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May 20, 2002

Hypoglycemia, School and Daycare

Question from Austin, Texas, USA:

Yesterday at school, my 17 year old son, who has had diabetes since age eight, had a very serious low reaction, and apparently, he pushed two girls to get to their cookies and then hit a boy who tried to stick up for the girls, but my son does not remember any of this. He remembers sitting outside eating the cookies and then going to class. When he got to class the teacher told him he was to go to office, and apparently argued with the teacher prior to leaving the classroom. When he arrived in the office, the vice principal told him what he had done. After a few minutes of discussion, my son convinced the vice principal to go with him to the nurse's office to prove that his blood sugar was low, and it registered 47 mg/dl [2.6 mmol/L] after eating two cookies. My dilemma now is the school wants to send him to an off-site campus classroom for the rest of the school year for his actions. They do not want to believe me when I tell them that a person can lose complete control when their blood sugar levels drop so low. Is there any printed information that I can access to prove my point? I have been to the American Diabetes Association site and have printed out some material, but I don't think it is strong enough to convince school administrators.

Answer:

You are correct, and the school is incorrect. You can print out our material on hypoglycemia and give it to school officials. However, even though your son was hypoglycemic, he should still apologize to the girls and the guys who he battled and explain to them something about what happens when sugars are too low. If you need help with the school, a school advocate may be available in your area. The American Diabetes Association has an advocacy and legal consult office as well.

SB