Middle schoolers severely sunburned on school trip after teacher deny them sunscreen
posted at 1:02 pm on June 24, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
A Tacoma, Wa., mother is seeing red because that was the color of her daughters’ skin when they arrived home from a school outing last week. The children, ages 9 and 11, were so severely sunburned that both required treatment at a local hospital, all because of an obscure law requiring schools to prohibit the use of sunscreen by students.
The mother, Jesse Michener, told ABC News that she was horrified when she first laid eyes on her daughters at the end of the school day. But the teacher was merely following a statute, which is enforced in all states but California, that children are not allowed to carry sunscreen to school or apply it during school hours. For liability reasons, sunscreen is viewed as an over-the-counter medication requiring a prescription.
Dan Voelpel, a spokesman with the Tacoma School District, told ABC, “Because so many additives in lotions and sunscreens cause an allergic reaction in some children, we have to really monitor that.” The argument fails to account for the multitude of hypoallergenic sunscreens made expressly for children that are on the market.
Jesse Michener has a personal stake in seeing the blanket policy overturned. One of her daughters has a form of Albinism that makes her especially susceptible to harm from the sun’s rays. The child, Michener wrote at her blog last Wednesday, “is starting to blister on her face. Both children have headaches, chills and pain.”
Michener claims that consciousness-raising efforts have borne fruit. She writes that after the story went public, she received a call from the director of Elementary Education in Tacoma Public Schools informing her that henceforth districts would decide for themselves what’s allowed and what’s not.
- Viral shock video shows teen mother beating her 10-month-old baby
- NJ mother arrested for taking 6-year-old to tanning salon
- Dangerous new teen trend: Getting drunk on hand sanitizer
- Busted: Autistic child wearing ‘wire’ exposes abusive teacher
- VA teacher arrested for firing ‘blanks’ in class
- Special needs student dies after teacher makes him wear ‘homemade’ neck brace
- Prosecutor blames mother for starvation death of Brooklyn 4-year-old
- NYC mom sues city for $900 trillion for taking custody of her children
- Brooklyn mother abandons daughters, 3 and 5, on sidewalk, drives off (Update)
- UK Teens given birth control without parental consent
- Four-year-old brings marijuana to school, offers to share with classmates
- School accuses 6-year-old of sexual assault during schoolyard game of tag
- Most ridiculous lawsuits of 2011
- NJ boy suspended from school because Muslim girl overheard him say “Taliban”
- Parents lose custody of son they named Adolf Hitler, two other children
Recently in the Green Room: