October 21, 2002
School and Daycare
Question from New Jersey, USA:
Is it legal for a public school to waive its responsibility, liability or accountability for the untimely or lack of carrying out the diabetes management plan if a school nurse is not available during school hours? Are there any other school districts in our state that waive such responsibilities? Where can I found out if this is common? How do I proceed to find out?
It is my understanding that, in the absence of a nurse, the schools must designate other personnel to carry out the diabetes treatment regimen. You should contact the New Jersey Department of Education about your concerns. In addition, the American Diabetes Association has a very strong school advocacy program.
See The Law, Schools, and Your Child with Diabetes at this website, and New Jersey Department of Education Guidelines for the care of students with diabetes in the school setting.
Additional comments from David S. Holtzman, Esq.:
Please contact an attorney licensed to the practice of law in NJ to learn your rights and responsibilities concerning the actions of the school district.
Additional comments from Crystal Jackson, ADA Government Relations Department:
Under the provisions of federal law, public schools and private schools who receive federal funds must provide appropriate care to students with diabetes. NJ law does contain a limited liability of school employees provision that requires parents to sign a statement acknowledging no liability as a result of any injury arising from the
self-administration of medication by the pupil. Of course, this would not be applicable in cases of gross negligence. NJ Sta. Sec. 18A:40-12.3