DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – A fourth grader with Attention Deficit Disorder is among the victims of a school nurse, who stole Ritalin and replaced them with prescription painkillers.
Natalie, 9, whose mother wanted to identify her only with her first name, began taking Ritalin to perform better in school.
The child’s mother, Ruby, took a bottle of the pills to the school to be given to her daughter daily, around lunch time.
But before that, Ruby had shown her daughter exactly what the pills looked like and told her to remember exactly what they looked like.
“She told me to check the medicine if they are different and the check the names,” Natalie said.
So the Polk Elementary fourth grader thought it was weird when the school nurse tried to give her a different pill.
She politely refused the pill she knew wasn’t hers.
“Because it could have something inside, something bad,” she said.
Rebecca Leigh Bailey-Long, a registered nurse licensed in the state of Texas, was responsible for dispensing student medications at K.B. Polk Elementary School in September.
Court documents say the school nurse, Bailey-Long, stole Ritalin pills from Natalie and another student and replaced them with the prescription painkiller Tramadol.
Bailey’s home was searched and a large quantity of prescription bottles, dangerous drugs, and controlled substances prescribed to Bailey were seized. Authorities noted that the seizure was consistent with the prescription fraud practice commonly referred to as “doctor shopping”, in which a patient requests care from multiple physicians simultaneously.
Dallas ISD has released the following statement in response to the arrest.
“Our top priority is always the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff.
Information provided to a principal by a parent was quickly investigated by our police department, resulting in appropriate action being taken, including verifying the various medications on file for other children at the school.
We learned that this was an isolated situation involving one medication each of two students.
It is not believed that either student suffered any significant effects.
We are examining our processes to see what steps can be taken to avoid this from happening again but clearly there was a violation of trust.”
Bailey-Long was arrested Friday. As part of her bond, she agreed to check into a drug rehab.
She has been placed on administrative leave from the district.
Ruby says she’s angry at the nurse for potentially putting her daughter’s health at risk and says she’s lucky the only affect this ordeal had on her daughter was a very short term drop in grades while she was off her pill.
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