According to The Wall Street Journal, parents of children with diabetes are suing the NYC Education Department, claiming that public schools are failing to offer students with diabetes equal access to education.
School administrators and faculty have to handle all kinds of medical situations for students. For example, since students have all kinds of allergies, educational facilities need to be aware of the eight most common allergenic foods, which account for 90% of all food reactions. Understanding how to handle various diabetic situations is just as crucial, but the claim states that the city educational system lacks that knowledge.
The proposed class-action suit, filed at the end of October in federal court, emails that the New York City Department of Education and others violate students’ rights by denying them adequate diabetes-related care, including services for educational field trips, before-and-after school activities, and bus transportation.
This isn’t the only health issue children are dealing with, either. Since 1980, obesity rates in 70 countries have doubled and the rate of childhood obesity has increased faster in many parts of the world than the adult obesity rate. There are all kinds of studies that have liked overweight and obesity to higher risks for various health complications, including Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes remains a major concern for anyone struggling with their weight. Currently, more than 100 million U.S. adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes. Unfortunately, obesity isn’t the only factor that contributes to diabetes, especially for the 1.25 million children who suffer from diabetes. Though more than 80% of all children with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, there can still be kids of all shapes and sizes who are diabetic.
There are plenty of things that diabetic patients and parents can do to help; eating fewer sugary products, regular exercise, and more. Even adhering to the Mediterranean diet can help protect from Type 2 diabetes and improve glycemic control. Perhaps the most important aspect of combating diabetes involves education, which, unfortunately, isn’t always available.
There are currently at least 2,000 students with diabetes in the NYC school system.
“The well-being of students is our top priority, and we are committed to providing the full range of health services they need to succeed in the classroom,” said Doug Cohen, a spokesperson for the Department of Education. “We will review the lawsuit.”
Educational care plans lay out what kind of health care is provided and by whom, which would normally include how to handle measuring a student’s blood sugar, administering insulting, what to do during a diabetic emergency, and how to properly use a students’ diabetic technological devices.
Those emergency and even general care diabetes plans are rarely in place during the school year, which leaves students in danger of serious health concerns. Children have had to miss school or be separated from their classmates because of various diabetic issues.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are three diabetic students and the nonprofit American Diabetes Association.