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He was a PE teacher multiple awards from the State "Teacher of the Year". She was an Elementary School Teacher. Both worked in the same Public School System. with a little over 40 years experience (her 10+/- him 30+/-) between them. Having been friends with both for many years I asked them one night going into dinner if either respectively would allow diabetic kids to test in their classrooms?

Their answer (and the vehimence) was literally appalling to me... Both adamently refused to let "any kids" test in their respective class rooms, regardless of the medical necessity.

They relageted that as being ONLY the nurse's pervue... the lancet devices were dangerous "weapons" (they meant it literally), the potential for communicable diseases via the "blood splatter", etc., etc. Two people who in all other respects were sane, rational individuals and worthy of my respect.... in that I felt were insane, dead wrong. I was pretty elliquent, framing and eliminating their IMHO irrational fears. They were intransigent... would not be budged for any reason. Thankfully/otherwise, they eventually married and moved elsewhere.

It took me completely off guard and was difficult to not be "rightous" with them over it. I let it go.... but muttering under my breath. The ADA was definately in place but they would hear nothing of it, and were confident they were on safe ground in their position.

Is their thinking understandable to you as teachers???


Tags: behaviors, classroom, diabetis, students, testing

Views: 85

Replies to This Discussion

Wow, I've never thought about this but in my years of teaching, I've never knowingly had a kid with Diabetes. I find it highly unlikely that's the actual case though. I've been given many medical notices by kids, over the years, allowing them to take breaks, go to the bathroom, or excuse themselves to the nurse as needed. The medical notices never give the specifics of the condition. Regardless, I never ask. Occasionally, a kid will volunteer information and I've seen some fairly rare conditions come through my classroom that way.

We do have all kinds of limitations regarding what we can do to help treat a kid. Basically, there is nothing we are supposed to do. I can't even give a kid a bandage. The nurses office is responsible for all medications or treatments as needed. We are, of course, required to know first aid and CPR, but, based on district training, under what circumstances we are supposed to use that training is completely unknown to me.

That being said, I don't recall or feel that I have any limitations regarding what the kid can do to treat their own diabetes, including testing for BG. I would have to be told, specifically, not to allow a kid to test BG before I stopped a kid from doing that. In high school, at least, kids themselves can gauge better than I can how their classmates feel about their condition. If a kid feels comfortable enough to test in class, so be it. If a kid would rather be excused to the nurse, so be it.

I'll test my BG at my desk, nonchlantly, but openly. I don't make a big production out of it but my BG meter sits there on my desk for all to see. Every so often, a kid will notice and may even ask what my number is.
Back to the initial thread for a minute. I would be concerned that, even though a lancet isn't much of a weapon it could be deemed so by admin and used as cause for a suspension (hey, I work in SpEd - I've heard weirder).

I, actually, would be a little concerned about testing in the room with a big group of kids around and potential for some sort of odd interaction where a lancet pokes the wrong kid, etc. I have to be honest in that there are communicable diseases out there we can't always see. There is a hazard.

All that said, I'd look for a safe/quiet/calm place for the kid to test out of the fray - just outside the door, in a little teacher/aide office, at a counter in the back of the room, etc.

If you have a student who needs to test during the day and teachers are NOT letting him/her; the student's family needs to talk to admin about a 504 plan. This short document is for kids who don't quite cut it for a SpEd IEP, but need some accommodations at school. Usually the doctor just has to write a note stating the kid's diabetes affects him/her at school and he/she needs specific accommodations. Once the needs are outlined in the 504, the staff MUST follow them. It is a legal contract.
With proper techniques I think it would not be a problem. In fact, last year I had my first diabetic student (he was on the same pump as me) and I encouraged him to start testing in class. He was very unobtrusive and observed proper blood safety technique. He didn't do it too much, but when we were in the middle of an intense lesson, it was definitely more convenient that going across campus to the nurse.
He said I was the first teacher who understood and would let him leave when he felt low to take care of himself. I always sent someone with or right after him to make sure he got there ok, which apparently was also a first.
I would encourage a diabetic student to test in my classroom. Teaching them to be on top of their diabetes and not to hide it from everyone is important for long term management and control. I have never hid my diabetes and will test and used to inject in public even if other people were uncomfortable. I have nothing to hide. Now I have a pump and sometimes have to pull it out of my shirt to bolus and will do that in public as well. Not that I would do that in my classroom!! I am a first year teacher and have been thinking about how I want to approach the subject with my students. I'm teaching 9th grade biology and will definitely be telling my students on the first day of school. I hope that they will never need to know what to do in the case of an emergency but I want them to be prepared. The teachers in the rooms next to me already know I'm a T1 and that I'll be telling the kids to come and get them if anything ever does happen. I don't want to scare them but I feel like they would be more scared if something happened to me and they didn't understand why.




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