School nurse took crutches away from 13-year-old girl, mother alleges

March 31, 2008
MIddle school student in Hillsborough County, Fla., had suffered a dislocated knee

A nurse at Walker Middle School in Hillsborough County, Fla., took away crutches from 13-year-old student who dislocated her kneecap. Patricia Elalem says the nurse told her she had to remove the crutches from Elalem's daughter, Amber, because of a school policy prohibiting them without a doctor's note and that the intent is to prevent other students from being injured. Elalem has filed a notice of intent to sue the Hillsborough County School District. If Amber's walking without the crutches has caused long-term damage, Elalem may pursue a claim that the school nurse violated the girl's civil rights. The school district says its office of professional standards is investigating a complaint Elalem has brought against the nurse. There is no district policy requiring a doctor's note for crutches, but the district's supervisor of school health has issued an e-mail to principals stating students must produce a doctor's note to use crutches or a wheelchair.

Click here to read The Tampa Tribune article.

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