Montoursville ponders use of naloxone in schools

The Montoursville Area School Board is expected to vote next month on whether to have district staff trained on the use of the narcotic antagonist drug naloxone, which also is known by the brand name Narcan.

District Superintendent Christina Bason made the announcement Tuesday night following a presentation by Steven Murphy Shope, executive director of Project Bald Eagle, a non-profit organization educating individuals and groups to the prevalence of the opioid crisis in the region.

Naloxone reverses the effect of opioids in the body.

In addition to the proposed vote on the use of the drug, the district is exploring whether to have supplies of naloxone on hand for after-school hours.

Bason said the vote will be on the September meeting agenda for the policy’s first reading.

During Shope’s presentation, he dispelled some erroneous thoughts about the purpose of having ample supplies of naloxone in schools and discussed a growing trend of what is believed to be fentanyl as a replacement for heroin as well as the prevalence of opioid use for pain relief among every-day, average citizens, young and old alike.

Shope indicated afterward that the district is exploring holding a public assembly for parents, guardians, grandparents and the community as a whole as a means of educating, informing and dispelling falsehoods and misunderstanding about the drug epidemic.

In other issues, the board heard a report by Bason regarding 48 district students who, after taking advanced placement tests, scored as scholars, with six earning National AP Scholar status.

The Montoursville Band Boosters and Kim Tucker obtained a $2,500 grant for the use of remodeling the concession stand, Bason said.

The board will review a 2014 feasibility study on upgrades to Loyalsock Valley Elementary School, Bason said. The purpose is to review the study and possibly re-establish a direction the board will take toward future construction upgrades at the building on Route 87.