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STUDENT BLOOD DONORS NEED PERMISSION SLIP

It took four months and at least three meetings to do it, but the Hernando County School Board settled its policy Tuesday on teenage blood donations.

The board reached a consensus to require permission slips for 17-year-olds to give blood, and to call parents to verify, but not to require the slips to be notarized as members had previously decided.

The confusion started after parent Paul Nazar said his underweight 17-year-old son "almost died" in April after a blood donation at Hernando High School that neither parent knew about.

Under Florida law, parental consent is not required for 17-year-olds to give blood, but parents have the right to object in writing.

Board member Dianne Bonfield said Tuesday she still wanted notarized forms to prevent forgeries or the possibility of lawsuits.

But the remaining board members said they were satisfied with promises by officials from the company that runs the blood drives, LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, to call parents for verification of signatures and weigh students who might not meet the 110-pound minimum.

Students who give blood will also be barred from athletics or other physical activities for the remainder of that day.

Tom Marshall can be reached at tmarshall@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1431.

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