The Clearview School Division revisited the AED purchase question at the school board meeting last Thursday, and this time the board came to a decision.
During the Nov. 28 meeting, the trustees voted to table discussion of the AED purchase until Dec. 12.
Trustee John Schofer was once again outspoken against the purchases, while Yvette Cassidy wanted to the board to provide schools with AEDs.
“I’d rather see teachers in front of students than an AED hanging on the wall,” Schofer said.
“If a school feels they need one, they can purchase them from their budget.”
He also brought up concerns about maintenance for the machines.
“It’s the same battery you put in your radio,” Cassidy replied.
Cassidy made a motion at the last meeting to purchase AEDs for Coronation high school and Gus Wetter School in Castor.
She suggested those two schools because William E. Hay in Stettler has two already, and she believes the remainder of the division’s high schools should have AEDs because older students are more likely to need them. That motion was voted on last Thursday and carried, with Schofer, Dave Goodwin and Staci Gerlitz opposed.
Each unit will cost about $2,500.
“We appreciate it (the purchase),” said Gus Wetter principal Daram van Oers.
Cassidy is also happy the motion passed. “I think it is great and a very good start. No matter what I feel, we have an obligation to provide safe environments for our kids and $2,500 seems like such a nominal price for something that could save a life.”.
The decision comes only several weeks after William E. Hay purchased two AEDs out of its own budget, costing the school about $4,000.
After a student with a heart condition came forward to ask about the purchase of an AED, the school talked to the school board and was told the purchase was the individual school’s decision.
William E. Hay principal Norbert Baharally said this week that he will mention it to the board now that the motion was carried for Gus Wetter and Coronation high schools to receive their own AEDs.
“Definitely, I will ask the question with regards to that,” he said Monday. “I’m not sure if those other schools had the same message we got — that it was a school decision.”