According to an advocacy group in British Columbia, school staff should be trained to administer insulin, and life-saving glucagon injections, to diabetic students. The group, entitled "Unsafe at School: Advocating for Children with Type 1 Diabetes" is made up of BC parents and a number of physicians. It was formed after a North Vancouver father filed a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal earlier this year. They have started a petition calling on government for change and almost 400 people have signed it thus far.
Currently there is no mandated care plan for children with Type 1 Diabetes in BC. School staff are not responsible for checking blood glucose levels, injecting insulin, managing pump boluses, or administering glucagon in an emergency. Each child, and each school is unique, so the level of support varies considerably but essentially the onus of responsibility falls on the parents, who, in some cases, have to visit their child's school at least once per day to administer insulin via pump or syringe.
The advocacy group believes that until this changes, diabetic children are not being adequately cared for at school and are being discriminated against because of their diabetes. They add that when a child with diabetes experiences high or low blood sugar their learning is compromised, and therefore should be treated similarly to a learning disabled child in the classroom. The Education Ministry is currently reviewing the situation.
To find out more about the advocacy group, or to join their efforts and sign the petition, visit their "Advocating for T1 Kids" page on Facebook. And to read the Vancouver Sun article that ran December 9th, click here.