RICHMOND – Gwyneth Griffin collapsed on her middle school track field after a congenital heart defect caused her to go into cardiac arrest, her mother, Jennifer Griffin, told the House Education Committee this morning.
Through tears, Griffin described how her 13-year-old daughter may have survived had she received CPR sooner. But by the time her father, who just happened to be at her Stafford school that day, got there, her brain had been without enough oxygen too long.
Ever since the incident last summer, the Griffins have been pushing for passage of “Gwyneth’s Law” requiring CPR training for bus drivers, teachers and students and placement of an automated external defibrillator in every school.
“Our children are in school 180 days a year,” said Griffin, who is also a teacher. “I don’t think that it is too big of a task to ask the people who are responsible for them to be able to react in an emergency.”
The Virginia Education Association and several committee members expressed concerns over the potential cost and with piling more requirements on teachers and students. Supporters countered the price should be small and the benefits worthwhile.
“It will not only support and improve the safety of our schools,” said Del. Mark Cole, R-Spotsylvania County, “but our society also.”
- Kathy Adams, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot