• Mom: School health change could put daughter at risk

    By: Erica Byfield


    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A local mother is angry about the way her daughter's school is handling her asthma.

    Danielle Coleman's daughter, Jacaria, is a second-grader at Clairemont Elementary in Decatur. Along with asthma, the 7-year-old has allergies. Coleman showed Channel 2's Erica Byfield the inhaler and epipen Jacaria's doctor prescribed for her.

    Coleman told Byfield for the last two years Jacaria has had something called a 504 plan at school.

    In general, a 504 plan outlines how and when medication should be used and any extra steps officials need to follow.

    Coleman told Byfield she was caught off guard earlier this month when district leaders told her a 504 was no longer needed.

    "I can't tell you anything about specific student information," said district spokeswoman Heidi Whatley.

    A letter Coleman shared with Channel 2 Action News authored by a district official provided a better understanding of the administration's stance. A portion of it says Jacaria has never had symptoms at school and is doing well in school. The official also asked for a new letter from the second grader's doctor.

    Coleman is fearful if the plan changes her daughter will suffer.

    "She already has a plan that works for her, and she's still eligible because its under the same criteria so why change anything?," she said.

    The letter from the district closes by saying leaders hope to meet again with Coleman in November and they will keep Jacaria on the 504 for the time being.

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