Parents of Diabetic Children File Lawsuit Against NYC Dept of Education

A federal lawsuit accuses New York City of failing to ensure that students with diabetes can attend public school safely and with equal access to educational opportunities as their peers.

The proposed class-action suit, filed Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn, claims that the New York City Department of Education and others violate students’ rights by denying them adequate diabetes-related care, including services for school field trips, before-and-after school activities and bus transportation. Diabetes, a lifelong condition, is considered a disability under federal and local laws.

The plaintiffs are three children with diabetes and the nonprofit American Diabetes Association.

Under federal and city laws, the Department of Education is required to develop a diabetes-care plan for diabetic students. Advocates say those plans are rarely in place when the school year begins, leaving students in danger of serious health consequences. In some cases, parents are forced to be primary caregivers, according to the lawsuit. Children also have to miss school or be segregated from their peers because of regular visits to the school nurse.

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