A West Jordan, Utah, girl was denied her inhaler during a coughing fit at school because the school was unaware of her prescription (video below).
Emma Gonzales, 9, was given an inhaler over the weekend after a severe coughing fit brought her to the emergency room, Fox 13 reports. On Sept. 28, she suffered another coughing fit while in class at Columbia Elementary School in West Jordan.
When the fourth grader took the inhaler out to use it, she was reportedly sent to the principal’s office. There, the inhaler was taken away.
“When I get into the coughing fit, I kind of hurtle up on the ground, can't breathe and then I start to kind of feel a little nauseous,” Gonzales told Fox 13.
The coughing fit at school became so bad that she vomited on her pants.
The school district maintained that staff did the right thing by taking away the inhaler, saying that it was a precautionary measure to ensure that it was for Gonzales specifically. The school had not been previously notified of the inhaler, which did not have the child’s name on it.
“There could be all sorts of problems if children were just allowed to take any medication and we didn't have that verification. Again, this is for the student's safety,” district spokeswoman Sandy Riesgraf said.
Gonzales’ mother, Brittany Badger, said she understands the policy but believes the school should have done something once her daughter started vomiting.
“When a child is puking all over themselves and they can't breathe, you know you kind of have to take action right then and there,” Badger said.
Gonzales’ father was contacted during the coughing fit. He reportedly plans to keep her out of school for the time being. District officials maintained that the girl was monitored throughout the coughing fit and that they planned to call 911 if she was in serious danger.