Simmons’ Student Health and Safety Bill Approved by Committee
Measure provides civil immunity to school bus drivers who administer epi-pens
HARRISBURG – The House Education Committee today unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton) that would help to ensure the health and safety of Pennsylvania students who suffer from severe allergic reactions. House Bill 224
will next be considered by the full House of Representatives.
Simmons’ proposal would provide civil immunity to school bus drivers who administer epinephrine auto-injectors, or epi-pens, to students who experience an allergic reaction while riding on a school bus. Under the legislation, a school bus driver must first complete a training program developed by the state Department of Health and comply with school district policy to be qualified to use the epi-pen.
“Some school districts and school bus companies currently permit their drivers to administer epi-pens to student who experience an allergic reaction,” said Simmons. “However, school bus drivers may be reluctant to administer this treatment due to fear of legal liability. My legislation aims to help more children suffering from allergies to receive the benefit of this emergency treatment by granting Good Samaritan civil immunity to school bus drivers who administer epi-pens.”
House Bill 224 does not mandate that school districts or school bus companies enact an epi-pen policy, only that such a policy would allow for civil immunity if the guidelines are met.
Similar legislation was passed by the House during the last two legislative sessions, but it failed to come up for a vote in the Senate.
Representative Justin Simmons
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs