Parents feel school handled allergic reaction poorly - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Parents feel school handled allergic reaction poorly

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Aaliyah Johnson during her allergic reaction (Source: Family) Aaliyah Johnson during her allergic reaction (Source: Family)
Aaliyah is much improved from the allergy outbreak that hit her in school. Aaliyah is much improved from the allergy outbreak that hit her in school.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A Huntsville family said a little girl's potentially urgent health crisis wasn't "urgent enough" at her school. She had an allergic reaction and her parents want to know why there wasn't faster action.

The little girl is fine and her parents are trying to figure out what set this off so she can avoid it in the future, but they're irked that the episode wasn't handled with the level of urgency they say it should have gotten.

And next time, it could be worse.

Five-year-old Aaliyah Johnson is now much improved from the allergy outbreak that hit her in school on Friday.

"I had a little bump first.  And then I could feel itchy.   And then my face just got swollen," said Aaliyah.

Aaliyah's dad, Jesse, said she was sent to the clinic at Morris Elementary, but he's concerned with what she tells him happened first when a classmate tried to alert their teacher.

"She didn't care. Well, the boy told her that I was crying, and she said she didn't care. And when she saw my face, she just let me go to the doctor," Aaliyah said.

"My concern is that it took so long. The teacher just kind of pushed it off initially, and it could have been offset really, really early.  By her waiting that long, by the 'I don't care' statement," Jesse said. "Anyone who knows anything about allergic reactions knows that you need to definitely get immediate attention."

Johnson said he understands educators' desires not to overreact to any elementary school theatrics or, for that matter, to any overreaction to a situation; but he said, given the stakes, it might be worth taking that risk.

"At the end of the day, what would you rather have: a child that fakes you out, or a child that's dead?" he said.

A Huntsville schools representative said specifics of this case can't be discussed but that the district's protocol is to send students with health problems to the school clinic and that the handling and the cause of this one are being looked into.

"I want to get a better reaction. I want to get a better reaction initially. When something's brought to your attention, whether you see it or not, I want to see some reaction," said Jesse.

This time, Aaliyah's parents successfully treated her with allergy medicine and they say they're trying to figure out what she had for lunch so she can avoid it in the future. 

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