Girl Denied School Bus Ride
American Diabetes Association legal volunteer works with family and school district to get the student back on the bus
In September 2014, an elementary school girl in Mississippi’s Yazoo County School District was denied access to her school bus because of her type 1 diabetes. The bus insurer did not cover having an adult on board who was trained to handle the child’s diabetes-related medical needs. The girl’s mother ran into roadblocks when she contacted the school to discuss the matter.
Sometimes it takes help from the experts to speed things along. The girl’s mother contacted the American Diabetes Association for help, and five days later, Michael Wolf, a Flowood, Mississippi, attorney and member of the ADA attorney network, stepped in to remedy the situation.
“I called the principal. I called the superintendent. I tried to get everybody on the phone to try to figure out what the right accommodation was,” says Wolf, who took on the case pro bono. “It just required a little counseling on the sensitivity to the needs of somebody with diabetes,” he says. “And once the district came around, they became very cooperative and very attuned to assisting this young lady.”
Within a couple of hours, everything was worked out, and the girl was on the bus to school the next day. “This was a unique circumstance where you had a lot of folks who all wanted to do the right thing,” he says. “It was just a matter of the administration trying to come to grips with what their obligations were and what the right thing to do was. There was never a situation where folks were at odds with [the student].”
If you feel you are being discriminated against because of your diabetes, call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) for help.