From Williamstown, New Jersey, USA:
My 15 year old daughter, who has type 1 diabetes, wears an insulin pump and does all of her own boluses, monitoring, etc. She is in the ninth grade and the problem is that whenever she goes on a school trip, a parent is required to attend. We have been told that if we can't go, she can't go, which doesn't seem fair to me. Does the Americans with Disabilities Act say anything about the school being responsible for providing a nurse to chaperone her?
The word is reasonable accommodation. It might take a lawsuit to determine reasonable for an elective field trip. Certainly, they must let you go to school and test and take insulin. They even must be able to give glucagon at school.
Have you tried to compromise by having another person trained and able to go with her? I would agree someone who knows diabetes should be around. You never know when an emergency might happen.
[Editor's comment: Unfortunately, this problem is all too common. Since your daughter is self-managing, there should be absolutely no reason why a parent should have to go along. It seems to me that, as long as one of the chaperones knows how to treat emergencies of diabetes and can easily contact a parent, your daughter would be perfectly safe.
The school (if it receives Federal funding of any sort) is required by law to provide someone trained in diabetes (not necessarily a nurse) to go along. At age 15, I imagine that having to have your parent with you, with you would be quite damaging to self-esteem.
See: The Law, Schools, and Your Child with Diabetes. I would also contact your local American Diabetes Association and/or Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation chapter to assist you in bringing this matter to your local school board. SS]
Original posting 4 Jun 2001
Posted to School and Daycare
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:20
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