Girl’s Death Allegedly Linked To Cash-Strapped School District

Girl’s Death Allegedly Linked To Cash-Strapped School District

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12-year-old Laporshia Massey, a student at Bryant Elementary School in Cobbs Creek died September 25 apparently from complications from asthma. Her father says it didn't have to happen.

A story in the latest of "The City Paper" by writer Dan Denvir says Massey fell ill at some point during the school day at Bryant Elementary after she was having trouble breathing.

Bryant has a school nurse on duty just two days a week, not unusual in the financially-troubled district.

The Bryant nurse is there Thursdays and Fridays, but Laporshia became ill on a Wednesday.

CityPaper quotes an anonymous district source as saying staffers at Bryant told the little girl that "school was almost out, and she'd get out of school and go straight home."

The story quotes Laporshia's father Daniel Burch and his fiancée as saying they were not notified of the little girl's medical trouble until late in the school day.

By the time she got home, Laporshia was reportedly in distress.

She was rushed to Children's Hospital, but died later that night. Burch says his daughter died of complications from asthma.

In the CityPaper story, Burch questions why he wasn't notified of the medical crisis earlier, and more broadly wonders whether a nurse on duty might have diagnosed the trouble in time to save his daughter's life.

We tried to ask Burch about the case, but he's been silenced by his lawyer.

District officials citing confidentiality laws would not comment at length, except to say, in a written statement, that Laporshia's parents had informed them that their child had a medical emergency at home and later passed away.

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