Safe at School Updates
Here are some examples of our Safe at School efforts – both successes and one fight that continues.
Louisiana State Advocacy Chair Helps Champion Senate Bill 759
Now Louisiana’s children who have diabetes can be Safe at School! In the state of Louisiana, Senate Bill (SB) 759 - signed into law on June 15, 2012, was a major achievement for the Safe at School (SAS) campaign. The bill, hard-fought and a long time-coming, authorizes school employees to volunteer and be trained to help children with diabetes in school. These volunteers may now administer insulin and glucagon to help control children’s glucose levels. The bill also allows children who are able to do so to self-manage their diabetes when at school. Read the full story.
Safe at School Legislation Signed by Connecticut Governor
Another June 15th victory as Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed HB 5348. This bill allows school employees to volunteer to be trained to help children when they are experiencing severely low blood glucose levels by administering an injection of glucagon, a potentially life-saving hormone. It also allows students who are able to do so to self-monitor their blood glucose level. when and wherever needed, helping them to better manage their diabetes. Read Connecticut press release.
Georgia Governor Signs Safe at School Legislation
Georgia's Safe at School legislation (HB 879) was signed into law by Governor Nathan Dean on April 16, 2012. The new law allows school employees to volunteer to be trained to provide care and allows capable students to self manage their diabetes while at school. Read press release.
Advocates Achieve Safe at School Victory in Alaska
Thanks to the work of diabetes advocates the Alaska Department of Education has adopted guidelines that address self-management and allow trained school employees to provide care. Read state advocacy update.
Safe at School Campaign Garners Media Attention
This past summer the Association’s Board Chair, John W. Griffin, Jr., conducted a radio media tour with national networks and local stations in many of the top media markets to highlight the Safe at School campaign.
John gave 17 interviews— focusing on the plight of schoolchildren with diabetes in California and across the nation who are denied diabetes care in school—which were aired by over 2000 radio stations and network affiliates, reaching an estimated five million listeners. To hear an audio clip from his interview with CNN, click here.
Also, last spring, the San Francisco Chronicle published a front page story on the California case "Obama Administration Steps into Insulin Shot Fight"— highlighting the impact of the California policy on the Kline family and the Justice Department’s intervention in the case.
California Supreme Court to Rule on Access to Insulin for California Students
For over five years, the American Diabetes Association has been fighting in the courts to ensure that children with diabetes in California’s public schools have access to the insulin they need to be safe at school. This fight has led us through two lawsuits, and involved one landmark settlement, disappointing and frustrating decisions from a trial and appellate court, and a trip to the California Supreme Court. And we’re still fighting. Read entire story.
Ending Segregation in Florida
Tracy Milligan’s story explains why Diabetes Advocates fought for school legislation in Florida: Read entire story.
Child Care Victory in California
While the school-age children diabetes continue to struggle (as discussed above), the youngest California kids with diabetes are now in a better situation thanks to a ground-breaking settlement just announced by the United States Department of Justice. Read entire story.
Individual Family Advocacy Successes
The Association provides direct assistance to hundreds of families each year whose children aren’t safe at school or in child care, or who are denied equal access to program services.
Connor’s mom explains how education and negotiation often resolves the problem:
"Thank you for helping me with school discrimination when Connor was in kindergarten. Originally, the school’s answer to all our requests was “No”: No field trips unless accompanied by me. No glucose monitoring in his classroom. No designated substitute when the school nurse was out of the building. No training on low blood glucose for school bus drivers. No school plan for accommodating children with diabetes.
We called ADA, spoke to a Legal Advocate, and received assistance from a local ADA volunteer attorney. Connor now has a 504 Plan, and the school is doing a fantastic job keeping him safe throughout the day. The school has expanded his care during after school enrichment clubs, during tech camp, and during a 5-week summer school program. We have a wonderful new nursing supervisor, and she is one of Connor’s biggest advocates. I feel proud of accomplishing something for Connor and laying the framework to help other kids with diabetes."
- Amy Coffey, Connor’s mom
Across the country, Diabetes Advocates have worked to enact similar laws regarding diabetes care in schools as part of the Association’s Safe at School campaign. Typically, these laws 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.
Click here for information on the laws and resources for your state and for your state’s Safe at School tip sheet.
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