Bourne Approves the Use of Narcan by School Nurses

BOURNE – Citing the ongoing opioid crisis, Bourne public schools are now allowing nurses to carry and use opioid-overdose antidote naloxone.

The Bourne School Committee voted unanimously at a recent meeting to allow nurses to carry and administer Narcan to anyone suffering an opioid overdose including students, teachers, parents, or visitors to the school during hours of operation.

Parents in the community have been persistent in advocating to bring better education and awareness to the opioid epidemic, such as Bourne resident Carmen Dwyer who lost her son earlier this year after he overdosed and there was only one Narcan spray available. 

“There were several parents at the meeting that spoke to the school committee about having situations with their own children concerning opioid overdoses and it was certainly very compelling,” said Bourne interim superintendent Perry Davis.  

“The school committee needed no convincing to do this, they clearly wanted to, we just had to get it into policy and move it forward. It was a unanimous decision.”

According to Davis, the four nurses in the school system will be taught to administer Narcan with training done-in house and will begin when classes resume in January.

The training requirement will not be offered to teachers and administrators.

“The school nurses will be the ones that administer the Narcan if an opioid event occurs in the school, whether that be a student, staff member or a person visiting the school,” said Davis.

“Those will be the only people authorized to administer the Narcan that the school purchases.”

If an overdose were to happen during school, a nurse would administer the Narcan and contact first responders for emergency services.

If an overdose were to happen after school hours, the school police would contact 911 and emergency responders will administer the medicine.

Bourne School Committee Vice Chairman Mitch McClain said the matter first came up a few years ago but at that time the committee still had limited information on the subject.

The issue was brought back up to the school committee in the fall when former school employee Linda Cubellis said she inquired to see if the schools had naloxone available.

Cubellis wrote a letter to the committee after her son told her that when he was on the school soccer team he noticed a number of students abusing oxycodone.

Cubellis’ letter urged the committee to train nurses and teachers in the use of Narcan.

After reading the letter, the committee initiated a subcommittee consisting of the school nurses, committee members, and interim superintendent Davis.

The subcommittee drafted the policy that the entire committee voted into effect at the meeting.

Bourne became the last district on Cape Cod to have Narcan available in their school system after the Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School committee made the decision to allow naloxone on campus earlier this year.    

About Luke Leitner

Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.
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