Mom Takes on Legislature After School Claims: “No, We Don’t Do EpiPens Here”


Sherry Lin Isler is a nurse practitioner who understands the dangers of anaphylaxis. She’s also the mother of Lincoln, a boy with severe allergies to legumes and dairy.

When Lincoln was of age to start kindergarten, Isler went to enroll him in the before and after programs at school, “Thinking that would be the safest option for him because the EpiPens are already there and he’s at school,” she said.

Then came the surprise: When she asked about the school’s protocols for children who carry epinephrine, she learned there were none in place.

“They’re like, ‘no, we don’t do EpiPens here’,” she was told by an aftercare provider. “She’s like, ‘we don’t have the training on that’ and I was like ‘well, what are you going to do if he goes into anaphylaxis?’”

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Isler was told the staff would call 911.

“I was like, he could be dead by the time 911 comes,” she told them.

Luckily, she was able to find a suitable aftercare provider for Lincoln, but the experience left her unsatisfied.

“Training should be the standard, not the exception,” she said.

Isler did some research and was disturbed by what she learned.

“Nobody has to be trained on EpiPen administration per any statutes or guidelines and a lot of people think that the schools all have a school nurse,” she said. “Florida does not require a school to have a nurse.”

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She contacted State Representative Anna Eskamani of Orlando, who co-introduced bill HB65. Among other requirements, the bill requires each district to adopt an anaphylaxis policy as detailed in this section:

(a) Each district school board shall adopt an anaphylaxis policy for implementation at each school within the district.

(b) The policy must:

  1. Meet the requirements established by State Board of Education rule.
  2. Be reviewed and, if necessary, updated at least every 3 years.
  3. Be published on the school district’s website.
  4. Include a procedure and treatment plan, including emergency protocols and responsibilities for school nurses and other appropriate school personnel, for responding to an allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis.
  5. Include training requirements for school personnel on preventing and responding to an allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis. The requirements for such training must include training in the use of an epinephrine autoinjector. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “school personnel” includes employees and contracted personnel providing care in before- school and after-school programs at schools within the district. At least 50 percent of school personnel providing care in before-school and after-school programs must complete the training required by this subparagraph within 3 months after the date of employment. Completion of such training must be documented in the school employee’s employment file.
  6. Include a procedure and guidelines for the development of individualized emergency health care plans for students with a food allergy or other allergy that could result in an allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis.
  7. Include a communication plan for:
    • The intake and dissemination of information regarding students with a food allergy or other allergy, including a discussion of methods, treatments, and therapies to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis.
    • Discussing with students, in a developmentally appropriate manner, and parents information relating to safe and unsafe foods for students with a food allergy and strategies to avoid exposure to unsafe foods.
  8. Include strategies for reducing the risk of exposure to food allergens or other allergens that may cause an allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis.
  9. Include an annual notification to parents of enrolled students which includes the anaphylaxis policy and contact information for school district employees who can provide parents and students with further information.
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“It’s a bare minimum and it’s not being done,” Eskamani said. “We need to hear from more parents to help get it to move through the process to the finish line.”

Isler recalled a number of frustrating conversation with Florida legislators.

When I say, ‘children have died from anaphylaxis at school’, they’re like, ‘in Florida?’ I’m like ‘not yet’, and they’re like not interested yet. They’re waiting for it to happen in Florida before they’re going to do something about it.

Here is WTVJ-TV News report detailing Isler’s endeavor:

We at wish Sheri Lin Isler, her son Lincoln, and Rep Eskamani much success in their efforts to protect Florida students with food allergies.

If you are a Florida resident, please contact your state legislators and urge them to pass HB65.

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Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom is CEO and "Blogger in Chief" of

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