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Students’ health issues brought to board

Discussion in 'School and Daycare' started by Ellen, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

    Oct 22, 2005
    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

    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

    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.

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