The Short of It
Dennasia Cordova, 15, says she was banned from going on a class trip because she has diabetes.
The high school sophomore—who has Type 1 diabetes—was told she couldn't go with her science class to check out the beaver dams because administrators feared they wouldn't be able to follow her medical plan. They were also worried about being out of cell range in case there was a problem. (Dennasia is old enough to take her own insulin and check her own blood sugar, but she still needs someone to monitor her fluctuating blood sugars). So they told Dennasia that unless her mother could accompany her on the trip—which she wasn't able to—she would have to stay home. Even worse? The day was marked as an unexcused absence.
"My daughter has been let down on several occasions," Dennasia's mom Connie Chavez told Yahoo Parenting. "I have been asked to keep my child home numerous times in the past years, and not knowing the laws, I would keep her home. I asked for [permission that she attend field trips] in writing several times in the past and took it to the superintendent ... it went nowhere."
"This is a prime example of discrimination by a school against a student because of her diabetes, which is prohibited by federal antidiscrimination laws," Crystal Jackson, director of the American Diabetes Association's Safe at School program, told Yahoo Parenting. "Under federal law, schools must provide accommodations to students with disabilities during the school day and at all school-sponsored activities in accordance with the child's care plan. This means it is the school's legal obligation to provide either a school nurse or another school staff member who has been trained to provide needed care to the student with diabetes in accordance with their provider's physician's order or care plan. Parents or guardians cannot be required to attend field trips, extracurricular activities, or other school-sponsored events as a requirement of their child's participation in the activity."
Chavez told KRQE 13 that she thinks the school's decision was wrong and the staff should have been able to work with her daughter's condition, just like they do when she's in school.
"It's like my child has to accommodate their needs, not them her needs," she said. "She should have every right, like every other child. She shouldn't be treated any differently because of diabetes."