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Dear Mr. Hoff: It has come to my attention (through a diabetes email group I
belong to) that an issue has come up at your school regarding a student named
Ryan who was found carrying an insulin pen. I know that there are a lot of
worries at schools across the country about weapons and violence in schools
and that students found carrying a "weapon" can get into serious trouble.
However, if my understanding of this situation is correct (that he was
carrying it because he did not have time to drop it off at the office), there
is a serious problem at your school regarding the rights of those with
disabilities (which includes those with type1 diabetes). People with diabetes
especially need quick access to a high glucose snack in the case of
hypoglycemia and to their blood testing meter to verify the low blood sugar.
Insulin is required in the case of high blood sugars and for meals. Ryan
should have access to all of these things at all times and should be allowed
to treat low or high blood sugar in the classroom. An excellent solution to
the problem of carrying the insulin pen (or a syringe) would be for Ryan to
have an insulin pump (I use one) which would allow him to give himself
insulin at the push of a button thru a cannula inserted subcutaneously. The
cannula remains in the body 24 hours a day. He would still need the lancet to
test his blood sugar.
Please do not punish Ryan for doing the best to take care of himself. This is
Thank you for listening.
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