Investigation shows Bay County Health Department mishandled student records

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Wednesday morning Bay District Schools revealed the findings of a state investigation into whether or not the Bay County Health Department mishandled student records.

“I think the Surgeon General and Governor have at the foremost of their mind, that they want the truth to come out and the truth to come out always,” said Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt.  

According to the Office of Inspector General, Department of Health school nurses improperly removed copies of student health records from school health rooms. They also found school nurses deleted individualized health care plans without notifying school district personnel or parents. 

“We’re just thankful that we finally knew what happened to those records,” Husfelt said. “While we were pretty confident we knew, I think this is a vindication for those people that work in our departments and our schools that take these things very serious.” 

The investigation also states Doug Kent, the former administrator at the Bay County Department of Health, incorrectly told Husfelt no copies of student health records were taken. 

Kent resigned later that year.

‘We do have new leadership not only at the top level, with Mr. Sandon Speedling, but with Kayla Barron who is now our supervisor over the school health program,” said FDOH-Bay Public Information Officer Heather Kretzer. 

Although none of these findings are illegal, the report says the situation was not handled in the best interest of the students. 

“There is a moral line always,” Husfelt said. “You can legally do things and then morally it’s wrong to do, and I personally always try to remember to take the moral road.” 

Currently, Bay District Schools is partnered with PanCare of Florida. The Department of Health still has school nurses that create individual health care plans for students.

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