As of January 29th, 2010 children with diabetes have been allowed by NJ law to self-manage their diabetes in public schools.
NJ law N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.11-21 allows a parent to provide written authorization to the school nurse requesting that their diabetic child be allowed to self-manage on school grounds. The law states “C.18A:40-12.13 Development of health care plans for students with diabetes:
The parent or guardian of a student with diabetes who seeks diabetes care while at school shall inform the school nurse who shall develop an individualized health care plan and an individualized emergency health care plan for the student provided that the parents or guardians of the student annually provide to the board of education written authorization for the provision of diabetes care as may be outlined in the individualized plans including authorization for the emergency administration of glucagon and, if requested by the student’s parents or guardians pursuant to section 5 of this act, authorization for the student’s self-management and care of his diabetes; and if a request is made by a student’s parent or guardian pursuant to section 5 of this act, the student’s physician or advanced practice nurse provides written certification to the board of education that the student is capable of, and has been instructed in, the management and care of his diabetes.”
The problem is that the law does not specify how long a school board has to approve the child to go ahead and start self-managing. A school board may take 3 weeks or 8 months to finally allow the child to self-manage. Of course, a reasonable and prudent school board would complete the authorization as quickly as administratively possible. Once all the proper medical and parental authorizations have been provided to them by the school nurse.
I recently wrote to Senator Nicholas J. Sacco through the legislative web site. I asked him if it was possible for him to insert language into this law that would require school boards to have an approval within 6 weeks of receiving all proper authorizations.
I am eagerly awaiting his response.
Parents may log on to diabetes.org, or the NJ Department of Education web site for more information on this law.
Jose A. Chinea