Prevent Severe Sunburn of Students in Washington School District

Target: Tacoma Public School District

Goal: Change district policy to allow students to apply sunscreen

Two children came home from a Washington school with severe sunburns after spending five hours in the sun. Their school did not allow them to apply sunscreen, citing a policy that required a prescription for any over-the-counter medication, including sunscreen. They were also not even allowed hats, despite the fact that one of the children had a form of albinism, which the school knew about. Their sunburns were so bad that one of the children had blisters on her forehead and nose, and their mother had to take them to the hospital. Several other students at the school were sunburned as well.

The school district has since apologized to the mother of the children, and told her that they are revising their policy regarding sunscreen come October. However, that is still months away, meaning that many other children could be severely sunburned because of the current policy. State law dictates the school’s policy, but even if the law currently prevents teachers and children from using sunscreen, there are many other remedies that the school could have taken when they noticed the children getting burned. Tacoma Public School District needs to revise their policy to allow teachers to use common sense when it comes to children and the sun if they are not allowed to apply sunscreen.

By signing the petition below, you are asking the Tacoma Public School District to allow students to apply sunscreen on their own, or to take steps to better prevent children from getting sunburned. Help prevent other students from such severe sunburn.


Dear Tacoma Public School District,

After two children were severely sunburned at one of your schools because of a district-wide policy that says children cannot apply sunscreen without a doctor’s note, it is clear that the policy needs to be changed. Even if state law prevented the application of sunburn, there were many other remedies that would have prevented the sunburn and wouldn’t have been against policy.

I am asking you to change your policy regarding applying sunscreen to children at your schools. The cost of not applying sunscreen or allowing a child too be sunburned is severe. Sunburns can lead to heat stroke, or even increase the risk of skin cancer later in life. Please speed up your proposed policy change to allow better remedies to prevent sunburn, and help prevent another child from being sunburned because of your policy.


[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. Extreme sun exposure early in life leads to cancer later.

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40 Signatures

  • Darlene Roepke
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