California Public Schools Must Offer Services for Children With Diabetes
The California Department of Education on Wednesday announced a new policy that requires all public schools in the state to have a staff member trained to provide insulin injections and other services for children with diabetes, the Bay City News/San Jose Mercury News reports.
Schools can hire nurses to provide such services or train other staff members to provide them (Bay City News/San Jose Mercury News, 8/9). In addition, under the policy, schools must allow children with diabetes to perform blood sugar tests and cannot require them to attend certain facilities (Manning, USA Today, 8/9).
The policy is part of a settlement of a lawsuit filed in 2005 by four families of children with diabetes and the American Diabetes Association against the department and the San Ramon Valley and Fremont Unified school districts. In the lawsuit, filed in U.S District Court in San Francisco, the parents alleged that their children did not receive the education to which they are entitled because their schools did not provide them with insulin injections and other services (Louie, Contra Costa Times, 8/8). According to the lawsuit, the defendants violated federal laws that protect children with disabilities (USA Today, 8/9).
The department, which did not fight the lawsuit, will send a legal guide to schools on services for children with diabetes and outline their rights under federal laws that protect children with disabilities. State schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell said that the number of children affected by the settlement and the cost for schools remain undetermined (Bay City News/San Jose Mercury News, 8/9).
Arlene Mayerson -- an attorney with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, which represented the parents in the lawsuit -- said, "The importance of this settlement is it's applying" federal laws that protect children with disabilities to those with diabetes, adding, "This will be a model for states across the country" (USA Today, 8/9).