Point University Graduate Makes History with AJ Law
Released at 8:00 am on Saturday, May 6, 2023
Point University alumnus AJ Taylor worked with Georgia legislators to pass a bill to train teachers on epilepsy and seizure reactions.
SB45 (AJ Law) provides education and training to teachers in Georgia on how to respond to seizures in students. The law also requires schools to have seizure action plans.
Wye Huxford, professor of New Testament and theology, said:
Taylor was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 14. He often felt unsafe at school.
“I knew my parents were home, but what would happen to me if this happened at school?” Taylor said. “Is there someone out there who knows what to do? So it’s always been in the back of my mind.”
In 2013, Taylor began attending Point University. He was a cross-country runner and was part of the college community group FEAST.
“I started my journey of sharing my story with points,” Taylor said.
While at Point University, Taylor had a severe seizure and was eventually taken to hospital. He later learned that Huxford had canceled classes when the news reached campus.
“They were so worried about him that we stopped classes and prayed for him.” went.”
Taylor always felt supported by her classmates and professors. His teammates wore purple to support epilepsy awareness.
Taylor then decided to share her story on campus and tell her friends what to do in an emergency.
“I realized it was time to share my story without fear,” said Taylor.
In 2020, he began looking up seizure safety school laws after meeting people online who passed laws in his state.
In 2021, he connected with Senator Jason Anavitate, who drafted a bill in his endorsement. At the time, only 12 of her states had passed similar laws.
During this process, Taylor contacted the Epilepsy Alliance of America. A national organization helped provide a model of seizure action planning to be implemented in schools.
In March 2023, the bill was finally tabled before the Senate Committee on Children and Families. Taylor, along with others affected by epilepsy, stood up to testify on behalf of the bill. Passed with bipartisan support.
Rep. Katie Dempsey passed the bill in the House. Anavitarte surprises him by passing a bill as “AJ’s Law”. Again, the bill passed unanimously.
On April 1st, Taylor traveled to Savannah, Georgia to see the bill passed.
“It’s a wild process and a very long one,” said Taylor. “But we did it.”
According to the CDC, students with epilepsy between the ages of 6 and 17 are more likely to miss 11 or more days of school.
“This is what I can do to influence the next generation of students so they don’t have to go through what I had to go through,” Taylor said.
About 450,000 children under the age of 17 suffer from epilepsy. In a school of 1,000 students, statistically he has a 6 chance of having epilepsy.
“Our overall idea is that whatever your major at Point, learn how to bring faith into the workplace. That’s one of our core values,” said Huxford. increase. “And AJ certainly did that with this issue.”