Parents frustrated with allegations of prescription misuse

Alarming allegations against a nurse at Beardsley Primary School. Several families say the nurse didn’t give their child the medications as directed and want to know why some are missing.

Elkhart Community Schools would only say they are investigating the parents’ allegations, but parents WSBT spoke with were frustrated, wondering how something like this could happen and want to know what is being done to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Laura Gard’s daughter attends Beardsley Elementary. Doctors prescribed the first grade drug to be taken daily.

He was supposed to take it in the morning that way he isn’t up all night but they didn’t want him to eat too much after taking it so I thought it would be easier to let the school nurse give medicine in the morning. He could have breakfast and then they would work all day, Gard said.

Laura believes that the nurse did not give her daughter the medicine as instructed. He went to school to find out why.

It was constant for one reason or another as to why I wasn’t getting it and finally I got fed up and last Friday I went to the school to get my daughters medication, Gard said.

And Laura said the nurse told her the prescription was gone. Laura couldn’t understand how this happened.

The doctor changed the dose from a full pill to half… because the full dose of the medicine made her daughter sick.

What happened? Pills split in half should double the dose that was there, Gard said.

She says the nurse gave her back the pill bottle with half a pill in it.

When I asked why there was only half a pill, she said it was because she gave my daughter the full 5 mg again, Gard said.

Gard said he never discussed or approved it with the nurse. After leaving the school, she realized the pill was not her daughter’s medication after a closer look. So, he had to go back to school to get answers.

The nurse blatantly admitted that she had just found it in her cabinet and put it in my daughters bottle, Gard said.

Upset, Laura called Elkhart police for help and told me the officer took the pill from her.

She said it wasn’t supposed to be in my possession and actually returned it to Principal Beardsley because she claimed she knew what medication it belonged to, but I asked what the medication was. I was totally like legally they couldn’t tell me, Gard said.

With no real answers, Gard shared his experience on Facebook. The post got a lot of attention. Other parents came forward sharing similar stories about the same nurse. Includes Samantha Ray.

We decided that the school would be the best to administer the medication that way we knew he would get off the medication. School is not the best place to go, said Samantha Ray, parent

In October 2022, her son fell ill and her medicine was out of the house.

I went to the school to pick up the school medication, so we had medication at home and when I got the medication home, the medication wasn’t the right medication, Ray said.

Ray says he could tell by the footprint and size that things weren’t right and took them to the pharmacy.

I went to get the pharmacy and doctors office prints for me and the two kids and the medication lists. None of us have ever been prescribed this medication. This is what was sent home instead, Ray said.

Ray considered legal action, until he said the “head of student services” told him the nurse no longer worked there.

We heard that the situation had been resolved and that she was no longer in a position to hurt anyone, but they lied, Ray said.

I shared the parents’ allegations with Elkhart Community Schools for a response. They sent me a statement that read in part:

Student safety is always our highest priority. The school district has very strict guidelines related to all nursing practices, regardless of whether the nurse is employed by the school district or an outside agency.

An Elkhart City Police officer came to the school on the day in question, and after discussions with parents and school administrators it was determined that there was no criminal issue.

This can’t keep happening, they’re going to hurt somebody’s child, Ray said.

Elkhart school officials say they cannot comment because student health information is protected by the Education Family Rights and Privacy Act.

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