Bellingham Public Schools recognizes that the opioid epidemic is a public health crisis and access to opioid-related overdose reversal medication can be lifesaving. To assist a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose, the district will seek to obtain and maintain at least one set of opioid overdose reversal medication doses in each of its high schools. The district has authority to obtain and maintain opioid overdose reversal medication either through a standing order, prescribed and dispensed according to RCW 69.41.095(5), or through one or more donation sources.
The district will seek at least one set of opioid reversal medication doses for each of its high schools.
The following personnel may distribute or administer the school-owned opioid overdose reversal medication to respond to symptoms of an opioid-related overdose:
- A school nurse,
- School personnel who become designated trained responders,
Training for school personnel to become designated trained responders and distribute or administer opioid overdose reversal medication must meet the requirements for training described in the statute and any rules or guidelines for such training adopted by the Office of Superintendent Public Instruction. If a district high school does not have a full-time school nurse or trained health care clinic staff, the district shall identify at least one member of each high school’s personnel to become a designated trained responder who can distribute and administer opioid overdose reversal medication.
Opioid overdose reversal medication may be used on school property, including the school building, playground and school bus, as well as during field trips or sanctioned excursions away from school property. A school nurse or a designated trained responder may carry an appropriate supply of school-owned opioid overdose reversal medication on in-state field trips and sanctioned in-state excursions.
Individuals who have been directly prescribed opioid overdose reversal medication according to RCW 69.41.095 lawfully possess and administer opioid overdose reversal medication, based on their personal prescription. However, such “self-carrying” individuals must show proof of training as verified by a licensed registered professional nurse employed or contracted by the district or participate in district training as specified in the accompanying procedure.
If any type of overdose is suspected, including an opioid related overdose, district staff will call 911 and alert a first responder. The school nurse, designated trained responder, or trained staff person located at a health care clinic on public school property or under contract with the school district will follow the Washington Department of Health steps for administering naloxone for a suspected opioid related overdose.
Policy 3416 Medication at School
Policy 3418 Response to Student Injury or Illness
Policy News, February 2020 Combating Opioid Overdose in the School Setting
OSPI, January 2020, Opioid related overdose policy guidelines and training in the school setting