State Laws and Policies
The following states have passed school diabetes care legislation, regulations, or nursing policies. Learn what's going on in your state.
Every state has a number of different laws that impact diabetes care at school. Select your state to read about its diabetes-specific laws.
Federal law provides the same protection to students with diabetes in all states. However, state laws and regulations, including the state nurse practice act and department of education and health regulations, determine who in the school setting is allowed to perform or assist with diabetes care tasks.
Families, health care providers and school staff must be familiar with these laws and regulations in order to create a comprehensive school care plan.
In some states, state law explicitly restricts who can provide diabetes care in the school setting, including restricting an individual student with diabetes from self-managing his or her own disease. In other states, the issue of who can provide diabetes care is ambiguous—resulting in inconsistent care from district to district or from school to school.
Regardless of state laws about who can give care, schools are still ultimately responsible for meeting students' needs as defined by federal law.
Advocacy in States
From a practical standpoint, limits in who can provide care (and as a result, when and where care can be accessed) present a common roadblock for students with diabetes. Diabetes management throughout the school day and during school-related activities can be compromised.
In response, the American Diabetes Association and other diabetes advocates have worked to enact specific provisions regarding diabetes care in school. These provisions take the form of laws, regulations, or state Board of Nursing policies or guidelines and ensure that trained school personnel provide assistance to students with diabetes and that students who are able to do so are allowed to self-manage their disease.
Sometimes the law is difficult to interpret. To learn more about a student's rights at school or for assistance with a school discrimination issue, please call 1-800-DIABETES for more information and an opportunity to talk to a legal advocate about your specific concerns.