TRENTON, NJ - A bill sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman that would let a parent of a child with epilepsy request seizure disorder training for school personnel has passed the Senate Health Committee.
The legislation, dubbed “Paul’s Law,” is dedicated to Paul St. Pierre, an eighth grader from New Jersey who was diagnosed with epilepsy in February. He is a passionate advocate for the training of school professionals to promote seizure-safe schools.
“Seizures can occur anytime, anywhere, and often without warning,” said Bateman (R-16th). “If you’re the parent of a child with epilepsy, you want to be assured that their teachers, nurses, and school bus drivers are properly trained and can care for your child until advanced medical help arrives. Creating an individual seizure action plan for students with epilepsy will help schools across New Jersey become ‘seizure smart’ and save lives.”
The legislation, sponsored by Bateman and Sen. James Beach, would ensure that a school nurse develops an “individualized health care plan” and an “emergency health care plan” for a student with a seizure disorder at a parent’s request.
Under the bill, the school nurse would be responsible for establishing seizure disorder care at the school and ensuring that all teachers, faculty, and staff are trained to care for students with seizure disorders.
The legislation also requires that the school bus driver of a child with epilepsy be trained in seizure disorder first aid and be provided with emergency contact information.
“There are currently 12,000 students throughout the Garden State with a seizure disorder,” added Bateman. “Imagine if all of their teachers and school faculty were trained in seizure first aid. I commend Paul for his advocacy and will continue to work on a bipartisan basis with Senator Beach to ensure that this bill is signed into law.”