Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hey DOC - Do You Have Any Advice For This Parent & Her CWD?

Hey DOC - I just received the following letter from a parent of a CWD & this family really needs your help & input, now!

Do you have any advice for them & has any other parent out there run into a similar situation?

Hi kelly,

I just found your blog and wonder if you have some help or suggestions for me about where to get help with a school matter.

My 13 yo daughter is a type 1 diabetic and has been since age 3.

We have been well controlled until Jan of 2010 when she was hospitalized for the 1st time with ketoacidosis. She has been hospitalized several times since and in November 2010 had her first bout of pancreatitis. Then again January 2011 and late Feb. Since march we haven't been back in the hospital.

My problem is the school. We have been paying and planning for the 8th grade DC field trip for a year. Her endocrinologist and other specialists say she is medically stable and able to attend the trip.

The student travel org booking the trips feels they can handle her coming and have protocols in place.

The principal called me on the afternoon of May 25th and said he would be excluding her from going because of her health issues. I shared with him that her doctor felt she could go and he said he wanted to do this to make sure the other participants would have a good time and other inflammatory statements.

I realize what he's trying to do is illegal. I wrote an appeal to the superintendent because he said he had her support. What do you think my next course of action should be? File a complaint with ADA? The state superintendents office?

I asked for an answer from the school within 48 hours.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have.




Moira said...

I would go to the media. But ONLY if your daughter is comfortable with it. If not, go to the school committee . . . and ask for an executive session so it does not end up in media.

Scott said...

The ADA may prove more effective; the organization has a large staff equipped to deal with cases that are not legally permissible and merely hearing their name knowing what resources the ADA has at its disposal may make some school districts cave in to letting her go.

Me said...

Agreed with Scott. Here's the URL for the ADA's Advocacy team: http://www.diabetes.org/advocate/

Good luck to you and your daughter. I hope you get the outcome you're looking for soon.

Renata said...

Personally I have found that if I step out and make the process easy for the school, they have always supported me. Which meant missing work to go on field trips. Assuming that you tried to tell the principal that you or your spouse would be willing to attend (or anyone who could look after your daughter) and they still said NO THANKS, then...

I agree with Moira, the media is the quickest opportunity for resolution.

Alexis Nicole said...

First Im so sorry the school is putting you/her through this. Completely unacceptable and illegal. Yes!

Does she have a 504 place? if so there should be a section on school trips. I believe you should be able to attend the trip with her as well.

Id contact your local ADA, JDRF and a lawyer as well.

The DOC is behind you!

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

Thank you so much for posting this, Kelly!

Mom - you sound like you have it all together and are taking all the right steps. As I read this and come up with a suggestion in my head, I'm reading my thoughts in your words. You've got great advice in the other comments as well.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this. Please report back on how it progresses.

phonelady said...

Get yourself a lawyer and file a medical discrimination suit against the school board , It can be done and I hope you will do this but only if your child is okay with this . This makes me so mad I want to spit !!! I got fired from my first job ever for being a diabetic they said because I did not tell them . BS !!! just like this is BS !!! I did not do it for the money I did it to prove a point . Find yourself a lawyer that is a jurice doctorate they have a medical degree and a law degree . Good luck to you and please keep us advised . I wanted to also say dont fool with the school anymore , they will just keep passing it along until the field trip is over . Good luck to you and God bless you .

Anonymous said...

I would hire an attorney. Get some professional advice on the legalities of this "banning" from the trip. The shame of it is; your daughter is an innocent victim in this person's discrimination.

Scott Strange said...

Along with the other comments I would also make sure that your school board member is in the loop and is aware of the dangerous legal position the principal has placed the district in. With budgets tight, the mere threat of costly litigation can often get desired results.

Since HIPPA was revised in 2008, this also is a civil rights matter so your local ALCU chapter may take an interest

I wish you the best of luck and the only other advice I would give would be to keep calm and focused on the issue. Anger is totally understandable in a situation like this; but staying focused on the facts will often get better results in the long run.

Even tho it would be much more satisfying to rip someone a new one; stay focused on what you really want to achieve. Your daughter has met all the requirements for the trip and she should be allowed to go, no matter what one individual says.

I would also suspect that there may have been some parents of other children that called the pricipal about the matter.

Maybe you could get some others to also call to object to his decision. Not only to him, but also the school board and superintendent.

Good luck!

Leighann said...

As quickly as we may want to holler "alert the media!" I don't think that's the way to go in this case.

I feel that will put them on the defensive and make them want to work with you even less.

I was recently talking with a couple of other moms who also have children with medical needs (one with diabetes and one with severe asthma). We were discussing a parent who approaches things from a negative stand point and always seems to get a negative reaction.

Whereas the other d-mom and I have had our needs met without much resistance, if any. We think it's our approach. We go into with a positive attitude and one of working together to fulfill our needs.

We had an issue last year and the media actually contacted me about it. I refused to talk to the media, but instead when up the chain of command to talk with the president of the school board. I was firm about my needs, but came from a standpoint of "what can we do together to make this work."

And you know what? I ultimately got more than I asked for.

I suggest you talk with another administrator at your school, with school board members, and up the chain of command to the superintendent if it isn't resolved before that.

Tell them that you have medical clearance and that a support system is in place with the group holding the trip. Ask what you can do to ease their minds about the safety of your child and how it will affect other children on the trip. And reiterate that, of course, you have your child's best interest at heart and wouldn't put her in a situation you weren't comfortable with as far as her diabetes care goes.

In the meantime, contact the ADA to see if they can help you with the process.

But leave the media and lawyers for later...IF she is ultimately denied.

Crystal said...

Wow. SO messed up! That post made me want to yell, scream, punch things and cry....

The ADA deals with these type of situations pretty well.

Good luck!!!!

The Piquant Storyteller said...

I agree with those who advise against getting the media involved. I also agree that you should remain calm and go up the chain of command. Talk to the district administrators and the superintendent.

Talk to the district level Special Education representative. Your daughter qualifies for their support even if she doesn't have a 504 or IEP. The legal issues raised here should get the attention of Special Education.

It's possible that this is a misunderstanding and failure to communicate on the principal's part. Conversations need to be had! Keep your cool though. You'll get better results.

After you calmly but firmly state your expectations from the school district administrators and SpEd representative then you can play the lawyer card. But still don't get the media involved. Your family is not a circus side show worthy of whining on the news. Your daughter has diabetes that, as an 8th grader, I'm sure she can manage on her own.

Good luck.

Mark said...

I am a Type 1 diabetic for 45 years and my child is in school as Type 1 for almost two years. I am also an attorney. The school should work with you although I understand their concerns. You have legal options. You should do an IEP with the school if do not have one. Also, CGM is the way to go.

Lora said...

I don't think I can add a whole lot except... Get a paper trail. Email when possible and if they call you... Follow up with an email saying thank you and mentioning what was discussed.

I do agree that calm is better. Go up the chain of command one by one. Sometimes all you have to do is mention the word illeagal and discrimination against a person with disabilities and maybe if needed attorney and they may back off. BUT... It needs to be done in the right manner. Wording is everything.

I don't know if you plan on going or not, but keep in mind that if not... these ppl will be in charge of your daughter, you don't want to piss them off.

Michael Hoskins said...

Completely concur with all the other comments, about contacting the ADA, creating a paper trail that begins with medical clearance, and making sure the school board is in the loop. Also, while it's probably not crucial, I wondered if you were specifically planning to attend as a chaperone - as that could ease some concerns. But again, that shouldn't be required in the first place or be a game-changer. This is ridiculous, and I wish you good luck in getting it resolved.

Laura @ Houston We Have A Problem! said...

I wish I had something to add -- there is some great advice above and you will know which path to follow.

I would certainly get a call into the ADA before I called the media.

Please know that although I do not have any answers for you -- I am thinking about you and cheering you on from Texas.

Please keep us updated as to what transpires.