What I can find in terms of legal protections for diabetic students in Florida pertains to public schools. Anyone know what laws/rules/guidelines ther are that pertain to private schools, if any?
My understanding is that private schools that do not receive federal funding do not have to offer accommodations for our D kids. Public schools that receive federal funding must provide reasonable accommodations. I believe that all public schools receive federal funding.
Does the school get any federal funding (e.g. free/reduced lunch)? If they do, I believe they are required to follow the same rules as public schools. If they get no federal funding, I don't know what the requirements are.
My son attended a very small parochial school in Michigan. The principal didn't think they were required to follow the same laws, but they were very helpful with his care.
What types of problems are you encountering? JDRF might be able to help you.
My friend's D daughter started a private high school this year. They are very upset to find out the school does not have to follow her Diabetes Management Plan/504. They won't even let her have a bottle of water in her school bag! I originally was contemplating this school for my own D daughter in 2 years. Now I know I will stick with the public schools, which have been quite accommodating.
You might want to check out this site http://dredf.org.
I am in another T1D parents email group and one of the parents is very active in this organization and has provided a wealth of information on your rights in school. The group I am in focuses on California, but I believe the organization is national.
I would not stand for the lack of care the high school is providing. Their attitude would tell me that is not the right place for my child with T1D...they should be concerned with the whole student.
What others have said is correct. If the school does not receive any federal funding, they are not obliged to make accommodations under section 504. The consequence for not providing accommodations is the risk of losing federal funding for any school that gets it.
Some schools, like dawn100670 suggests, may get funding that isn't immediately apparent. For example it may be bus service or nursing services that are providing by the district. Or it could be certain specialists - like a school psychologist. The private school may provide compensation for these services, which would then make them not funded by the government.
But even if the school is not held accountable to a 504 it doesn't mean that they won't agree to similar accommodations. We are considering a private school for my son next year and I have met with various people on staff to understand what they provide and was pleased to learn how accommodating they are - their interest being my son's safety. Even with the safeguard of a 504 plan last year in public school, my son's safety was put at risk. So although there may not be a legal recourse within a private school, it doesn't mean something cannot be worked out.
If you haven't already referred to this document, you may find it a helpful resource.
Thanks for all the help. I ended up contacting the advocacy office at the ADA, and a lawyer there have me lots of info and support. It was great.