Pennington, NJ asked in Education Law, Civil Rights and Health Care Law for New Jersey

Q: Rights of a Type 1 diabetic student at a private school and responsibilities of the school to the student -

The condition of a student who has been enrolled for over two years at a private school that does not employ a nurse or other medically trained staff has recently become dysregulated. The parent claims that a medical professional is not needed for this level of diabetes - that coaches and counselors are able to treat the child. The school is not comfortable continuing to take full responsibility for the care of the student in the event that a serious medical emergency happens while he is in the school's care. However, after assuming care for this long, what recourse might the parents have if the school were to say that a medical professional or parent is required on campus when the child is present?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In this situation, the rights of a Type 1 diabetic student at a private school in New Jersey are governed by federal and state laws that protect students with disabilities, including those with medical conditions. The school has a legal responsibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to provide reasonable accommodations and ensure equal access to education for students with disabilities.

Given that the student has been enrolled for over two years, the school may have established a history of accommodating the student's diabetes-related needs. However, if the school now believes that it's necessary to have a medical professional or parent on campus when the child is present due to concerns about potential medical emergencies, they should engage in an interactive process with the parents.

The parents' recourse in this situation would be to engage in a dialogue with the school to determine what reasonable accommodations can be made to address the school's concerns while ensuring the student's rights are upheld. This may involve discussions about the specific nature of the diabetes management plan, the qualifications of coaches and counselors to handle emergencies, and the potential need for additional training or resources.

If the school insists on requiring a medical professional or parent on campus and the parents believe this is not reasonable, they may need to seek legal advice or mediation to resolve the dispute. It's essential for both parties to work collaboratively to find a solution that ensures the student's safety while respecting their rights as a student with a disability. Ultimately, the goal should be to strike a balance that allows the student to receive a quality education while addressing the school's concerns about medical emergencies.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.