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October 12, 2003

School and Daycare

Question from Neosho, Wisconsin, USA:

My granddaughter is going to a new school with new rules, etc., and it seems to be a harder adjustment for her this year. Her teacher embarrassed the child in front of the class the second day of school, and she is not responding to the teacher like she did with her last teacher last year. In addition, the teacher told her parents that one of them needs to be on all field trips that the child may have the chance to attend, and at this point will not allow her to participate. I have printed out the rights of the child but do not know if this extends to field trips or not. Does the school my granddaughter attends have the right to demand that one of her parents accompany her on all field trips?


Your granddaughter’s rights cover participation in all school sanctioned activities, including field trips. It is the school’s responsibility to make sure there are personnel available on the fields who are trained in diabetes management. Demanding that parents be present is discriminatory and I would encourage them to consider filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights if they are unable to resolve this issue on their own. There are several things I would have her parents do:

Download appropriate sections or obtain a full copy of the new NDEP school guide to share with school administrators that clearly supports the training of non-medical personnel to provide both routine and emergency diabetes care. In addition, it is the American Diabetes Association’s position that trained personnel must always be available on-site, and this may include the school nurse or another trained staff member.
Call 1-800-diabetes for the ADA’s comprehensive packet on school discrimination and to talk to their legal advocate.
Set up a meeting with school personnel to establish a 504 Plan that includes an action plan for field trips and extra-curricular activities.
Set up a meeting with the teacher to discuss concerns regarding his/her behavior. If the problems continue, request that your granddaughter be transferred to another classroom.