Bronx News
Dec 5, 2017

BRONX NEWS: Bronx teacher’s overdose death prompts Narcan push in schools

Parents and elected officials renewed their push for anti-overdose kits in city schools after a teacher was found dead from an apparent overdose in a Bronx school.

A janitor discovered Bronx Public School X811 special education teacher Matthew Azimi in a locked school bathroom after class ended on Nov. 30.

A needle and narcotics were found nearby, police sources said, leaving the school community reeling.

Backers of anti-overdose kits, like City Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr., said the tragedy proves schools must keep anti-opioid drugs on hand.

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“It’s unfortunate that there isn’t broad agreement to stock as many public places as possible with life-saving naloxone,” said Salamanca (D-Bronx).

“Last week’s overdose in PS 811 in my community demonstrates it is needed there,” added Salamanca, who introduced a bill bring the kits with to all city schools in August.

Salamanca contacted reps for Mayor de Blasio to urge support for the bill.

Likewise, Staten Island Community Education Council president Mike Reilly emailed schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña on Dec. 1 in another push for the drugs.

Teacher found dead in NYC school bathroom from apparent overdose

“We can’t say that having naloxone on the scene would have changed the outcome of this incident, but in my opinion it certainly highlights that it is something that is needed,” Reilly wrote.

Reps for Fariña declined to comment on Reilly’s email.

A number of districts nationwide, including some upstate, already require schools to keep naloxone, the generic version of the brand-name drug Narcan.

When Salamanca unveiled his bill, de Blasio officials said anti-overdose kits weren’t needed.

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But de Blasio spokeswoman Olivia Lapeyrolerie said the administration would review Salamanca’s bill.

“The city is distributing 100,000 naloxone kits across the city, so that all first responders have access to this medication,” Lapeyrolerie said.

Azimi was 36 when he died. His neighbors in Carmel, Putnam County said he left behind a pregnant wife and three daughters.

new york public schools
drug overdoses
new york city council
rafael salamanca jr

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Bronx teacher’s overdose death prompts Narcan push in schools

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