FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Paula S. Peebles
(215) 765-6181 office
(215) 869-0166 cell
paulapeebles@yahoo.com

Pennsylv...
impacted by school closings and school nurse layoffs. We need to ensure that
procedures are in place to prevent another tr...
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Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network Calls for Investigation into Death of 12-year-old Student

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Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network calls for investigation into death of 12-year-old student, Laporisha Massey. PA NAN’s November 2, 2013, town hall meeting on Philadelphia’s school funding crisis will be held in her memory.

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Transcript of "Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network Calls for Investigation into Death of 12-year-old Student"

  1. 1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Paula S. Peebles (215) 765-6181 office (215) 869-0166 cell paulapeebles@yahoo.com Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network Says Enough is Enough Calls for an Investigation into the Death of Laporshia Massey Philadelphia, PA – October 15, 2013 – One month into the school year, there is a disturbing report about the death of Laporshia Massey from asthma complications. The 12-year-old was a student at Bryant Elementary School, where she apparently had an asthma attack. The West Philly school does not have a full-time nurse. On the day Laporshia complained she could not breathe, there was no nurse on duty. “Enough is enough,” said Paula S. Peebles, chairperson of the Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network (PA NAN). “Philadelphia is ranked among the top five cities for the prevalence of asthma. I am outraged that Laporshia reportedly was told ‘there’s no nurse, just to be calm.’ This is no time to be calm. From Trayvon Martin to Laporshia Massey, it’s clear that black life is not valued.” According to Philadelphia Allies Against Asthma, 22 percent of Philadelphia children under 18 have been diagnosed with asthma – nearly twice the national rate. The School District of Philadelphia is required to provide school nursing services under both state and federal laws. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandates the District accommodate children with a qualified physical impairment such as asthma. “We call on the School District and the Pennsylvania Department of Health to investigate what happened,” said Matthew Smith, Sr., PA NAN’s President. “In West and North Philly, more than 30 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 12 have been diagnosed with asthma. These are the communities that been disproportionately
  2. 2. impacted by school closings and school nurse layoffs. We need to ensure that procedures are in place to prevent another tragedy.” Peebles added: “On Saturday, November 9, 2013, PA NAN will hold a town hall meeting on Philadelphia’s school funding crisis. The death of Little Laporshia is a wake-up call that there is more at stake than contract negotiations. The futures and very lives of our precious babies are at stake. The gathering will be a call to action. Our community conversation will be dedicated to the memory of Laporshia Massey.” About Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network: The Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network is a nonprofit organization incorporated for the purpose of advocating for equal education opportunities and equal justice under the law; promoting policies and initiatives to reduce gun violence, racial profiling and “stop and frisk” policing; and fostering civic engagement by hosting public forums, rallies and other nonpartisan events. For more information, visit http://phillynan.org. About National Action Network: The National Action Network is the nation’s leading civil rights and human rights organization, with chapters throughout the United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender. For more information, visit www.nationalactionnetwork.net.

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