Finally, an issue that transcends the partisan and ideological divide. Both the state Senate and House of Delegates have unanimously passed a bill to allow public and elementary school teachers to… drum roll… carry their own sunscreen. Wait, there’s more. Teachers also will be allowed to apply their own sunscreen!
The General Assembly may be as divided as ever on taxes, energy policy, guns, minimum wage and public-sector unions, but lawmakers concur that it’s good public policy to permit teachers to use sunscreen.
The use of sunscreen became an issue after a Virginia school district banned it in response to a student having an allergic reaction to the lotion. A bill similar to SB 44 was introduced in the 2018 session of the General Assembly but, according to The Virginia Mercury, met its demise in a Senate subcommittee. However, the national mood toward sunscreen in schools appears to have changed. Assuming the bill is signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam, the Old Dominion will have joined ten other states that have adopted similar measures.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that all Americans use an SPF of 14 or higher to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
“It’s shocking that we have to have a state statute telling people they can use sunscreen at schools,” said Sen. Mark Peake, R-Lynchburg. “To me, it’s just a sign that we have gotten completely overregulated.”
“To put barriers in front of that seems just ridiculous.” said Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax, said during the committee hearing. “It seems to me that we should pass this.”
Undoubtedly, SB 44 represents an improvement for teachers working in the unidentified school district that banned sunscreen outright. But it’s not clear that teachers in other school districts — the ones whose school boards never got around the regulating the lotions — are better off.
While prohibiting outright bans, SB 44 still regulates the use of sunscreen. Permission is extended only to topical sunscreen “in its original packaging.” Presumably, that rules out use of a tube left over from a vacation in the Outer Banks. Also, the sunscreen must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It turns out that U.S. consumers don’t have access to eight advanced European sun-filtering molecules because the FDA is not convinced they are safe for users.
Thanks for small favors. Verrry small favors.There are currently no comments highlighted.