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[IPp] Pumper Problem in School in FL - TAKE NOTE

Please note - this is posted on www.type1info.com - and the child involved is
the daughter of Jeff Wagner who runs the site - his comments to another parent
who sent him an email with support is below following his retelling of what
happened to his daughter:


March 11, 2002

     My daughter Nikki, has Juvenile Diabetes and wears an insulin pump.
     Today, at her school, an Assistant Principal (AP) took this insulin pump
from her, thinking it was a beeper. The AP physically attempted to pull the
pump off of her. Nikki tried to explain to the AP that it was not a beeper and
went as far as to show her the tube going from the pump into her body. The AP
continued to jerk at the pump, nearly pulling out the connection site  where
it attaches to Nikki. The AP refused to listen to Nikki's explanations about
the pump's purpose and ignored her proving Medic Alert bracelet .

     Unrelenting, the AP continued to demand that Nikki turn over the pump to
her.  Fearing repercussions for not abiding by this adult in authority, Nikki
handed over the pump! My daughter and a friend, then ran to the school office
to find someone who knew her health history and could explain her situation to
the AP. When Nikki did find someone, the AP had already given the pump to the
School Police Officer.

     This diabetic child, has an existing 504  Plan and an established
Individual Health Care Plan with the school. (see also: 504 sample plan). It
is a true misdeed that she is forcefully made to disconnect from her
"lifeline" and then have to prove to an supposedly educated, trusted, elder
that she has a life or death handicap.

      We have meetings with the school every year about Nikki and her
diabetes. The insulin pump is a $5,000.00 medical device that keeps my
daughter alive. This AP had no clue as to what the pump was, and had no right
to  touch it, let alone pass it around to other people.

      This is a prime example of what occurs when there is ignorance
in a school system, pertaining to our children with diabetes. This
incident should have never happen and is inexcusable. Nikki was
disconnected from her pump and was not able to give herself her needed insulin
for the food she had just consumed, resulting in her becoming ill. She went
into ketosis thus forcing us to take her home for the remainder of the day.
This resulted in Nikki missing some of her entitled education as well as
missed work for her parent.

     There appears to be an invisible barrier between the Health Care District
and the School District. This barrier blocks the care that our children need
and are entitled to. There are Florida State Statutes that pronounce School
Districts (specifically School Principals) will designate two individuals for
dispensing medications and other medical needs during a school day. (F.S.
232.46 and F.S. 232.465).

     The schools aren't aware of who the designees are. My guess is, they
neglected to designated anyone into this position. State Statutes are in place
for a reason. What happens if a School District doesn't follow them?
Unfortunately, nothing.

     There are no state personnel or agencies that perform follow-ups to see
that the School Districts are following State Statutes. The reasoning, I
suspect, is that there are over sixty counties in Florida and each one has a
School District with its own government.

     We attend committee meeting after committee meeting and fight
not only for my child's rights, but the right's of all children suffering form
Juvenile Diabetes. We fight for these rights not only in our state, but in all
of the states in the country. This, along with many other issues, is a major
problem throughout the United States. I have asked for a meeting with our
Governor and the President of the United States about these issues. I am
always referred to some other agency or some other person. It is time that
someone with authority, in our country,  take a stand to help these children.
I pray that it won't take a tragedy involving a diabetic child in a school
setting, to make some Legislator, Governor, or even the President, finally
take notice that something needs to be done to end Diabetes ignorance in our

Jeffrey R. Wagner
"Children Have Rights In School"

Here is Jeff's email to a friend of mine...

Here is what Jeff wrote to me this morning:
Thank you for your response.  To answer your questions............
1.  Nikki did phone us from the office.  She doesn't carry a cell phone(there
never was a reason before).
2.  Every child who was with her told the Assistant Principal what the pump
was.  There was no teacher nearby who knew her.
3. Yes.  Her blood sugar rose.  And whether or not it exacerbated the
situation or not, the pump should not have been handed around to everyone.
4.  It is not resolved as of yet.  The school district did an investigation.
We notified the media and everyone that I had a contact with in the State of
5.  Nothing has happened like this since we have gotten a 504.

Notify as many people as you can.  Even though we follow every procedure we
are supposed to, something like this still happens.
Thank you for your support.

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