Excellent article re: blood testing in schools

I came across this article and wanted to share it here.  Most parents go through battles for their kids’ safety and right to test and treat diabetes while they are in school.  Many parents have to fight to even get the school to sign a 504 plan.  I know I had to, and then they cut out the majority of what I had in the 504 plan and put it in their own form – which was basically a worthless piece of paper.  I insisted that at least his diabetes health management form (which they do require) be included or referenced in the 504 plan.  Here’s how Arizona is handling it and the article mentions that it would be a good thing to follow nationwide.  I’ve been wondering why there isn’t a more universal way to handle this since each school district does it their own way.  The following article can be found here:

Arizona Law Sets National Example in Giving Students Greater Monitoring Control

Patrick Totty
22 May 2008

In the current era of “zero tolerance,” public school students who have diabetes have been caught in a frustrating crossfire.

On one hand, students with diabetes need syringes for injecting insulin and lancets for testing their blood glucose levels.

On the other hand, many schools, wary of inadvertently encouraging or abetting illicit drug use, have set often harsh or impractical regulations in place to govern how students with diabetes may test or self-medicate.

In some schools, type 1 students must trek to the nurse’s office and give themselves injections while being observed. Both type 1 and type 2 students have to go to the nurse’s office to carry out even a finger stick test to determine their blood glucose level.

At the very least, this routine is highly disruptive, both for the student with diabetes and for those around them. Students and teachers are distracted by the comings and goings of classmates who may have to visit the nurse’s office up to 10 times a day.

For the students with diabetes, the constant interruptions take away from the time they spend learning. These rules single out the students, both for their disease and because there is an unspoken accusation that they could abuse the equipment used to control their diabetes.

Arizona Injects Some Common Sense

That’s why the recent news out of Arizona is so refreshing: Governor Janet Napolitano has signed a law that allows public school students to independently monitor their blood glucose levels in class up to 10 times daily and to use the necessary needles and lancets.

The impetus for the law came from a 2005 federal lawsuit in which a couple sued an Arizona high school for refusing to allow their son to carry monitoring equipment. In the suit, which was later settled out of court, the plaintiffs alleged that the school forbade the use of monitoring equipment under its zero-tolerance policy governing needles.

As well as relaxing the stringent regulation of diabetes-related needles and lancets, the new Arizona law allows volunteers and non-licensed school personnel to administer glucagon in emergencies when students have adverse reactions to insulin.

States Vary, But Federal Rules Set Some Guidelines

Nationwide, there is no uniform set of guidelines governing how public school students with diabetes may monitor or medicate themselves. States and individual school districts set their own policies.

However, federal guidelines do set a minimum standard of conduct, in which schools must accommodate the needs of students with diabetes in some fashion.

The first guideline is a Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP), which describes the medical treatment that the student’s doctor and family have developed. A school may ask questions or offer suggestions about a DMMP, but the plan is basically the doctor’s and family’s call.

Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act bans school districts that receive federal funds from discriminating against students with disabilities. A Section 504 plan outlines how a school will accommodate or provide services to a disabled student.

Both plans work together: The DMMP describes what must be done, and the Section 504 plan describes how the school will allow it to be done. For example, if a student needs to self-test five times a day (DMMP), the Section 504 plan will list where and when those tests will be carried out.

In most cases, school districts insist on closely monitoring what actions students with diabetes may take. Arizona’s step toward softening previously strict regulations may set an example that other states will soon follow.

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How Many of Me?

This is a fun website I found out about yesterday! It is probably not 100% accurate, but it is fun!

How Many of Me?

There are 25 of “me” with my married name, and over 1800 of “me” with my maiden name! It also tells you how many people in the USA have the same 1st name or last name and how popular it is!