Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Aftermath: Time for an Emergency Procedure policy | Parents United for Public Education

The Aftermath: Time for an Emergency Procedure policy | Parents United for Public Education:

The Aftermath: Time for an Emergency Procedure policy

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This past May, there was a horrific bus accident involving eighth grade students, staff and parents of Charles W. Henry Elementary school. All 30 passengers and driver were injured when a car collided with the charter bus and eventually overturned on I-95.
 It is understood that this was indeed and accident. However, everything that is done in the aftermath has to be intentional.

It was immediately noticed that the district did not have a plan to proceed with this type of emergency. Though a crisis team was sent to the school by the district, it was clear that there were minimal questions that would be answered. Parents and community members were roughly handled by this team, leaving most people extremely frustrated. (expand?) Once the immediate effects of the accident had cleared, parents were faced with continued inability to get necessary information from the school administration, district administration, vehicle insurers, etc.
“While the immediate response of getting passengers triaged was difficult, once the dust settled the next day there was no word on how the PSD was going to help parents move forward with post accident support.” Linda Gordy, grandparent of former 8th grade Henry student 
It is understandable that there is a legal need to maintain a level of control at the school and district level. However, everything was flipped for students and their parents who now had broken bones, head and spinal injuries, laceration, and emotional trauma. Information was needed to assure than children would be able to continue medical, surgical, and psychological follow ups. Many children were unable to return to school due to lack of accessibility. It took 3 weeks for children to regain access to their education at home. When parents tried to figure out what the procedures are for their questions, they realized that Philadelphia school district has no emergency procedure policy for field trips. They were left to call one department after another to try to find someone who could accurately answer their questions and address their concerns. Many found it extremely difficult to navigate the system at 440 and resorted to obtaining their own legal assistance.
After the May 15th accident, parents were stressed with the primary concern being the well-being of their childrenThe Aftermath: Time for an Emergency Procedure policy | Parents United for Public Education:

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