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Re: [IP] Diabetes Disability Act for children
>As my child got older, I was at the school less and less.
>Please, for your child's sake, DON'T depend on these federal employees to care >for your child.
I agree with you to a point. For the most part, teachers do what they
do because they sincerely love children. Unfortunately, public school
teachers aren't really able to teach. They are glorified babysitters.
It is very easy for a teacher in an over-crowded, rowdy classroom to
forget about the child with a medical condition from time to time. When
3 students out of 30 (or more) are constantly misbehaving, the majority
of classroom time is spent trying to survive from day to day with these
students doing minimal damage. Sending them to the principal's office,
talking with the student or child makes very little difference. If you
are lucky, the child may get suspended for a few days or, joy of joys,
expelled with two weeks of school left. And don't forget about the
special education students that are 'mainstreamed' in the regular
classroom. Federal law mandates accountability from teachers that they
are going above and beyond the call of duty to try and educate those
students in a regular classroom environment without letting anyone else
know that those students require extra attention. Don't get me wrong,
I'm all for mainstreaming, but it takes an inordinate amount of time out
of a teacher's 50-minutes per group of students.
You are right that parents should not rely on teachers/schools to care
for their diabetic children as diligently as the parents do. It is
impossible -- even for the teachers that really try. I'm speaking as a
parent of a diabetic child AND as a former teacher. As hard as I tried
to remember that Johnny had to go to the office for his medicine at
10:00am, and Sheila had to always sit on my right because she was deaf
in her left ear, and Alicia had asthma and I had to sniff for
perfumes/deodorant after PE to stem an attack, and Stan had to copy
notes from mine because his parents refused to get him glasses and he
couldn't see the board, and Mike didn't take his medicine at breakfast
so he would be wild today so I better not stray far from his desk, and
Ray had a bladder problem and I needed to let him go to the bathroom
whenever he needed (then had to find a way to tell the class why Ray got
to go every five minutes and they didn't), and so on, I would
occasionally forget some of the details. Especially on days when Curtis
(the 6th grade drug dealer) decided he was going to spend his day doing
cartwheels around the room and the principal had issued a warning to
stop sending Curtis to the office, so I was stuck with him. From both
perspectives, as parent and teacher, it's a pretty grim picture for
diabetic children in public schools. No two days are the same. Fire
drills, bomb threats, assemblies, lock-downs, national testing...all are
things that happen on a regular basis in public schools that throw off
the schedule for every child. For a diabetic child, it can be a serious
But don't put all of the blame on teachers. MOST teachers are doing the
best they can with one hand tied behind their back and @#%&*!
compensation for it. Agreed, public schools will have a very hard time
giving your child the attention that is really needed and parents have
to take up the slack. But until the politics of teaching in public
schools is changed, there is 'zip' that you can do about it. And by the
way, they are state employees, not federal.
I'll get off my soapbox now.
(who sounds an awful lot like Sara today)
Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/