- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - School officials are defending their handling of an incident this week in which a young girl’s parents say she became ill and was not allowed to use her inhaler.

Jordan School District staff is trained not to allow students to use prescription medicine without official notification from parents - something 9-year-old Emma Gonzales’ parents had not provided before Monday’s incident, said district spokeswoman Sandra Riesgraf.

Riesgraf said privacy laws prevented her from discussing the details of the incident, but she said school staff followed procedure.

Gonzales’ parents told KSTU, the Fox affiliate in Salt Lake City, that their daughter was not allowed to use her inhaler Monday while having a coughing fit that caused her to throw up. The girl had just started using the inhaler over the weekend after a coughing fit sent her to the hospital.

Gonzales was fine after the incident, but her mother, Britney Badger, is not happy with the district and Columbia Elementary in West Jordan.

“When a child is puking all over themselves and they can’t breathe, you know you kind of have to take action right then and there,” Badger told KSTU.

Badger couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

Riesgraf said the parents’ account of events does not provide a complete and accurate picture. She said the girl was constantly monitored. The school nurse was made aware, and school officials called Gonzales’ parents to tell them what happened.

“We wouldn’t sit back and watch a child suffer and not take any action,” Riesgraf said. The district’s rule about medication is to keep children safe, she said.

Badger told KSTU that the family understands the rule and will fill out the proper paperwork. Meanwhile, they are keeping their daughter out of school, she said.


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