In response to alarmingly high incidence rates of asthma and other breathing disorders among district children, youth and families, the Canby School Board this week announced it would be introducing a certified respiratory therapy, or CRT, program to all elementary schools.
“Look, it’s no secret that this is one of the most divisive times in our nation’s history, and this rancor has certainly been felt at school board meetings and in local politics,” board chair Jeanine Restrepo explained.
“With all that going on, we felt it was imperative to come together and bring forward something on which we can all agree: mandatory CRT in our elementary schools.”
Restrepo said the push for CRT initially came from teachers, who have seen the impact poor oxygen levels have had on students’ learning capabilities.
“It’s gotten to the point where things like sleep apnea are affecting our students, and we have kids falling asleep in class,” she said. “Teachers can’t properly educate our students if they’re not woke, and that’s why we really need CRT in schools.”
But local parents have also embraced the program.
“I just can’t wait for CRT to come to my son’s elementary school,” said Mary Brackenberger, mother of a kindergartner at Ninety-One School in Hubbard. “It will bring a breath of fresh air to our students — literally!”
Many of the principles of CRT have been around for decades or longer, Oregon Health & Science University pulmonologist Alan Freeman said, but the program has coalesced and gained in prominence in recent years due primarily to what he characterized as societal changes.
“You know, it starts with the parents — as most things usually do,” Freeman said. “Many of them learned good breathing techniques in their youth, but they’ve forgotten and adopted bad habits, which they’re passing on to their children.
“As a society, we can’t move forward if we don’t remember those lessons from the past, and that’s what CRT is all about.”
In unrelated news, the Newberg School Board recently announced it had passed a ban on respiratory interventions of any kind and will require all students and staff of legal age to take up smoking.
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