The American Diabetes Association and the California Department of Education have settled a lawsuit that reinforces laws to protect diabetic students. In the settlement the students must have access on their campus to diabetes-related services, such as blood testing and insulin injections.
If a school nurse or family member is unavailable, then a volunteer can be trained to administer the insulin injection. A shortage of California school nurses and liability concerns about training non medical staff could stall the effects of the settlement.
According to a recent article in the Press Enterprise, “… the California School Nurses Organization sent a letter advising school nurses to seek guidance from district lawyers before proceeding. Executive Director Nancy Spradling said nurses were concerned about losing their licenses should they train non-medical staff.”
The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund reports that the settlement includes the following provisions:
• Districts cannot centralize diabetes-related services at one school. They must be available at every school.
• Districts must identify and evaluate diabetic students.
• Financial burden is no defense for not providing services.
• If no school nurse or authorized personnel is available, a volunteer with adequate training can administer insulin.
The question remains: Will the California School Nurses Organization assist in the implementation of this settlement of choose another path?