(http://www.beatricedailysun.com/articles/2008/04/17/news/local/doc4804c07137923638444000.txt) Students’ health issues brought to board By Bill Hafer/Daily Sun staff writer Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 - 10:28:08 am CDT The parents of two Beatrice Public Schools elementary students diagnosed with diabetes in February discussed the issue with the BPS Board of Education Monday. Both sets of parents were told their children would have to change schools and attend Paddock Lane School after their children’s diagnosis. “We don’t feel it’s right for our kids to be forced to attend another school,” Tami Helmick told school board members during their regular monthly meeting Monday night. She said on Feb. 27 her daughter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, and after the diagnosis they were told she would not be able to return to her school, Cedar Elementary, but would have to attend Paddock Lane. “It was tough enough for her to find out she has juvenile diabetes,” Dan Helmick said. Tami Helmick said the prospect of not being able to return to Cedar was more traumatic to their daughter than the actual diagnosis. After keeping their daughter out of school for more than a week as they attempted to find a way to keep her at Cedar, they were allowed to keep her at Cedar but had to sign a waiver of liability for the district saying she can self maintain her treatments. The next day they contacted the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and filed a complaint, she said. “We’re pleased she’s at Cedar,” she said, but they disagree with having to sign the waiver saying their 8-year-old daughter can handle her treatments herself. Dan Helmick said the reason she would have to go to Paddock Lane if she couldn’t self maintain is because there is a full-time nurse on staff there to help her maintain, meaning make sure she’s getting the right carbs, checking blood sugar and administering the right dosage of insulin. After their daughter returned to Cedar, a paraeducator was hired to help her with the maintenance of her diabetes, which has to be done several times throughout the day, Tami Helmick said. Dan Helmick said when their daughter was diagnosed they weren’t told they had any options. “Parents need to be informed of what options they have,” he said. He said he thinks there are enough students at the elementary schools that there should be someone at each site, not one at Paddock Lane and another floating between sites. Darryl and Jackie Reedy joined the Helmicks during their presentation because their son had to change from Lincoln Elementary to Paddock Lane after he was diagnosed with type I diabetes on Feb. 4. “He was ready to get back with his friends and find some kind of normal again,” Jackie Reedy said, but then he had to go through the additional ordeal of changing school buildings. She said it’s a terrible thing to have to tell a child that now they are different so they have to go to attend another building. Following the presentation, Board President Dave Niedfeldt thanked the parents for coming to the board. “At this point it would be inappropriate for us to take any action until we hear from (the Office of Civil Rights),” he said.