All Taunton public schools to be equipped with Narcan

By Kirsten Glavin

kglavin@abc6.com

@kirstenglavin

TAUNTON, MA – Starting in the Fall of 2017, all 13 schools in the Taunton school district will be equipped with Narcan.  The Taunton School Committee voted unanimously Wednesday night to purchase the drug overdose medication.

"There’s a horrible epidemic in southeastern Massachusetts, and if something should happen and we can save one life, it’s certainly worth the investment,” said David Souza, Chairman of the School Committee said Thursday afternoon.

One kit with two doses of Narcan will be given to each school, Elementary all the way through High School.  School nurses are already trained to use it, and will administer it when necessary.

"Every building is a public building. All of those lives have been touched by addiction, one way or another,” said Christopher Baratta, Director of Transportation and Student Services.

Both Baratta and Souza told ABC6 News Thursday that there have been no cases of students in Taunton overdosing on school grounds, the move is strictly precautionary.  When asked about why Elementary school students might need Narcan, Baratta and Souza said no one can rule out parents who go in out of the building.

"At the younger ages, it’s primarily about education. But we do have parents at that level who are addicted,” said Baratta. “And that’s the trauma that we actually deal with at the school."

Many parents ABC6 spoke with Thursday evening expressed that they were not surprised the schools were getting Narcan, district-wide.

"I think it’s a shame that it’s come to this,” said Tom Sutherland, a parent of a Taunton middle schooler.

"We’re actually moving out of state because our son would be coming to Taunton high school next year,” explained his wife Heather Sutherland.  The couple said they are moving to Florida so their son is not exposed to Taunton’s drug problems in the high school.