AUSTIN – On Tuesday, July 11th, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 684 (HB 684), Sam’s Law, which was authored by State Representative Travis Clardy. HB 684 honors the memory of Samantha Watkins, a Kilgore ISD student who passed away from complications of a seizure in December 2016. Sam’s Law will ensure school district employees receive training and education about seizure recognition and first aid.
“Sam’s Law started off as a conversation between myself and constituent Shari Dudo last summer at a town hall meeting, and now we are in the Governor’s office for a signing ceremony,” Rep. Clardy said. “This bill would not have passed, if not for the determination of Mrs. Dudo, the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas, and so many others. I am grateful to have worked with Senator Bryan Hughes and my colleagues to ensure our public schools are seizure smart.”
With Sam’s Law, school nurses would complete a Texas Education Agency-approved training on treating students suffering from seizures. The Epilepsy Foundation of Texas is providing educational training videos, at no cost, to the Texas Education Agency for approval and use.
HB 684 calls for the implementation of a seizure action plan that would ensure public school nurses and other school employees are prepared to support students who have a history of epileptic seizures and to provide aid to students who experience seizures at school.
“I am proud and optimistic we can channel the loss of Sam to set in place a system that will reach beyond Texas,” said Rep. Clardy. “Efforts are underway to use Sam’s Law as a blueprint to improve seizure awareness and response nationally. Sam’s memory and legacy will save lives here in Texas and in other states far into the future.”
Representative Clardy is currently serving his fourth term as the State Representative for House District 11, which includes Cherokee, Nacogdoches, and Rusk counties.