School Blood Drives Cancelled Throughout County

Many people upset following county decision

Harrison Rose, Copy Editor

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A lot of people donate blood for the first time at their high school blood drive. Whether it is for the free t-shirt, cookies after donating, or the feeling of saving lives, it is a popular school function that the Health Science Academy at Athens Drive throws twice a year for students seventeen years or older. However, a recent decision by Wake County will no longer allow a blood drive to occur during learning hours.

This decision has resulted in an outpour of support from students who do not want to see this necessary event be removed from the schools. Students across the county have taken to Twitter, using #SavetheBloodDrives, to protest Wake County’s decision, with most feeling like their ability to contribute to an important cause is being taken away from them.

Wake County Student  Keton York tweeted, “Does Wake County have a problem with saving lives and giving blood? Students contribute a lot, why restrict our ability to do so?”

Students at Athens Drive have also been vocal about their disapproval.

“I am disappointed that the blood drive was cancelled. It is a great way to get students and teachers involved in saving lives,” said Emily Brittain, senior.

Brittain was a shift leader for the now cancelled blood drive that was scheduled for Feb 22, and is the Treasurer for the Athens Drive branch of Health Occupations Students of America.

According to the Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. Blood cannot be manufactured and has to be donated. The average adult has ten pints of blood, and gives one pint of blood during donation. On average, most people need three pints of blood during a transfusion.

At the last blood drive at Athens Drive on Nov 20, Athens students donated a total of 53 pints.

Up in the county offices, student complaints were heard loud and clear. Lisa Luton, a spokeswoman for the Wake County Public School System, wants students to know that future blood drives are not cancelled, but will be held after school or on weekends from this point forward. She said this decision was made to avoid the risks that donating blood during school hours has on learning and on the body.

“It takes a lot of staff and student participation to make a blood drive successful,” Luten said, noting that pulling teachers and students out of classrooms for an extended period of time has a negative impact on the learning environment.

The Health Science Academy of Athens Drive has yet to announce the rescheduled blood drive to be held after school, but Wake County has announced that they will work with the Red Cross to bring blood drives to students after school or on weekends.

Despite hearing this, most students in Wake County still do not understand why the blood drives cannot be done during school hours. Many feel that this decision will impact the number of people coming out to donate blood.

“I don’t know how moving the times of the blood drive will affect the amount of donors giving blood,” said Kelsey Herbst, senior.”

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