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Two local students introduce bill to create seizure-safe schools across Virginia

There are approximately 85,000 people living with epilepsy in Virginia and 11,000 are children.

RICHMOND, Va. — Yorktown high-schooler Jamie Van Cleave and Virginia Beach middle schooler Brie Gesick teamed up with the Epilepsy Foundation to announce the Jamie and Brie Strong Act on FridayIt's Senate Bill 420. If passed, it would ensure all school personnel, including nurses, and teachers, are not only prepared but can recognize and respond appropriately and efficiently to students experiencing seizures.

Approximately 85,000 people are living with epilepsy in Virginia and 11,000 are children. Currently, five states — Kentucky, Indiana, Texas, Illinois, and New Jersey — have successfully passed Seizure Safe School legislation

"I am honored to sponsor Senate Bill 420, which provides information and training to ensure seizure safe schools,” said Senator Bill DeSteph, 8th District of Virginia. “There are more than 3.4 million people in the U.S. living with epilepsy — many of them children. This important legislation will provide safety and security for our young children while they attend school. I am proud to champion the Jamie and Brie Strong Act, as we refer to it here in Virginia, and look forward to joining other states in passing this important legislation.”

Credit: Jamie And Brie Strong Act
Yorktown high-schooler Jamie Van Cleave and Virginia Beach middle schooler Brie Gesick

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The Jamie and Brie Strong Act has four components included in the bill:

  • Train school personnel on seizure detection and first aid response;
  • Mandate Seizure Action Plans be on file for every student diagnosed with epilepsy or a seizure disorder, and require those plans to be available to all personnel responsible for the student;
  • Ensure the administration of medications approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration; and
  • A Good Samaritan Clause for those who act in good faith in accordance with the bill’s provisions.

The legislation will hopefully raise awareness and implement a uniform standard of care and response across the state so that students have access to the care they need and reach their full academic potential. 

View the full legislation below: