18 Responses

  1. Rachel
    Rachel June 15, 2010 at 5:36 am | | Reply

    One of the biggest points on this is that parents don’t always have the time to drop everything and help their child out one, two, three times a day at school. Both parents may work.

    Who suffers with this decision? The child. There has to be a better way.

  2. Tweets that mention » The Case of Insulin in California Schools - DiabetesMine: the all things diabetes blog --

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Remedy Health, JCampbell. JCampbell said: DiabetesMine: The Case of Insulin in California Schools #diabetes [...]

  3. Kassie
    Kassie June 15, 2010 at 7:18 am | | Reply

    it’s not about safety, it’s about job security. The California Nurses association(s) figure that if they make it a law that only they can inject, parents will fight even harder to keep nurse jobs in the schools (rather than share nurses between campuses, or replace with clinic aides and not licensed nurses.) The problem is, no matter how hard parents and nurses fight, if there’s not enough money then there’s not enough money.

    As a parent of an elementary-schooler with diabetes, I’d also be bothered by the state telling me that I can’t decide who can act in my stead if needed (be it the nurse, an aide, a para educator, a teacher or even the school secretary – if they are willing to learn, and many are.) Even at the middle school level, I rely on the nurse to assist Jake periodically.

    Ryan injects 1-2 times per day at school. He checks his blood sugar as many as 5 times (on PE days). If we didn’t have a school nurse, I’d have to quit my job and be at the school all day, every day, or I’d have to band together with the other parents of kids with diabetes and hire someone to take care of them (which is a whole ‘nother can of worms).

  4. Bill Halper
    Bill Halper June 15, 2010 at 8:03 am | | Reply

    There may be a work-around…

    “State law also allows insulin injections by the student, the student’s parent, or a relative or friend designated by the parent.”

    We may just have to designate the appropriate administrator as a “friend”.

  5. Cara
    Cara June 15, 2010 at 8:56 am | | Reply

    I’d find a “friend” that was my child’s teacher. Quickly. I was lucky as a kid growing up w/ diabetes. We didn’t have nurses, but had great teachers and I was taking only 2 shots a day, so there was no worry about insulin at school (it was the mid-80s). I worry for the children and the families.

  6. Lee Ann Thill
    Lee Ann Thill June 15, 2010 at 9:02 am | | Reply

    I just hate to see this issue continue to plague the children and families trying to live with diabetes in California. I sympathize for anyone trying to protect their livelihood in this economy, but not when children are ultimately going to suffer simply because they have type 1 diabetes. That falls into unconscionable territory, so shame on all the involved nursing associations for making diabetes management that much more burdensome for all of these families.

  7. dargirl
    dargirl June 15, 2010 at 9:49 am | | Reply

    What happens if a differant child requires tube feeding during the day? Doesn’t the school have to provide or does the parent have to make the arrangements.

    I know that in some hospitals, that there is a double verification of insulin when administered by nurses.

  8. Meri
    Meri June 15, 2010 at 9:57 am | | Reply

    I have 3 little guys with T1 in the California school system. There nurse is at school one morning a week. It just isn’t right. I don’t work, so last year I ran down everyday to take care of my kidergartener, and my other boys would call me with their numbers at least twice a day each, and we would discuss insulin dosages and carb amounts. Luckily they have pumps…if they didn’t, oh my gosh, I can’t even THINK about it. The nurses union is being completely selfish, if they thought of these children as their own, they would be singing a different tune.

  9. David Locke
    David Locke June 15, 2010 at 10:48 am | | Reply

    The point of these regulations is to remove your kid from public school. The point of education reform has been to destroy public education. You might as well find a private school to send you child to.

  10. Marco Bianchi
    Marco Bianchi June 15, 2010 at 11:02 am | | Reply

    Here in Quebec, Canada we live with this difficult situation all the time. Kids can get lunch shots and testing only if people at the school are willing to do it out of the goodness of their heart (they are protected by law once the parent agrees to have a proxy). All schools have nurses yes, but because we have a shortage of nurses (including school nurses). School nurses have several schools to oversee instead of only one. Therefore the nurse is not always there. The other option is to use Nph/N injections at breakfast. This is not the best option but it does work.

  11. Kathleen Weaver
    Kathleen Weaver June 15, 2010 at 11:27 am | | Reply

    The point of this legislation is to protect school nursing jobs. It’s also in place to protect the teachers. I am diabetic and I had a diabetic child in my class once. I couldn’t manage both of our diabetes AND teach.

  12. Kathy
    Kathy June 15, 2010 at 2:01 pm | | Reply

    This is sad indeed. As a lifelong t1 I like to think I am “qualified” to be a caregiver and would gladly offer to help, if only to make up for the absolute lack of suport I received as a CWD in school. The CNA is going about this the wrong way.

  13. Michael Hoskins
    Michael Hoskins June 15, 2010 at 4:39 pm | | Reply

    Great and important post, Amy. Just to let you know, it was a California appeals court panel that issued this ruling June 8 – the state dept. of ed was the party sued by the American Nursing Association and got this ruling in an appeal after a lower state judge found the same. Based on state law, as it’s written. I wrote about this on my blog today, as well. Parents need to be made aware and must advocate to the California lawmakers to change state law.

    Also, to Bill Halper: there isn’t a work around in allowing any school employee from being that “friend.” Part of the ADA’s argument in this case was that they could be designated to do so, but the court said that wasn’t possible based on how the law is written. So, only friends or parents or someone who’s not affiliated with the school system can do this. But yes, the student can do it themselves – if able.

  14. June S.
    June S. June 15, 2010 at 7:10 pm | | Reply

    My sister lives in Colorado. None of her kids has T1, thank God, but I know there are no school nurses in that state. However, there is some sort of educational outreach program that they have for kids with T1 in school. I believe you can find it on the Children’s Diabetes Foundation website.

  15. kate
    kate June 16, 2010 at 4:40 am | | Reply

    I almost can’t believe I am reading this! How could there be no school nurses? There should always be a licensed nurse available at the school at all times. I think it’s unacceptable if there isn’t.

    Things have changed quite a bit since I was in school, I guess!

  16. Suzanne Elder
    Suzanne Elder June 20, 2010 at 8:42 am | | Reply

    In the original suit, the plaintiffs (students with diabetes) argued pre-emption (they said state law frustrated implementation of federal law). This persuaded the State Board of Education to enter into a settlement agreement. The problem was the settlement agreement permitted what the legislature had not—the use of trained volunteers.

    Morally, medically and from a policy perspective, the settlement agreement was sound. But legally it couldn’t hold because compliance was possible as long as a nurse was provided. Of course, CA doesn’t have enough nurses or any money to pay them but that’s a different question and it wasn’t one for the court. The question was “What does state law allow?” and on that question the nurses were correct.

    Here in Illinois we chose to exhaust the legislative path and after more than six years, The Care of Students with Diabetes Act finally last month. It provides for the use of unlicensed trained aides. It’s waiting for the Governor’s signature.

    If we had failed again, we would have sued but we would have sued FOR a nurse for every child with diabetes. It’s a totally absurd position but it is one the law would have supported. Those suits would have likely prevailed and they would have ultimately driven the legislative change needed. But they would have also cost the state a fortune and they would have devastated the perception of nurses—nothing we wanted.

    The California decision affirms that the correct fix to this problem is legislative. In fact the ruling acknowledges the problem and states the solution plainly–change the law. Advocates in California are working now to do just this. Join them. They have a lot of ground and a lot of legislators to cover—from Crescent City to Chula Vista. They need your help.

    To see what we did in Illinois, log on at

  17. Who Should Give Your Child Insulin at School? « My Child & Diabetes

    [...] The Case of Insulin in California Schools ( [...]

Leave a Reply