Parents, Students Unite Behind Levine/Rubio Bill to Keep Children with Epilepsy Safe in Schools

Friday, February 7, 2020

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – With nearly 60,000 California children suffering from epilepsy, Assemblymember Marc Levine (D- Marin County) and Assemblymember Blanca Rubio (D- West Covina) today introduced legislation to ensure that children with epilepsy can remain safe and thrive in the classroom. AB 2116, known as the Seizure Safe Schools Act, will provide teachers, school employees, students and parents with important information and common tools necessary to help a student suffering from an epileptic seizure.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder involving recurrent unprovoked seizures. Across the country, an estimated 3,000,000 adults and 470,000 children have been diagnosed with the disorder. An estimated 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. Given the unpredictable nature of epileptic seizures, school districts across the nation have begun to implement programs similar to the proposed Seizure Safe Schools Act designed to keep children with epilepsy safe in the classroom. 

“As a parent of a child with epilepsy, I know firsthand the fears that parents and guardians feel everyday sending their children to school,” said Assemblymember Levine. “AB 2116 will empower schools throughout the state with critical information and training necessary to keep every child with epilepsy safe and successful in the classroom.” 

AB 2116 would provide school districts with training and guidance to make sure that teachers and school employees can identify the symptoms of a seizure and how to appropriately respond when a seizure occurs to keep the child safe. Similar legislation has successfully been implemented in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey and Texas. 

“I am proud to be working with the Epilepsy Foundation on AB 2116,” said Assemblymember Rubio. “As a former teacher, Seizure First Aid is an issue close to my heart and I am glad to be able to bring peace of mind to every parent when they drop their children off at school.”

“We are committed to fighting for the rights of everyone impacted by epilepsy in our state,” said Rebekkah Halliwell, Executive Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. “For students living with epilepsy, it is important that schools are well-equipped with the tools necessary to provide a safe and enriching environment. The Seizure Safe Schools Act will raise awareness and implement a uniform standard of care and response across the state so that students have access to the care they need and reach their full academic potential.”

AB 2116 will be considered by the State Assembly this spring.

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