American Diabetes Association Applauds the Passage of Alabama Senate Bill 57

Alexandria, Virginia
April 11, 2014

The American Diabetes Association (Association) is thrilled to announce the passage of Alabama Senate Bill 57, the latest victory in the Association’s ongoing fight to keep children with diabetes medically safe at school. This bill, signed in to law yesterday by Governor Robert Bentley, authorizes school personnel to be trained to administer insulin and glucagon to students with diabetes when a school nurse is not present.  The new law also ends the practice in some Alabama school districts of requiring children with diabetes to transfer to schools away from family and friends simply because they have diabetes.

The bill was sponsored State Senator Jabo Waggoner. A similar bill was introduced in the House by State Representative Ron Johnson. Senator Waggoner and Representative Johnson worked with the American Diabetes Association and stakeholders from the educational and medical communities to ensure passage of this legislation. 

“The American Diabetes Association thanks Governor Robert Bentley, Senator Jabo Waggoner, and Representative Ron Johnson for their support of Senate Bill 57, the Alabama Safe at School legislation.  The passage of this legislation marks a major step forward in protecting the health and safety of all students with diabetes in Alabama,” said Chris Christie, Chair, American Diabetes Association, Alabama. “The new law means no child with diabetes will lack the support needed at school, and no parent will be left to worry if someone is available at school to assist their child.”

Devoted Association volunteers, including Alabama Advocacy co-chairs Velda Pugh, M.D. and Brianna Kinsey, and National Legal Advocacy Subcommittee Member Kira Fonteneau, were instrumental in advocating for Safe at School legislation in Alabama. 

An estimated 215,000 children are living with diabetes in the United States. These children have a disease that must be managed 24/7, including the many hours spent at school, on field trips and in extra-curricular activities. Every day, children with diabetes are put at serious risk if no one, including a school nurse, is present at school to help with daily and emergency diabetes care. The passage of Senate Bill 57 will remove that risk by allowing school employees who volunteer to be trained to assist with the diabetes care these children need and deserve to learn and be healthy.

To address barriers to diabetes care at school, the Association created its Safe at School campaign. Through this campaign, the Association is dedicated to making sure that all children with diabetes are medically safe at school and have the same educational opportunity as their peers.