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November 18, 2001

School and Daycare

Question from Champlain, New York, USA:

When my son has a high blood sugar level before gym, he is not allowed to participate to prevent any adverse reactions. Can the coach use his absence from class at that time as an excuse to grade him lower than his classmates? If not, where can I find literature to back this up as a type of discrimination?


This does appear to be a form of discrimination, but you must be absolutely sure this is the coach’s reason for the lower grade. If this is the case, and you can show documentation of the coach’s awareness of your son’s diabetes, the coach could be in violation of Federal law. It would also be important to show a written diabetes 504 plan which states that your son is not allowed to participate in gym if his blood sugar is at a certain level. For further information, see The Law, Schools, and Your Child with Diabetes.

You should also contact your local American Diabetes Association affiliate for assistance with this problem.

In addition, if your son is having many high blood sugars resulting in these absences, it is equally essential that his insulin regimen be adjusted to prevent the highs. Please contact your son’s diabetes team for appropriate changes.