Former school nurse accused of stealing, switching students' medication at Georgia elementary

Posted at 10:08 AM, Aug 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-02 06:09:37-04

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Several parents in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System are suing an agency that hires contracted teachers and nurses after a former nurse allegedly stole medication from students.

Gary Smith, a parent at Marshpoint Elementary, said he found out his daughter's ADHD medication could have been tampered with by the contracted nurse.

"My wife got a call. And the school told her that everything's all right, but we think you need to come pick-up your child from school and take her to have her checked out. Her medication has been switched,” Smith said.

According to a campus police report that was filed in November of 2017, another substitute nurse alerted the school that she thought students' medications at Marshporint Elementary were being tampered with.

The scariest part of all for Smith was that they didn't know what medication his daughter had been given instead.

"It scared the living life out of me. I thought I was going to lose something I could never replace,” Smith said.

The lawsuits say the ADHD medication Ritalin was subbed for adult strength allergy medication. And campus police say she could have stolen from 17 students. Side effects to a first or second grader could cause symptoms like headaches, abdominal pain and dehydration. According to the three lawsuits, this happened to multiple children.

And not to mention the side effect of not being able to take the medication she was prescribed.

"We were wondering why all a sudden it just changed. Just throw things, act out with her teachers, act out with other children and we just couldn't understand why,” Smith said.

The campus police report and the three lawsuits that have been filed name the former contracted nurse, but no criminal charges have been filed, so we are not naming the person.

We do know the contracted school nurse, with Source Four Teachers, started working at Marshpoint Elementary in August of 2017.

Attorneys say the nurse no longer works at the school. The attorney on this case says the school isn't to blame.

"Savannah-Chatham County schools have done nothing wrong in this. In fact, they were proactive and went out and hired a company source for teachers which is based in New Jersey to provide substitute personnel and nurses,” the attorney said.

The school system has declined to comment, and we are still waiting to hear back from Source Four Teachers.

But Jim Shipley, with Tate Law Group, who is representing all three families wants to make sure other children are not given the wrong medication at school again.

"If this was happening to my child, as a parent I would be irate. I would be very upset. I would want answers and I would want to have someone held responsible for this,” Shipley said.

"This is really a sickening thing for someone to prey on a child,” Smith said.

We have made multiple attempts to find and reach the former contracted nurse but have been unable to get in contact.

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