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A.C. et al v. Shelby County Board of Education - 6th Circuit

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Ellen, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Ndiggs

    Ndiggs Approved members

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    Having read the full opinion from the court, I would guess it will go to trial. Nothing the district has done thus far (at least from the transcript) shows me that they will be reasonable.

    I am sure their lawyer will encourage them to settle, but that means they have to listen to something reasonable.
     
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    On reflection, I most certainly know this plaintiff to be a CWD member and will refrain from comment until the case is resolved and she, hopefully, returns to tell us how it went.:cwds:

    I wish them all the best.
     
  3. Beach bum

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    Lightbulb!

    Yes, wishing them all the best.
     
  4. swellman

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    This is my experience ... those that know "something" about diabetes know it from a family member or TV and almost always T2. Personally, if our school wanted to talk to out endo I would, without hesitation, allow a conference call to discuss any situation. Those citing privacy seems to be caught up in, well, privacy. Privacy was out the door when the school knows just about everything about your child's disease. IMO. I'm NOT saying that I think school officials should have full access to all medical records but maybe they just want to hear it from a doctor.
     
  5. TheLegoRef

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    Same here. Our school has never asked to talk to our endo, but we have 6-7 kids with T1 there right now, so they learn a lot from many resources. But if they wanted to, I would be calling the endo and setting something up. I wouldn't allow the school to make changes to rates or ratios or anything, but they could talk to the endo for hours if they wanted to. Why would you not let your school call the endo to say "I think this mom is doing something wrong" and let the endo say "no, she's not, it's fine"?

    I also think that the reason for testing in the classroom as other kids being sick is the wrong way to ask this. If it is directed at someone like that, you're saying they don't know how to care for all the kids at once. There could be equally sick kids in the classroom. They were in the classroom before they went to the nurse. They didn't get off the bus and go right to the nurse. The way it should be approached is "my child is losing valuable educational time by leaving the classroom two or more times every single day. This could be why her grades are unsatisfactory". Can you imagine how you'd feel if a kid was over at your house to play, and the mom said "I don't want her going in your bathroom, your kids have germs"? And pointed feelings aside, if the reason isn't for missed class time, parents need to re-evaluate the thinking anyway. Missed class time and being allowed to be as "normal" as can be are the reasons. NOT because you don't want your kid to be near sick kids.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
  6. momtojess

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    I agree.. I have actually spoke with this mom in emails and on the phone years ago when all this was going on.

    I wish them the best outcome.
     
  7. MomofSweetOne

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    I agree with your first two reasons, but I also agree with not wanting my kid to be near KNOWN sick kids. Flu before diagnosis was not fun, but post-diagnosis, it's one of those huge fear-strikers in our hearts when the vomiting begins and lows start alarming. Just look at how often people ask for help in that situation here on the boards. I know I'm much more cautious about wanting my daughter exposed to stuff (and no, I don't raise her in a bubble) than I was pre-diagnosis. I'd fight to avoid having my T1 kid in an office full of kids waiting to go home because they have a vomiting type of flu. That's just common sense in my book.
     
  8. hawkeyegirl

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    You know, I really can't think of a good reason for the school to have direct contact with an endo. This parent felt very early on that the school was completely against her, and I don't blame her at all for not trusting their motivations. When you read the case and see the voicemail that the principal left on the mother's phone that was intended for a school administrator (which occurred at the very beginning of the child's kindergarten year!), ask yourself if you would be inclined to allow that school to do something that you felt was invasive and unnecessary? I don't doubt that the parent felt like the school was just seeking information from the endo in order to bolster a child neglect claim.

    It's like the situation where the police come and knock on your door and ask if they can search your house without a warrant. If you have nothing to hide, why not let them? Because it's MY house and I don't want the police rifling through my crap for no reason, that's why. Same goes for the endo. There was no good reason for this school to be talking to the endo. None.
     
  9. swellman

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    For the record I wasn't speaking to this case but in a general sense in relation to our experience with our school. I think as long as the endo doesn't release private medical information I would be more than glad for him to speak to school officials as long as I'm on the call. Sometimes the best way to educate people is to let them ask questions. It also helps when an authority tells them they have no idea what they are talking about.
     
  10. hawkeyegirl

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    Yeah, I would have no problem with our school talking to our endo. We have a great relationship with our school and our endo, so no problem. In this situation though, no way Jose.
     
  11. KatieSue

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    That was quite a read. I agree at the point the nurse asked to talk to the Endo I don't think I would have agreed either. As Swellman said in a normal situation I'd be happy to do a conference call and let them hear it from the source so to speak but I think by then the situation was too far gone.

    I also agree that using the germs in the clinic as a reason for classroom testing rather than citing missed learning time was a mis-step.

    The school seems to have gotten a lot of bad information and run with it. Especially the paramedic boyfriends "shouldn't be alive" comment. I would think it would be easily confirmed if the teacher went home hysterical that day or not, you'd have to mark her as out and have someone cover the classroom. How do you "forget" if you went home hysterical and when that might have been?

    It sounds like it all got off on the wrong foot with the peanut allergy problem and then just progressed from there. I don't know the legalities of things but it does sound like the Principal had "had it" and saw reporting them as a way to get them out of her hair. It's one thing to not understand Type 1 and really think that cookies are abusive. It's another to say the parents want their child to die at school so they can sue them.

    Things we don't know are what exactly "fluctuations" are referred to. My kiddo is only in range about 50% of the time. What were here A1C's? I'm assuming normal for her age.

    The Principal seems to have thought of these parents and child as a hassle and dug her heels in. Then some mis-information and stereotypes for Type 2 fed into that and everyone got on board.

    This poor kidoo. I'm sure the hostility from the staff affected her. Not to mention your parents being investigated and all that. No wonder she had so many "fluctuations".

    I'll wait to see what the court decides. I hope that the family has found a new school for her and that they're all getting the support from them that they need.
     
  12. mamattorney

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    I think it's hard with some people having more information than is released in the opinion.

    My gut would have said that I would have allowed the school to talk to my child's doctor's office as well (so long as confidential information was not released without my permission) - if only for the purpose of having a new voice (not involved in the tension between parents and school) reiterate the facts of the disease, assuage any fears, and restate the rationale for the accommodations.

    The opinion is missing so many facts that many of you probably know because you know the plaintiff - you all are looking at things in a completely different light than I am.

    Honestly a few things strike me as odd when I read the facts in the court opinion.

    Again, I guess what matters is whether the principal made the report in good faith.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
  13. shannong

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    I agree. I would find it an appalling lack of trust for the school to ask to speak to my DS's endo. That would be the end of my relationship with that school. It is the parents of Type 1 kids that keep their children alive and healthy every single day and the school should show respect for parents in that regard.
     
  14. SarahKelly

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    Oh my, my heart goes out to these parents and their whole family for all they've had to go through just to allow their child to attend school like any child should be able to.
    Isaac is starting Kinder next year (and did half day preK this year) and I just can't imagine going through all this.
    I wouldn't at any point want the school contacting his endocrinologist, I wouldn't however mind facilitating a meeting with the nurse, endo and myself if necessary.
    I also find it offensive that the staff would even think that the child's "crashing" would be desired by the parents, that the parents would purposefully overdose their child and time it to occur at school.
    And their questioning of what the student ate.
    UGH.
    There is far too much going on in the entire situation to make me feel thankful that this child has such strong parents whom are willing to take the stance to make it clear that none of this behavior is okay. BRAVO to them for not just pulling their child out and finding a new school, I hope that in the end many people become educated and that the next child(ren) with t1d in that school (district) will be treated differently.
     
  15. Beach bum

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    Agreed. I often wonder if schools that have kids with other medical issues contact their doctors? Example, I have a friend who's daughter has a serious chronic illness that requires her to take large amounts of meds and supplements daily. She, being a teenager, gets fed up with it and skips a day or two. She ends up feeling crappy and they have to go into recovery mode. Now, mom knows this, and the doctor knows this but, it happens sometimes and they work with it. Does the school contact the doctor about this? In this case no, because our school has a good working relationship with parents and trust us and our word.

    The only way I would allow the school to talk to our nurse or endo would be if my child was having an emergency. Otherwise, my doc/nurse are just too busy to take that kind of call during the day. Plus, I know our doc would suggest going to the class they offer for school staff;)
    Thankfully, our nurses and some staff are very well versed in diabetes care as our town sadly has a revolving door of kids passing through ( for such a small town we do have a large amount of D kids). And most important, they listen to us and believe us. Oh, and are compassionate (which this school staff doesn't seem to be).
     
  16. TheLegoRef

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    Exactly. And in some court cases with medical problems (I'm mainly thinking about highly public death cases) they bring in doctors to give their opinions, and that doctor's opinion can change the outcome of the case based on whether they say one thing or another.

    As long as the endo doesn't discuss the kid's specific medical info, I wonder if having a professional tell the school that that fluctuation is normal, would have diffused the situation some. If the school thinks the kid is being treated incorrectly, they do have a duty to report it. We know they were wrong, but they think they were right. A professional needed to answer some questions. I would take the opposite approach as what some people are saying here. The nosier the school gets, some people are saying the more you should hide. But that is just going to make them get more worked up. I would want to prove to them I'm not wrong. I would be printing articles, having the endo call, asking if a pump rep or someone can come talk to them, etc.
     
  17. hawkeyegirl

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    I don't think anyone is advocating "hiding" anything from the school. And if my endo wanted to talk to the school generally about diabetes, I guess that's fine (although it's not really his job, and I wouldn't expect him to do it), but I suspect the school would have wanted to grill him on the specifics of THIS child's records. Nuh-uh. Nope. Not going to happen.

    This school showed no inclination to want to learn about this disease. There are a bajillion other resources out there other than talking to this child's endo. We don't have all of the facts here, but it wouldn't have taken a visit with this child's endo for the school to figure out that feeding a T1 child candy isn't literally child abuse. :rolleyes: And given the family that is involved here, I'm 100% sure that many attempts were made to educate the school. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.
     
  18. cdninct

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    I would have no problem with the school talking to the endo's office, but I would have a massive problem with them doing it behind my back or without my express consent!

    I would want to set up the meeting and be present (even if it was a phone call and I was just in the room while it was happening).
     
  19. dzirbel

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    This is what I was referring to. And no Swellman, I'm not "hung up" on privacy issues. I'm actually fairly open about information, but when it comes to a school with an "agenda" I'm very protective. Just like I don't give them my kids social security numbers at clinics or schools either. Now, if they go out and contact the endo on their own to learn more about diabetes then go right ahead. Our endo also offers a free course for school administrators. One for nurses and one for other staff.

    Sadly trust is something that is disappearing in our society because of the abuse of information that occurs too often.
     
  20. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    We were lucky and had great relationships with school personnel. That said, I always crossed out any request for approval for contact between the school and the endo (on forms). There was simply no need for that conversation, unless it was in the event of an emergency and they could not reach me. The endo wrote her orders on the school plan form, and that's what was used.
     

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