A Denton High School junior will represent Texas at the reading of the Preamble to the Constitution on the steps of the U.S. Capitol today.
Joshua Boring is one of 51 young people who will be in Washington taking part in Constitution Day festivities.
He received an all-expenses-paid trip to the nation’s capital after winning a contest sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute that judged successful civic engagement projects.
Since 2011, Boring has worked on a project that advocates for the employment of a full-time registered nurse at every school in the country.
In addition to the reading of the Preamble on the Capitol steps, Boring will attend a naturalization ceremony and visit the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress and the Newseum.
He’s also scheduled to present his civic engagement project to U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, at the Capitol.
“I would love it to be a law. That would be my end result,” Boring said of his project.
The project is personal for Boring, 17, who has severe allergic asthma.
Exposure to latex or cashews could cause him to suffer anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.
He carries an EpiPen with him daily.
On three occasions he faced a life-threatening situation while at school because of his allergies.
Growing up, he said he learned the importance of having a nurse at school with knowledge and experience in handling severe medical situations.
“Just knowing that I had that person there was reassuring and probably saved my life,” said Boring, who is also the son of a pre-operation nurse.
Boring’s project started as a family project.
In recent years, he has put together videos of speeches, created presentations and spoke publicly to spread his message about the importance of employing full-time registered nurses in schools.
When he was in middle school, the Denton school district considered not renewing its contracts for nurses.
Boring spoke to board members in a public forum about the importance of retaining registered nurses in schools.
He has campaigned that eliminating registered nurses with “proper training and knowledge of health care” jeopardizes the welfare of students. Denton ISD has 35 registered nurses.
The district has a nurse at each of its elementary, middle and comprehensive high schools and early childhood centers, according to Mario Zavala, spokesman for the district. The district’s Davis School shares a nurse with Fred Moore High School, Zavala said, and the LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex shares a nurse with the Gonzalez School for Young Children.
Zavala said it’s an administrative policy that the district employs registered nurses.
“Historically, the district’s preference for having nurses has always been to hire those with a four-year degree and that are certified and registered nurses,” he said.
Boring said he understands he has a rare opportunity in getting to speak with Burgess about his project.
“I’m suddenly nervous — I’m not going to lie,” Boring said earlier this week. “Mostly, I’m determined.”
Beth Hughes, International Baccalaureate coordinator at Denton High, nominated Boring’s project for the contest.
“Not many kids his age get to speak directly to a congressman about an issue they strongly believe in, in the Capitol on Constitution Day,” she said. “I think it’s just another feather in the cap of Denton High School.”
Hughes and Boring traveled to Washington on Tuesday, and school Principal Dan Ford is also making the trip to support him.
The ratification of the U.S. Constitution is celebrated annually on Sept. 17. Today marks 227-year anniversary of the document’s signing.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.