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Thread: Cell phones in 504's....

  1. #1

    Default Cell phones in 504's....

    I'm being told no, it's against district policy.
    This is the e-mail I just received: the district policy allows cell phones to be kept in a backpack during school hours and used only for extreme emergencies such as when no other phone service is available -- if XXXXX were to keep a cell phone in his backpack he would need permission from his teacher to use it -- if there were a situation where you needed to be called all teachers have phones in their rooms and we would follow the procedures called for in the Health Plan. I have also talked with the nurse and she reports that there are provisions in the Health Plan Protocol for any emergencies -- he has been without a cell phone all of these years and things have worked

    As you know, there are times when we need to know a BG. Today is an example: BG when I dropped him off at school he was in the mid 300's it was that time when he *may" need a site change (he can't go the 3 days, usually 2 days - sometimes more, sometimes less.) I was getting off work and wanted to do a site change on my way home if needed. So I call the school, the secretary has to call the classroom which pisses the teacher off because she is interrupted. If they call the classroom and have him come to the office to call me to tell me then he is missing class time. Wouldn't it be simpler to have him quietly text me, which in my mind isn't anymore distracting that testing a BG in class. His phone would remain in his pocket/belt and on silent. I just don't see the issue. I believe I can even go as far as locking out all functions on the phone except for texting and calling, AND I can set so he can only call me.

    So tell me, am I screwed?
    Mom to only child
    H ~ born 8/2001
    Diagnosed 12/2009 in DKA
    Pumping with Animas Ping since 07/2010

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Chicago, Illinois


    Well, the fact that he has not had a phone in the past is not, to my mind, relevant to moving forward. Your son is getting older and is presumably moving towards greater autonomy. I think a cell phone, used for appropriately limited purposes helps with that. I agree that it seems less disruptive for him to call or text you than to get up and ask the teacher to use the class phone.

    Not sure that the school has to provide this accommodation if they can provide something that permits similar communication than the cell phone would provide, however. I'm interested to see what others say.
    DD dx at 5 yrs, 3 months (11/09)
    Omnipod w/Novolog (7/10)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Southern MD


    I think that your son having a cell phone for this particular situation is a wonderful idea. I would try to do the same for mine if he was at the age where he was able to use it responsibly and only when needed. I just don't understand why the school won't allow something like that. Dealing with T1 isn't the same as dealing with a head cold. You're with him most of the time, and you know his patterns better than anyone. School nurses and teachers can only do so much, so to have a way to communicate with you when needed is very important. Not to mention that the fact that it's less disruptive to send a quick text is a bonus. I really hope that the school reconsiders.
    Mommy to:
    Andrew, 3. Diagnosed with Type 1 on May 1, 2012. MDI routine using Lantus and Novolog. OneTouch Verio IQ.
    Chase, 2. Non-D.
    Jacob, Born 5/2/13. Non-D.

    Never say ''I can't''.

  4. #4


    If your son is beginning to be more independent in his own care then simply have the endo write a cell phone into his medical plan and submit it as part of his 504.

    504 protections are intended to provide the means by which a child with a "disability" can have equal access to public education - if part of his developing independence as a person with type 1 includes beginning to make management decisions during the school day, and if those decisions require parental support then a cell phone is a reasonable accommodation. Don't take "no" for an answer and make clear that transitioning to self-care is a long process that begins in middle school and that this is simply part of that medical management plan. Period.
    Last edited by Sarah Maddie's Mom; 11-28-2012 at 09:04 AM.
    Mom to DD now 16, dx @4
    Cozmo pumper @6
    Minimed pumper @13
    G4 @ 15

    "Happy Birthday, Dr. Banting! Now... let's eat cake! Because, we CAN!" - MCS

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    FWIW, we have a cell phone provision in my DD's 504. Admiministrators, teachers and school nurses are all for it. No problem. Yet, my DD is the one who feels uncomfortable using it and is afraid that some kid will narc her out, even though she is allowed to communicate with me via text for her diabetes management. Anyway, 99% of the time, DD will go to the nurse and call me from the nurses office if she needs a site change, insulin change, etc.

    Walking to Cure on November 2nd, 2013!

    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="Purple"]Mom to McKenna, 13 years old, dx'd 12/7/09 (9 yrs);
    7/6/10; PINGing with Novolog

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Chicago, Il


    Our ds is permitted to carry his cell phone and communicate directly with us or his doctor regarding his health care per his 504. It is also in his doctor's orders. It is a direct conflict with the district policy but the 504 overrides the policy on an individual basis. The law here also specifically allows for the use of cell phones for diabetes care so they couldn't really fight us on it. The previous school nurse tried but that didn't work out so well for her. As a practical matter ds doesn't us his phone very often.

    I think it is a reasonable request to put it in the 504 and make the point that it will be used for the sole purpose of communicating about diabetes care. If they find it is disruptive or if it is used for something other than diabetes care then it can be revisited. If the school continues to push back on this I would ask your doctor to write it in the orders. It would be very difficult for the school to violate the order from the doctor.
    Mom to:
    A and
    F dob 6/19/2000 dx T1 8/18/2010

  7. #7


    Amber, has a cell phone and carries it with her at all times, it is in her 504 plan.

    We also send a letter to all her high school teachers. Ths letter introduces her and explains the basics of diabetes and what she should be allowed to do.
    Delay test taking if her bg is too low or too high, eating, testing bg, and using her cell phone in class room for D management.

    I also add that my dd is respectful and will try to be discreet so not to disrupt the class.

    Most of the troubles come from the school not understanding diabetes or misunderstanding our children's needs.

    I just make it simple and clearly write out a personal note to each teacher.

    Good luck with your school and 504 plan
    Daughter dx~ age 12

    Amber ~age 17 Pumping w Ping

    Faith, Hope, and Love ~
    the greatest of these is Love.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Chicago, Illinois


    While I think use of a mobile phone certainly seems like the best approach in this situation (and my own 8-year old's 504 provides that she may carry one with her at all times to call me on diabetes-related issues--even though she does not do that yet), I am interested in the idea that the doctor's orders would be considered authoritative regarding what type of telephone is used.

    The reasons for using a mobile phone as opposed to the classroom phone seem to relate more to educational accommodations than medical treatment--though I suppose one could argue that the driving concern is a medical one.

    I would continue to push for my child to have access to a mobile phone and frankly, would probably ask her endo if she would sign orders specifying access as well, keeping in mind that that might not be conclusive.
    DD dx at 5 yrs, 3 months (11/09)
    Omnipod w/Novolog (7/10)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Germantown, Ohio


    We too have a cell phone and Ipod (for calorie king and logging) in her 504. DD was DX during school year and these tools were recommended by CDE.

    I've gotten more calls from the math teacher (where lunch bolus takes place) than DD so far this year! Like another poster, our school seems to have no issue what so ever with these tools. I have asked to be notified if they ever think DD is abusing. At this point, it is all still a hassle to her. Teachers have told me she is very discreet with her phone and ipod.

    She did lose her purse (with meter, glucagon, tabs, etc) on the playground last year. We are in a campus situation - it was turned in to the primary school. The secretary found the phone in the purse, went to the address book and called the 'mom' entry - it made it's way back to the intermediate school quite quickly!
    Roseann, mom to:
    Alison Jane 2.9.02 DX 11.23.11 MDI Novolog/Lantus CGM (Medtronics) 3.7.12
    Dexcom 3.24.13
    OmniPod 2/20/13
    Sara RoseMarie 9.16.85 Non DX

  10. #10

    Thumbs up Cell phone use in school

    I think it is a good suggestion to have the cell phone written in his 504 plan. Then it is necessary that all the teachers know about this detail change. This seems like a reasonable accommodation.


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