I got this an email from the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund a while ago. Some of the stories are heartbreaking. I'm reprinting some excerpts below . . .

Dear Diabetes Families and Friends of DREDF:

As you know, DREDF attorneys Larisa Cummings and Charlotte Lanvers have been working full steam on achieving the right to health care assistance in school for children with diabetes. We won a landmark settlement in 2007 from the California Department of Education (CDE). Then nurses’ organizations sued the CDE, and we received a setback a few weeks ago when a Judge ruled that licensed nurses are the only people other than parents, parent-designees, or the child herself who can administer insulin. It would be great to have a nurse in every school, but that is not going to happen. Larisa and Charlotte continue to put their all into this work every day.

In the midst of this work, Lisa Shenson, one of DREDF’s parent volunteers sent a plea for support to her friends in the diabetes family community that we'd like to share with you. It is important for us to reach out to the communities we serve for support, because few institutional funders will underwrite the legal advocacy DREDF undertakes as a 501(c)3 non-profit public interest law firm. Please help us so that we can continue to fight for your children and families.

Here is Lisa’s message:

Dear Diabetes Families & Friends,

Last month an 8 year-old child newly diagnosed with diabetes had no one at school to administer his insulin — there was only one nurse for the district, and she would not train any other school personnel to help this boy. Another child, 6 years old, was told by his school’s nurse that he must learn to press the buttons on his pump or he would not be allowed to come to school. At another school, administrators told a young teen that she may not participate in team sports because of her diagnosis. And a young boy in the Central Valley has been home-schooled for two years because his neighborhood school told his family, “We don’t do diabetes care.”

These are but a few of the real stories of children with diabetes who have recently faced discrimination in California ’s public schools. Be it your family or one you don’t even know, the pain of discrimination touches every diabetes family.

Now, more than ever, all diabetes families need to support the organization that has been leading the fight against discrimination on our behalf … the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF).* DREDF is one of the nation’s leading legal and policy advocacy non-profits, and it is passionately championing the rights of children with diabetes in California. DREDF’s intensive efforts are vitally important to all diabetes families.

Last month, a judge in California Superior Court ruled that only certain individuals are permitted to administer insulin to a child with diabetes in California public schools. This is a major setback. Why? Based on this court ruling, unlicensed school personnel may not administer insulin to a student on a regular basis. The ruling does not prevent trained unlicensed school personnel from assisting a child with self-administration of insulin, or administering insulin in an emergency. But with a serious shortage of nurses in schools, children with diabetes and their families will have to fight for their right to appropriate care in school. Parents and their designees may choose to come to school to administer insulin. But for many families, this is near impossible.

DREDF and its legal partners fought hard to keep this ruling from happening, and they are continuing to fight for our children and to provide legal assistance to individual families so that all children with diabetes are safe at school.

In Gratitude & Partnership,

Lisa Shenson, Diabetes Parent & Advocate

Susan Henderson

Executive Director

I don't really know what I want to say about it. It's just another thing . . . *sigh*


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