Tuesday, February 02, 2010


I got word yesterday that the school district is making cuts. They want to cut the use of the school nurse aids.

There is one school nurse for each school. Well actually she is the nurse for several different schools. She is rarely at the school that my kids go to. They have 2 aids that switch off weeks and come in and test Princess every day at 10:15. They have another diabetic boy in the 2nd grade that they test too. This has made my life much easier for more than one reason. I can't imagine going to the school every day at 10:15 to test her. Don't get me wrong, I would if I had to, but it has been very nice to have these ladies go in and test her. They are knowledgeable and already know what to do. In fact they are the only ones in the school that are trained to give insulin when needed. If they aren't there to test her the office staff can test and give a snack if she is low, but giving insulin and administering the glucagon is out of the question.

The thought of them not being there really stinks. It isn't only because I don't want to be there every day to test her, it is more than that. The office staff has way more things to do than to worrying about her well being. I am afraid that they would forget to test her when she needs to be and heaven forbid they give insulin wrong. The office staff isn't a trained medical professional and I don't feel that I should have to put my child's medical condition in their hands.

I keep thinking, when she is in school full time next year I will pretty much be spending my day at the school. Morning check 10:15, lunch 12:45, recess and gym in the afternoons. She is good at managing her diabetes herself, but I haven't taught her how to give herself insulin. She is only 5 it just seems too young for me.

I have been asked to write a letter to the school board to see if somehow I can stop them from cutting the aide's job. They also asked if I would be willing to go before the board and plead for them to not make the cut. (Why me?)

How do other schools handle this? What do I say? Options? Really I feel so lost with this. Not sure what to say or do.


Lora said...

I would do it. They are way to important to your daughters well being. Don't tell the board that you are willing to go in. Insist that they have someone in place to assure your childs "safety"!!

Meri said...

If you go before the board, they will see the need. They will see your heart. And if they still make cuts after that...they are heartless, and you know you did all you could do.

Good luck friend! Praying for you!

phonelady said...

Yes my dear do go before the board and as Meri says they will see the need and if worse comes to worse , please teach your daughter to inject herself I did when my son was sick . But that is me and I thought he ought to know in case something happened to me , god forbid . but it is important that they do know how to inject themselves .I will be praying for you as well .

Jessup Jive said...

Why you my dear? Because you are strong, intelligent, beautiful, and a Mother of 3 wonderful kids. You fight for your family and amaze us all with what you do. And if that isnt enough give me a call and I will continue to list "Why You" Love Ya!!

The Piquant Storyteller said...

I am so sorry! Honestly, I'm surprised your school even has a nurse. I am a product of the Granite School District and have even taught in that district. I don't remember school nurses. You need to be a voice for your children. Why you? Because you're good at advocating for your kids.

Do you use the Bolus Wizard on the pump? If so, teach your Princess to use it. It does all the math for her. I am a huge believer in teaching children to be self reliant with their diabetes. I know she's 5. This may be too much for her to manage completely on her own right now but if you start laying the groundwork now she will be self sufficient in a shorter amount of time. Just my opinion. Call me or email me so we can discuss it more.

Jen said...

This whole district budget issue is completely out of control. As both a parent and an employee, I am very frustrated with the programs, services, and other things they are talking about cutting. If I were you, I would definitely make some noise and let the Board know your concerns. You are lucky you might be able to go to the school every day, but what of those moms in your situation who may have to work all day?

I am almost ready to up and move to Wyoming, where they seem to value education. (I said almost...)

Hallie said...

Just do it! :)

Seriously, you should. It's very important and it could be the only way they'll see the need.

Also - do you have a 504 plan? If not, GET ONE! You can state in the plan who is to test her and how often. I was supposed to be sending out copies of mine, wasn't I? This just reminded me. Anyway, I'll ask about the legalities but that could help your case. ALSO, you could push to get an IEP under the "OHI" label - "other health impaired". That sounds crappy, BUT it's just another place where you can state when she needs to be tested, who needs to test, what to do for lows and highs, testing bg before tests, not punishing before bg is tested, etc. An IEP, once written and signed, is LAW. They HAVE to accomodate what is written in the plan - so if it's written that a nurse is needed then it must be provided. Just an idea....

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Hallie is right. Sorry I couldn’t remember how 504 plans worked. It’s been a few years! I forgot about OHI. Princess definitely qualifies. By law your kids should be provided with support. Every student has the right to a free and appropriate public education. You should not have to sacrifice your time to go in to monitor your children at school, whether or not you are able to. You still have a lot of options. HOOK YOURSELF UP!!!

Jennie said...

I think we must be in the same school district because I heard the same thing. Now I am already frustrated with the 'non-existent' nurse who never bothered to meet me or my daughter and only wrote up a care plan over the phone. We have never had access to her. Since diagnoses in 1st grade it has only been up to me and Brittany to deal with her diabetes. I went over to the school every day at lunch until she was 7 and started giving her own shots. (I cried many times as I was harassed by the staff about having needles at the lunch table and been scolded for not having a visitor badge on. Then I was told to give her the insulin in the staff restroom. Are you kidding me!?!!) Had we ever been given the opportunity to benefit from the nurse maybe I'd feel different, but to me it is no different. We are on our own!

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Ladies, you are not on your own! Don't put up with that kind of treatment from the school. The system works but sometimes you have to make enough noise.

Jennie, I don't even know you but I would take all that to the very top. Play the lawyer card if you have to. That is discrimination.

Your children have rights protected under Special Education Law. These laws were put into place so all students, regardless of ability or disability, can have the same opportunity for a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. If that means the district has to pay for a nurse then so be it. School nurses may still be cut but your children are entitled to more than Mom having to sacrifice time to go to school to deal with diabetes. Especially if that sacrificed time equals discrimination from school staff!

I learned last year that if something school related doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Trust yourself.

Leighann of Multi-Minding Mom said...

I wrote a letter to our school board this week because they want to split our asst principal between two schools and he is my daughter's TDP.

The only word that school districts understand is "safety."


You need to start every sentence with "For (name)'s safety..."

If you would like a copy of the letter I wrote, just let me know.

Leighann of D-Mom Blog
leighann (at) d-mom (dot) com

alisonwonderland said...

Good luck! Your daughter - and the other children in your district - are blessed to have you as a spokeperson for their needs!

Shamae said...

Good luck! Nurses in schools are so important! I didn't even realize this until we have one that comes to the school everyday to test syd before recess and to give insulin w/ her snack. She is invaluable to me. I would fight for her to stay if our tables were turned. Hope it goes well girl!

Holly Reed said...

This is very scary and I hope it doesn't happen. If worse comes to worse, what about the idea of a D-Mom's "carpool" so to speak. Pick five D-moms you trust that have kids in 1-3 schools and each of you pick a day that you go to all the schoools testing and dosing the kids. It's not ideal but that way everyone could have a job/life/peace of mind.

Reyna said...

OMG! I cannot even believe this stuff goes ON. I feel so fortunate...our school has a full-time nurse, and increased the sub-nurse pay last year so that they would ALWAYS have coverage for the kids with diabetes. I am the mom of a T1 kid, a RN, and now a substitute school RN. Please keep us up-to-date. I think you need to go and share your story...and yes mention "SAFETY"...and this should open their eyes. This is against the LAW.