Cases

Overview

In 2004, four elementary school-age students, along with the American Diabetes Association, filed a civil rights complaint against various public school entities in the State of California. The students were unable to receive assistance with their diabetes treatment during the day from non-medical school staff. Instead, parents were required to come to school to provide treatment for their children–which represented a hardship for many families. While school districts and nurses have always insisted that only nurses can provide insulin to children with diabetes, this policy created a health risk for diabetic children. Because of the critical shortage of nursing staff in California schools, nurses were often unavailable to provide medical assistance when needed. In this landmark settlement, schools in California will now be required to have someone available who is trained to assist diabetic children, representing an increased level of health safety for California children with diabetes.

The Focal Point’s Role

The Focal Point worked with the trial team to identify the central themes of the case, and developed graphics that not only educated about diabetes, but also demonstrated how the school system’s policies put children with diabetes at risk.

Result

Under the settlement agreement, schools in California will now be required to have someone available who is trained to assist diabetic children.

Court

US District Court for the Northern District of California

The Focal Point’s Clients

Reed SmithJames Wood

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund

Arlene Mayerson
Larissa Cummings

Cases