An opioid drug overdose will not necessarily result in death at Jenkins schools after the Jenkins Board of Education voted to adopt a policy revision that will allow for the use of the anti-overdose drug Naloxone (pharmaceutical brand name Narcan) at the schools.
The issue was raised at the September meeting by School Nurse Lisa Collins, who asked the board to approve keeping the drug on hand. Superintendent Mike Genton presented the board with a draft of the Kentucky School Board Association-recommended policy at last month’s meeting.
According to Narcan.com, Narcan (naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray is the first and only Food and Drug Administration approved nasal form of naloxone for the emergency treatment of an opioid overdose. Narcan Nasal Spray counteracts the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose and was developed for first responders, as well as family, friends, and caregivers. Narcan should be given right away and does not take the place of emergency medical care.
At the time of her presentation to the board, Collins said she had attended a seminar on using the product and that with the high incidence of opioid use in the area, it would be a sensible precaution to have it on hand. Superintendent Genton agreed, and proceeded to take the steps that led to Monday’s vote.
The board also heard a proposal from Misty Delph, who serves on the UNITE Board and works with the Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy in drug prevention efforts. Delph told the board she was asking permission to stage a faith-based program to provide statistics and present dramas from her church group to prevent student drug use and aid in the effort to prevent teen suicide.
The board and Superintendent Genton all agreed that it was a worthy effort, but they also pointed out that under the law, the school is not allowed to sponsor religious programs and that to be fair and comply with the law, it would be necessary for any effort to be “youth driven,” and not school sponsored. Genton told Delph if her church’s youth group would work with other students at JHS to get the effort underway, it would have a much better chance of succeeding and a youth-based group would also have more options.
The board also discussed reinstating club periods, which had been abandoned to accommodate the schedule, during the short-lived experiment of having JHS students attend Wise County Vocational School. Several board members suggested a UNITE club to prevent drug use and board member Brenda DePriest, a retired Jenkins teacher, said she had sponsored the Beta Club (a student honor society) during her teaching career at Jenkins and she thought that was also an excellent activity for students.
In other business, the board honored the memory of longtime board chairman Durward Narramore Jr., who served on the school board for 22 years, and died in October. Vice Chairman Eileen Sanders read the proclamation in his honor and presented it on a plaque to Narramore’s widow, Debbie. Other family members joined her for the ceremony, including Richard and Margaret Lewis, and Timmy Lewis.
The board also honored the Jenkins volleyball team, which won the All A Regional Championship and went on to represent the school in the state tournament. Coach Amanda Anderson introduced Alyssa Rose, Trinity Beauparlant, Breaunna Rose, Carrie Ford, Makayla Briggs, MaKayla Elswick, Raina Ratliff, and Kayla Handshoe. Other players not present at the meeting are Haley Mullins, Paige Sexton, Morgan Hanson, Lilianna Mullins, Lexi Presley, McKinley Goodson, Makala Stambaugh, and Hannah Bormes.
JHS math teacher Thomas Pinion presented the high school campus report in the absence of Principal Eddie Whitaker and told the board that Jenkins students had a college visit from Berea College and students made a visit to Eastern Kentucky University, attended a career fair at Whitesburg KCTCS, and held a college fair earlier in the month. Students also heard a presentation on the dangers of tobacco use, and presentations on hygiene and healthy living. The MHS held a midterm open house to mark the end of the second nine weeks as well.
In other board business:
• District Finance Officer Candala Gibson reported that the general gund stands at $655,850.33 and that the audit is complete and will be presented at board’s December meeting.
• Superintendent Genton reported that attendance stands at 93.2 percent and enrollment is slightly down, to 448.
• The board also voted to allow the two dual-credit JHS/University of Pikeville students to drive their family cars to UPike on days that Jenkins Schools are closed, but UPike is open. The matter was on hold until the board attorney gave it his OK.
• Finance Officer Gibson presented the Kentucky Educational Technology first offer for technology assistance of $3,720. The board voted unanimously to accept the offer, which requires it to match the amount equally.