The Kids Win
You may have read the article in our September issue about the American Diabetes Association going to court on behalf of kids in California. Some nursing associations had incorrectly insisted that only school nurses or other health care professionals could give insulin to students with diabetes. Sensible laws in many states that have benefited from the Association’s Safe at School® efforts allow trained, nonmedical school staff to assist kids in diabetes care—and diabetes experts agree that this is a safe course. As much as we deeply appreciate school nurses, there simply aren’t enough of them to provide the care that our kids with diabetes need to receive a safe and fair education. After nearly eight years of battle, the Association (represented by the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and the law firm of Reed Smith LLP) awaited a decision by the California Supreme Court in this landmark case. In the article, Dwight Holing, the Association’s chair of the board-elect, described the courtroom drama and the hope: “I know I’m not alone in believing right and justice for parents and children with diabetes will prevail.”
Right and justice did prevail, propelled by countless hours of effort and the voices of the Association’s dedicated advocates—including parents, health care providers, and attorneys. The court’s decision allows trained nonmedical school staff members to provide students with insulin, which means students will get the care they need when a school nurse is not available. Insulin as a medication is a lifesaving, everyday necessity. Now the California Supreme Court, in recognition of the rights of students with diabetes has broken down significant barriers to the insulin children need. That’s a lesson we all can appreciate.
Kids such as Merrick Horne, 8, of Tiburon, Calif., have more reasons to smile. Merrick is one of the many students with diabetes who will have access to the insulin they need at school thanks to the Association’s big win in a landmark case decided by the California Supreme Court.