It’s a powerful tool used to reverse an opioid overdose, and The Waterloo Region District School Board voted Monday night to provide naloxone kits to secondary schools in the region.

The school board revisited a motion to provide naloxone kits to elementary, rural, and secondary schools at a board meeting Monday night.

The motion was split into two parts, one to have naloxone kits in secondary schools and the other to have them in elementary and rural schools.

The chair of the board Scott McMillan voted against the motion because first responders and public health officials say it’s not necessary to have the kits in schools, but McMillan has admitted having them available won’t necessarily be a bad thing.

“The debate isn’t around whether it’s a good idea or not, it’s about how do we keep our kids the safest and how do we use the resources we have in a way that makes student safety a top priority in our schools,” said McMillan.

Trustees approved the first part of the motion to provide naloxone kits in secondary schools, but for now they will table and revisit the motion to install them in elementary and rural schools.

Trustees are hoping to gain more information before making a decision on the second part of the motion. Their focus will be on figuring out if first responders can get to the rural schools as fast as they can get to city schools.

The total cost to have naloxone kits in all schools would be around $140,000. For just the secondary schools, the cost will be about $30,000.

According to McMillan there have not been any opioid overdoes on school property and the kits will simply serve as a precautionary measure.

The school board has not announced a timeline for when the naloxone kits will be put in secondary schools, but did say that staff will still need to be trained and it will be their job to execute the plan that the trustees put forward.