Parents Sue Schools To Seek Assistance for Diabetic Students
The American Diabetes Association and the parents of four diabetic students who attend state public schools filed a lawsuit on Tuesday alleging the schools violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act and other federal regulations by refusing to administer insulin and provide other assistance to help control the students' diabetes, the Oakland Tribune reports (Rauh, Oakland Tribune, 10/12).
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S District Court Northern District of California, names the San Ramon Valley and Fremont school districts, the state Department of Education, the state Board of Education and the department superintendent as defendants.
The suit alleges the San Ramon Valley Unified School District declined a request by the parents of a Rancho Romero Elementary fifth grader to provide an adult to supervise the student's use of an insulin pump. According to the suit, the student -- who has bipolar disorder and dyslexia in addition to diabetes -- needs someone to make sure she checks her glucose level correctly.
The suit also alleges that staff at Greenbrook Elementary agreed to test a student's glucose levels, monitor her food intake and assist with her insulin pump but declined to provide a written plan or accommodate other care measures.
The suit also claims the school district nurse agreed to serve as a backup option to help a kindergarten student at Greenbrook but would not assign a school staff member to help the student (Louie, Contra Costa Times, 10/12).
In addition, the suit alleges staff at Durham Elementary School in Fremont would not administer insulin injections to a second-grade student with diabetes (Oakland Tribune, 10/12).
Department of Education spokesperson Pam Slater said department officials had not seen the suit and had no comment, the Times reports (Contra Costa Times, 10/12).
James Wood, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said the plaintiffs seek to establish that school officials have a legal and ethical obligation to help children with medical conditions (Oakland Tribune, 10/12).