Education

Superintendent speaks to media about student’s death (update)

September 28, 2017

In an interview with the News Journal, Superintendent Malcolm Thomas finally commented on the death of Sherwood Elementary pre-K student, Audi Anderson, five days after the 4-year-old was pronounced dead in a local hospital. On Sept. 19, Anderson choked on a meatball in the Sherwood Elementary cafeteria.

Thomas told the daily newspaper that staff had responded immediately to Anderson and the school’s nurse later attended to child and called 911. He also said that every school has a nurse and health technician.

The superintendent’s comments don’t align with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office report or information on the school’s website. The report does not list or mention a school nurse as a witness. The deputy said he was met by the health technician.

The school’s website lists only the health technician in the Sherwood clinic, no school nurse. The health technician is the one in the police report.

The boy’s mother has said the staff in the cafeteria did not immediately noticing the boy was choking. The ECSO report states: “V/Anderson began to choke on the food that he was eating and was noticed by school staff to be in distress. V/Anderson was in breathing distress for an unknown length of time.”

Sources tell Inweekly that the staff tried to give the young boy water instead of performing the basic first aid steps recommended to help a child that is choking on food.

I do agree with the superintendent that “teachers at the school have also been shaken by the tragedy,” but I would add teachers and parents throughout the school system are also upset.

Revisit the police report. I’ve redacted teachers’ addresses and phone numbers – Report-redacted

Since this was posted, the PNJ updated their article:

“Thomas said individual nurses supervise multiple health technicians. Every school has a health technician, but not a nurse, he said.”

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  • Linda September 29, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Who gives a child water when theyre choking? When you are choking you can’t breathe or talk…..I want to know why it took so long for anyone to notice the child was choking….the news on TV had a different account….the reporter said that nobody noticed the child choking until he had passed out…..??????? No excuse for what happened to this poor little boy……There should have been trained staff on hand….and staff should always have their eyes on the children….

  • Ames September 28, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    No one present was familiar with the Heimlich Maneuver? No adults with CPR training? Holy smokes… Thomas just really isn’t into education and or a school environment, is he?