Teachers' Group Votes Against Helping Children w/Diabetes

  1. my sister sent this to me and i just wondered if anyone else had heard about this and what they thought of it. she has a 12year old son with diabetes and she has fought with the school system over and over trying to get someone to help him if he has some type of reaction. they won't give him any type of help if he needs it- basically will let him (god forbid) die or go into a coma because they are not willing to learn how to give a shot. :angryfire my sister has told them she will sign a paper saying it is ok for them to do whatever is necessary to help him if something happens but they still won't budge. she had to teach her 11 year old son and 5 year old daughter how to care for him and give him a shot if he ever has a reaction at school and can't help himself. -sad isn't it?

    the american federation of teachers will convene on july 13 for their annual meeting, at which they will vote on a resolution that opposes allowing school personnel who are not nurses to provide any diabetes care at school. the ada has a major action alert going on about this today, and i wanted all of you to be aware and take action.

    please read the following, and take a moment to click on the link and send letter of protest to the american federation of teachers.

    please also forward this action alert to others. we need to raise awareness and fast.thank you!


    teachers' group votes against diabetes
    =========================================

    as a person caring for children with diabetes, you have a very personal understanding of
    why we must manage diabetes so carefully. please take a moment, read this,
    and take action to help protect children with diabetes.

    kids with diabetes must be kept safe and must be able to manage their
    diabetes while they are in school or at school-related activities. to help
    them do this, it is vital that an adult be present to assist younger or less experienced students with routine diabetes care
    tasks or to come to the aid of any student experiencing a diabetes
    emergency.

    in a perfect world, a school nurse would be available for every student,
    anywhere, any time. in fact, the american diabetes association supports
    having a full-time nurse in every school. sadly, we live in a world where
    most schools do not have a full-time school nurse. and even when a school
    does a have full-time nurse, he or she is not usually present on field trips
    or during extracurricular activities. even if they are, they can't be
    expected to be everywhere a student with diabetes might be all the time.

    but as we know, diabetes is a full-time disease

    the country's top pediatric endocrinologists and nurses have come up with a
    safe solution: train other school personnel to provide diabetes care when a
    school nurse is not present.

    experience has shown us that there is no shortage of school staff willing to
    volunteer to provide this care. and we know that they can be trained to
    effectively provide the assistance our children need. the only problem is
    that sometimes state laws and policies prevent them from doing so.

    unfortunately, at its convention starting on july 13th, the million-member
    american federation of teachers (aft) is going to vote on a resolution that
    opposes allowing school personnel who are not nurses to provide any diabetes
    care at school. the resolution states in part that:

    * the aft will lobby against school nurses training non-medical school
    personnel to assist children with their diabetes care; and
    * the aft will lobby against the use of non-medical school personnel
    trained to administer routine and emergency care to students with diabetes.


    this plan is a disaster for our students with diabetes. our children are
    going back to school next month and there won't be a nurse in most of their
    schools. they will go on field trips and will be in the band and will play
    on the football team and there won't be a nurse available

    our children need someone available who can provide the help they need.



    let the aft know that the safety of students with diabetes is at risk before
    their national convention convenes on july 13th. click here to take action:
    https://secure2.convio.net/adap/site...action&jservse
    •  
  2. 50 Comments

  3. by   boggle
    Well Ham, I read about this issue a few weeks ago myself. This is a real problem for teachers and our children. The bottom line is keeping our kids safe.

    As I look back at all of the teachers my kids have had over the years, I know I wouldn't want many of them to be dosing my kids. I would rather they call 911. I do not have confidence that the teacher, with brief training, will accurately assess that the child is actually hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic.

    Definitely, give the teacher training on how to recognize symptoms and when to call for help. Give the teacher written guidelines on symptoms and a phone in the classroom. But, should we have the teacher responsible for glucometer testing? Calculating doses of insulin?

    We have had great teachers in my children's lives. They taught great, but making medical decisions regarding other people's kids was not a skill many of them showed. I just don't think they should function beyond basic first aid.

    I see this issue as another reason to petition for funding school nurses in each school. If you can't fund a nurse, fund a trained para-professional. I strongly believe there needs to be someone on duty at each school at all times that is trained beyond basic first aid for the illness most common/ most life threatening in school children, like asthma and diabetes.
  4. by   tonchitoRN
    i too do not support teachers playing the role of nurse. schools need nurses to be nurses. 'nuff said.
  5. by   jemb
    I don't believe that teachers should be trained to do anything beyond learning to see the signs that something is wrong and calling for medically trained assistance.

    Wouldn't that be like requiring peds nurses to act as substitute teachers for their patients to keep the kids from getting behind in their schoolwork?

    I don't blame the teachers at all for not wanting that added responsibility.

    Instead of being upset that teachers aren't going to be trained in nursing duties, parents need to lobby for full time nurses at every school. I'd bet almost every school system has money that could be reallocated from management to provide the needed nurses, or, as someone else suggested, paraprofessionals at all their schools.
  6. by   Destinystar
    sounds like a good reason why schools should have a school nurse employed at each and every one of them. my son is having problems with seizures, etc. i do not have any confidence in the school. so i decided to give up my career and home school him this year.
    Quote from ham22
    my sister sent this to me and i just wondered if anyone else had heard about this and what they thought of it. she has a 12year old son with diabetes and she has fought with the school system over and over trying to get someone to help him if he has some type of reaction. they won't give him any type of help if he needs it- basically will let him (god forbid) die or go into a coma because they are not willing to learn how to give a shot. :angryfire my sister has told them she will sign a paper saying it is ok for them to do whatever is necessary to help him if something happens but they still won't budge. she had to teach her 11 year old son and 5 year old daughter how to care for him and give him a shot if he ever has a reaction at school and can't help himself. -sad isn't it?

    the american federation of teachers will convene on july 13 for their annual meeting, at which they will vote on a resolution that opposes allowing school personnel who are not nurses to provide any diabetes care at school. the ada has a major action alert going on about this today, and i wanted all of you to be aware and take action.

    please read the following, and take a moment to click on the link and send letter of protest to the american federation of teachers.

    please also forward this action alert to others. we need to raise awareness and fast.thank you!


    teachers' group votes against diabetes
    =========================================

    as a person caring for children with diabetes, you have a very personal understanding of
    why we must manage diabetes so carefully. please take a moment, read this,
    and take action to help protect children with diabetes.

    kids with diabetes must be kept safe and must be able to manage their
    diabetes while they are in school or at school-related activities. to help
    them do this, it is vital that an adult be present to assist younger or less experienced students with routine diabetes care
    tasks or to come to the aid of any student experiencing a diabetes
    emergency.

    in a perfect world, a school nurse would be available for every student,
    anywhere, any time. in fact, the american diabetes association supports
    having a full-time nurse in every school. sadly, we live in a world where
    most schools do not have a full-time school nurse. and even when a school
    does a have full-time nurse, he or she is not usually present on field trips
    or during extracurricular activities. even if they are, they can't be
    expected to be everywhere a student with diabetes might be all the time.

    but as we know, diabetes is a full-time disease

    the country's top pediatric endocrinologists and nurses have come up with a
    safe solution: train other school personnel to provide diabetes care when a
    school nurse is not present.

    experience has shown us that there is no shortage of school staff willing to
    volunteer to provide this care. and we know that they can be trained to
    effectively provide the assistance our children need. the only problem is
    that sometimes state laws and policies prevent them from doing so.

    unfortunately, at its convention starting on july 13th, the million-member
    american federation of teachers (aft) is going to vote on a resolution that
    opposes allowing school personnel who are not nurses to provide any diabetes
    care at school. the resolution states in part that:

    * the aft will lobby against school nurses training non-medical school
    personnel to assist children with their diabetes care; and
    * the aft will lobby against the use of non-medical school personnel
    trained to administer routine and emergency care to students with diabetes.


    this plan is a disaster for our students with diabetes. our children are
    going back to school next month and there won't be a nurse in most of their
    schools. they will go on field trips and will be in the band and will play
    on the football team and there won't be a nurse available

    our children need someone available who can provide the help they need.



    let the aft know that the safety of students with diabetes is at risk before
    their national convention convenes on july 13th. click here to take action:
    https://secure2.convio.net/adap/site...action&jservse
  7. by   nurses4all
    The country's top pediatric endocrinologists and nurses have come up with a safe solution: Train other school personnel to provide diabetes care when a school nurse is not present.
    No, that is not a "safe solution." Teachers have enough on their plates. The union's support of this law would imply that if a teacher made the wrong decision or gave the wrong treatment, the teacher could then be held liable.

    However, schools are obligated by Federal law to make adequate provisions for any child's medical condition. Schools that knowingly neglect to provide that care--via a nurse--should be sued for neglect, just as a parent who failed to provide proper medical care would be in violation of the law, and would be held responsible.

    Therefore, you might be justified to call a lawyer and see what rights your child has in this area.
  8. by   elkpark
    I agree with the other posters that the answer is to have nurses in the schools. I've read several articles on this issue (as a child psych CS, I've always worked closely with the schools), and it's not that teachers don't care about what happens to kids with health problems -- it's that they don't want to be put in dangerous situations for which they're not prepared. Thanks to the "mainstreaming" trend, kids with every kind of physical disability and chronic illness are in the public schools, and administering insulin is just the tip of the iceberg -- I've read of teachers who have been expected to suction trachs and do urinary catheterizations on kids in their classes (while continuing to supervise all the other kids and maybe do a little TEACHING, too), and they rightly do not feel qualified or competent to perform these kinds of interventions (besides which, it's not what they signed up for -- if they wanted to suction trachs and cath kids, presumably they would have gone to nursing school in the first place ... )

    I agree with the AFT on this, and respect them taking a stand.
  9. by   fab4fan
    Sorry, but I am with the teachers 100% on this.

    As litigious as society is these days, pity the poor teacher who tries to help and then gets sued by some idiot parent. Teachers are there to teach, not to be psychologists, social workers, nurses, police, or whatever new role someone wants to palm off on them.

    People with kids with chronic illnesses/disabilities want teachers to know how to manage trachs, seizures, catheters, a variety of mental illnesses, etc. If they wanted to deal with these kinds of problems, I think the teachers would have chosen a different profession.

    Instead of trying to care for kids on the cheap by expanding the role of teachers yet again, why not insist that there be a school nurse on the premesis?
  10. by   cannoli
    If I were a teacher I would not want anything to do with it!

    That is NOT a teaching function.
  11. by   JBudd
    I sympathise with your frustration, but I do agree, teachers should be able to just teach. If the 12 year old is at the point of not being able to help himself, 911 or Mom needs to be called. He certainly isn't in shape to be learning at that point! Having the 5 year old give a shot? what if it doesn't help? what if that wasn't really what was going on? That's a terrrible burden to put on a little kid. Go with the above poster about contacting the legal system about why your nephew isn't being provided with the HEALTH professional he needs.
  12. by   traumaRUs
    My husband is a teacher and I totally agree with him that he doesn't want or need that responsibility. In this day and age, my husband could be sued if provided negligent nursing care! Hunh?? He's not a nurse and doesn't want to be. However, he is extremely conscientious and is quite attuned to his high schoolers and calls 911 and the parents when the need arises.
  13. by   purplemania
    what scares me is teachers might think insulin is the answer for every symptom, when the child could be having hypoglycemic attack. Makes more sense to me that the child be allowed to carry food and glucometer at all times. Very sad situation in all respects, espescially since diabetes in children is on the rise.
  14. by   Katnip
    I have to back the teachers on this also. There is a lot more to managing a diabetic emergency than giving a shot. I personally would not want that responsibility without a lot more education, not training behind me.

    Agree also, each and every school should have a full time nurse on site. It boggles my mind that in some schools secretaries are giving meds. Would they even recognize an adverse reaction in the classroom 20 minutes later?

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