Tolerance for diabetics

Texas had to pass a state law to guarantee diabetic students the right to check their glucose levels in class and carry their insulin. Eleven states now have such laws, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Prior to the law, some schools didn’t allow diabetic students to attend certain extracurricular activities or to check their blood glucose levels in class. Some students couldn’t carry monitors or medication to class. And, in severe cases, parents had to take their children off campus several times a day to administer insulin, advocates said.

. . . Beau Yarborough, an incoming senior at Garland High School in Dallas County, said he missed countless hours of class time in middle school going to the nurse’s office, the only place where he was allowed to test his blood glucose levels.

Teachers sometimes refused to let him leave class, even when he was feeling dizzy and faint — danger signs for a diabetic.

Most juvenile diabetics learn to manage their illness at a young age. Delegating responsibility is dangerous.

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  1. Engineer-Poet says:

    If I had a diabetic child and any teacher refused them access to their medication at any time, I would do my best to have that teacher criminally charged with reckless endangerment.

    Jail is one certain way to get idiots out of classrooms.

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Zero tolerance = minimum wage.

  3. SuperSub says:

    Zero tolerance is for districts that employ brainless zombies and lack the simplest common sense. Ask yourself – Are you one of those brainless zombies?

  4. SuperSub wrote:

    Zero tolerance is for districts that employ brainless zombies and lack the simplest common sense.

    I hope you feel better because you’re wrong.

    Zero tolerance is merely the inevitable outcome of empowering bureaucrats, people who live by and find comfort in a set of rules that governs every aspect of their professional lives. As long as they stay within the rules they’re invulnerable and omnipotent. Don’t you wish you were?

    Don’t like that outcome? You won’t change much by changing the rules. The only way to change anything is to remove some of that power from the bureaucrats. Problem with that approach is that it means taking responsibility for the use of that power and it’s just so much easier to push the job off on people who’re ever so eager to accept it.

    A little more difficult is to forcefully convince yourself that the responsibility is being adequately discharged but not that much harder. If people found it difficult to believe convenient fictions GM would hardly sell any Corvettes.

    And see, they have Phd’s to prove they’re fully qualified to manage the responsibility. Just heed their call for adequate resources.

  5. Nancy D says:

    I completely accept that kids should be able to carry insulin for emergency use and to be able to check blood levels and inject insulin at school, in the classroom, in cases of emergency.

    However, does it really seem like a good idea to have kids sticking themselves with needles in class, rather than in a clinic if one is available?

    Did you all see the cases last year about the kids in New York, I think, who were sticking each other with the same needle used to monitor blood? One of the kids was HIV positive. I think it happened on a play ground rather than in class.

    Most of the people I’ve known who had diabetes monitored their own blood and injected insulin in the restroom, if needed. I’m all for using a clinic if one is available.

    Blood and needle sticks in the classroom should be avoided.

  6. Nancy D says:

    I know what I said sounded like an urban legend. Here’s a link to the story. It’s not New York; I goofed on that part.

    Maybe in class, under direct supervision is best, but it’s time the teacher can’t be teaching the other kids.

  7. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Zero tolerance may well be a product of a system that allows stupid judges to allow stupid lawsuits assessing stupid penalties for inconsequential torts. Even at that, paying off these extortionists has only bred more extortions and more stupid rules in a mistaken attempt to stay ahead of the jackals.

  8. My diabetic students all either have pumps that test and inject inject insulin automatically or use the restroom/clinic. If I kept them from doing that, it might be a problem, but I don’t think I would allow them to be sticking themselves in class. Too distracting.

    FWIW, I’ve never had a kid ask to do this in class. They don’t want to draw that kind of attention to themselves.

  9. I don’t think that there should be any instance where a used needle should just been thrown into the garbage can. They should all be disposed of in the nurse’s office.

    Doesn’t insulin need to be refrigerated?

  10. Sarah H. says:

    I am a type one diabetic who had to deal with this kind of nonsense from second grade well into college. I have a few comments:

    Nancy D-
    Insulin is not an emergency use drug. Often, it must be injected every few hours. Travel time to and from a clinic mulitple times per day eats up more class time than I think you are aware. I had this problem in high school when the health staff demanded I test and inject in the health office. I was taking AP and honors courses at the time and keeping up was near impossible as I was missing the equivalent of one day per week in some classes. Long story short, I had some reasonble instructors who understood my situation, I lied to the school nurse, and discretely took care of business in class.

    Checking glucose levels in the classroom is honestly not distracting. The meters are silent, and test results are availible in under 10 seconds in most cases. Any distaction I may have caused in elementary school lasted a day or two at most until it became old news. In high school, I would often test in class without anyone noticing.

    Most diabetics are more than willing to discuss their condition. Just ask us! If you ever want the real diabetic experience, I would strongly encourage you to volunteer at one of the many summer camps available to diabetic kids and teens. If you are local to the bay area, check out the Diabetes Society of Santa Clara Valley.