using Narcan to achieve a new kind of high.
“It’s a new high for them to see how many times they can come within inches of death and be brought back,” the resident said. “I don’t feel it’s the school’s responsibility to be saving these kids.”
Clarifying that individuals cannot get a high from Narcan itself, Shaffer said that the motion on the table was just for the district to develop a policy, not implement such a policy.
Following the brief discussion, the motion failed in a 4-4 vote — with board members Dee Bell, Jason Barnett, Linda Ferringer and Carrie Adams voting against it. Board member Darren Bain was absent from the voting meeting.
In other business during the Feb. 4 meeting, high school principal Amy Rupp recognized four Redbank Valley High School students who earned accomplishments in a recent District 10 SkillsUSA competition through the Clarion County Career Center.
According to Rupp, silver medals were awarded to Jason Smith for the criminal justice competition for police science, and Torrie Sayers, who served as a model for another student in the esthetics competition for cosmetology.
In addition, Taylor King and Bethany Shaffer took third place as part of a three-person police science team in the crime scene competition.
A total of 17 Clarion County Career Center students participated in the competition held in Harmony on Jan. 16 and New Castle on Jan. 18.
“We are very proud that they are putting Redbank Valley on the map and doing very well in their shops at the career center,” Rupp told the board.
• April 18 and 22 were designated as snow make-up days.
• Tessa Shick was hired as assistant junior high volleyball coach at a total cost of $2,607.21. Barbara Sayers was also hired as a greenhouse aid, not to exceed 390 hours, at a total cost of $4,022.05.
• The board accepted the resignation of cafeteria aide Erika Anthony effective Jan. 18.
• Teachers Jill Boyles and Laura Heasley and students were authorized to attend a Greater Regional Competition March 1-2 at Grove City College and a FIRST Robotics Competition March 20-23 at California University of Pennsylvania.
• The board rescinded a contract offered to school psychologist Suzann Erickson at the November meeting and offered a new contract in accordance with the terms and conditions of a Memorandum Of Understanding and contingent upon the execution of the MOU.
Mastillo explained following the meeting that the action was necessitated because the role of school psychologist is part of the collective bargaining unit.
• Board members approved an ARIN resolution to participate in the cooperative purchasing program for the 2019-20 school year. It was also approved to bid general, art, industrial arts, extra-curricular and maintenance supplies for the 2019-20 school year.