Problems with School Staff


#1

My son (7 years old) started school almost a month ago and over the last couple weeks we noticed his BG has been dropping low at school into the 60 range always after lunch. The doctor’s office had us change his dosing because of that maybe a week ago. My son was crying and didn’t want to go to school this morning and my wife got it out of him why. Come to find out when he gets his BG checked and then his injections from the nurse before eating leaves him little time to eat his food. He then brings the food to class the teacher isn’t allowing him to eat it. This makes him scared and worred. I confirmed with my wife his teacher knows he diabetic. At this point I’m pretty infuriated, this school is trolling for a lawsuit! This is probably strike 3, I am getting pretty fed up here.


#2

I’m sorry you’re having problems with the school. I certainly understand your frustrations & anger, having battled with my daughter’s school.

Does your son have a 504 plan in place? If not, that should be your first step. If he does, does the plan state anything specific concerning meals?

It’s not uncommon for kids his age to go to the nurse early for the mealtime insulin, or even to be allowed to be served first. Either way, your son should be allowed to finish his meal.


#3

It’s definitely important for teachers to be aware of their students’ medical conditions, but if this teacher is not allowing him to eat his lunch then she obviously doesn’t know (or doesn’t care). It was about 30 years ago that I was in elementary school, so it may have been slightly different (we had a very good school nurse), but the fact that the children must be treated appropriately hasn’t changed, and denying them the time to finish it is completely inappropriate. It doesn’t take a doctor to know that it’s very important to have healthy meals (and in this case, having the meal at all)! If they refuse to treat your son appropriately, I say go for the lawsuit!


#4

That’s ridiculous. it could kill him, getting his insulin and then not eating because everything was even slower than normal and not having the “time”. The teacher is probably sticking to regulations of not eating in class but doesn’t realize the significance of what can happen. The nurse isn’t probably realizing what’s going on and he’s not eating for what he’s getting his insulin amount for. Or they figure he isn’t he hurrying up and eating type thing. ( he’s 7 so you can only expect he won’t speak up necessarily or he wants to go out and play) But that doesn’t matter because if he gets his shot, he has to eat!

As tiaE said, the easiest solution is for him to leave class early to get his shot so he can take his lunch with everyone else. And then you need to make sure there’s not too much of a delay to eat. Go see the principle (nicely) and make sure he understands the problem. It is easier to try to solve through them understanding than through a threatened lawsuit. I’m not saying that you can’t do that if needed, just easier to get their cooperation hopefully!


#5

Well I’m trying to be cool about it and maybe there is a little more to the story so my wife and I are going to have to meet with the teacher to figure out exactly why this is happening. In the mean time my wife called the nurse to make sure he eats his lunch today no matter how long it takes. She seemed pretty horrified this was happening and as nj said, the nurse I guess didn’t know this was happening. I’m not tempted to go the legal route just for this incident but for a couple other issues that came up when school started as well. I’m going to reserve judgement on the teacher until I find out more. I imagine she’s just being a rude old hag but it could very well be my son playing games and not wanting to eat all his food right away to get out of math and that’s a big no no if that’s happening.


#6

It’s really best to keep the communication flowing, for your son’s sake. And if you don’t have a 504 plan, you should get one ASAP. We eventually had to go the legal route for my daughter. The first thing the attorneys asked was if we had a 504.


#7

To me it sounds like you and your husband need to have a talk with the teacher and the nurse to correct the problem. Maybe the nurse is giving him too much insulin for what he is eating. I would think that the shot would be better after he eats.


#8

@Ninja300r
You could also schedule a meeting with the principle. Have a sit-down and discuss everything that is going on. Tell the principle you are considering whether a 504 would be beneficial all the way around. Don’t commit that you either are or are not going to do a 504 as your intentions could change either way. However the conversation itself with the principle may be very helpful. It might be enough that the 504 (at this point in time) is simply not needed. Or it might bring out the fact that a 504 would be helpful both for your family as well as the school.

We have never needed a 504 as we have a state which has extremely strong laws on the books to protect students with Diabetes as well as School Administration which are super helpful. Unfortunately as heard multiple times in these forums, everybody is not so lucky.


#9

I teach high school and have for many years. I would still work at getting a 504 in place for your child. It’s just a good idea. It will ensure he’ll get whatever he needs immediately.


#10

Unfortunately, a 504 doesn’t ensure anything unless the school staff abides by it. Without the 504, should the situation become worse, seeking help from the OCR or through the legal system will be much more difficult.

What a 504 will do is make all of the staff involved aware of what’s required. We were encouraged to get the 504 plan in place from the start, before it was actually needed. You may have school staff that’s 100% supportive & helpful right now, but what if the staff changes & that’s no longer true? If the plan is already in place it’s one more safety net.


#11

I have done substitute teaching. Many schools are understaffed. Often classes may have substitute teachers. Also, teachers may have archaic rules. No eating in class.
My situations usually are: the child says: “I have to go to nurse for medication” or “have to go to the nurse”.Often other kids chime in as well to support the child’s request and the child is escorted by another by child. Speak to everyone about your child. Some teachers are a unaware or rule crazy. ADA covers diabetes. Also tell the teachers not to give candy to your child, Many kids do not want everyone know that they are different or diabetic and take the candy.

A lot of teachers use candy as a reward


#12

I was wondering how you are progressing with your son’s school. As a retired teacher who taught 2nd grade students on 504 plans with asthma and a short term disability, you do need a 504 plan. The school nurse (who was there for a1/2 day) and I worked together to make sure all staff was compliant. But for some reason, administration and schools don’t like to initiate a plan. I think it’s because it takes time to pre-plan, time to follow it, and inservicing staff to follow the plan to handle situations that arise. My friend was a teacher in my building who had a child that was T1. All staff was inserviced each year regarding symptoms of highs and lows and how to give the emergency injection of glucose. And still my friend had to make sure the plan was followed, such as having a snack in the classroom. Her child was sent out of the room which embarrassed her. The plan said in her classroom. So definitely get a 504 plan to help your child cope and be safe. Ask for inservicing and other adaptations. The kitchen staff needs to be trained too. You can even ask for the class to be educated about diabetes. Sometimes, the students are more in tuned to their friend’s needs when the teacher may not be aware what is happening. This sounds a little demanding, but that’s ok. After all, your trust is in the school to take care of your child. And this plan will be renewed every year which may make it easier for the school, for you as parents, and for your child to have a successful school year every year. Good luck.


#13

Absolutely not! I am so glad for you telling this. No way! I would scream and talk nonstop until my point got across and was abided by FULLY. At that age? What are they crazy. Your son knows more than they do! They must abide they must ensure, they absolutely must! How dare they? At your sons age to put those kinds of thoughts in his head. I would absolutely have your doctor speak with them, and I would absolutely not let up until your wishes are met, and your son feels safe and comfortable. I understand the age and all, with the nurses checking but dagonit do their job! No excuse! What possibly could their excuse be? It’s not like they’re working in an ER or Trauma center. they’re working in a school how busy can they be? Give me a break. Settle this how you want it settled. Period. No way. I would explain and direct everything they need to do, and make sure it gets done. Period. Not eating in the classroom? They tried that when I was in college, my hand went up immediately and basically said you can’t say that to me. Absolutely no argument. A girl behind me knew exactly why, she had family who was diabetic. Absolutely not in school, that is not legal. Period. If a plan needs to be initiated and papers need to be signed well all you do is set up a meeting and do it. Period.


#14

We have had a 504 plan in place and things have gotten better. We are now coming up on 6 months since his diagnosis and nearly 5 months since school started. The staff seem to have gotten a handle on things at this point since I haven’t heard of any diabetes related issues from school since this incident last fall. We are close to finally getting his Dexcom G6 which I hope helps manage this disease immensely. My son is now able to prick his own finger and take his own readings with the BG monitor. I tell him everyday I don’t know how long we will have to go through this but I do know things will get better. I tell him there are good people working hard everyday to either cure or better treat diabetes we just have to keep on trucking, as long as it takes. I love him so much.


#15

Thanks for the update Ninja300r!