Hi. New to the forum and I will try not to be long but i’m incredibly frustrated. I really need help.
My daughter is an 8th grader at a private school & living with T1D. She wears a CGM but does not have a pump. Her school hosts an annual 8th grade trip away from home; its 4 days of hiking, rafting, reflection. In January i met with the principal & VP and it was determined that i should go - we want to give her as much independence as possible so i would basically stay a little ways behind the group at all times so i could be available if my daughter needed help, but otherwise not interfere. The exception is my daughter would have to sleep in my room; she sleeps thru her monitor. I was told i would be the 1st parent to ever attend, all chaperones are/have been faculty.
A few days ago i met with the principal again and this time my daughter’s teachers were present as well - it was one of her teachers that requested the meeting to discuss the trip. My daughter was also present. We were told that she was no longer eligible to attend the trip, not because of anything she has done but that they had several discussions and felt that it was best she stay behind for her own health and safety.
Reasons they gave were 1) the cell service could be poor or non-existent in event of emergency, 2) my daughter “opted out” of PE this semester due to heat-sensitivity - “if she couldnt handle 40 minutes of PE how can she handle a mile and a half strenuous hike” (**she does, at times, have BG issues when she gets too hot but we never asked her to be removed from PE, only to meet to make sure the teacher understood her needs OR for an alternative… they also offer yoga), 3) that she has become argumentative about her health plan, which shows she “cannot follow simple instruction” and could be very dangerous, 4) concern that the group meet timelines and stay on schedule for activities if my daughter has to stop to treat 5) she has been known to alter her pre-set insulin ratios based on what she thinks is best.
I asked if she was being excluded becase of her diabetes - the principal said, no, that i know they’ve had other students with diabetes attend in the past (there was an 8th grader last year). I asked if the decision was firm or if there was something we could do to change it) the response was “that’s a good question”. I requested a follow-up in writing and have gotten no response.
Both her endocrinologist and pediatrician have agreed to write letters to say she is not medically restricted from the trip.
My daughter is on the honor roll. Prior to this recent meeting she has never had a behavioral infraction (she has had TWO since, a verbal for being argumentative, which i asked for expansion on but was told that was a subject for another time as we were only discussing the trip, and the 2nd was a write up for her haircut which she has had for over a month!). According to my daughter, the argument occurred when she was having a low & was asked to sit in the lobby rather than the health office. I dont condone a tone of disrespect, however, lows can cause aggression…and to me it sounds like she was right to question.
I actually dont even want her to go now, its clear they dont want her to, and i can take her somewhere better. My bigger concern is the behavioral infractions; are they just going to make her last months miserable looking for reasons to write her up? These are going in her permanent record, when she applies to colleges they will be there. I need it to stop! I want them to just leave my daughter alone and let her at least enjoy the last few months of 8th grade.
I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m sad for my daughter - this experience really hurt her.
Hi. New to the forum and I will try not to be long but i’m incredibly frustrated. I really need help.
I hate to say it but your best bet might be to hire an attorney. It sounds like your daughter has learned that she must be get own advocate - no, I should not sit in the hallway when I’m low - I need to go to the nurse’s office is practical, reasonable, and I’m sure a part of her 504 plan. And maybe that’s helping her learn to be a fighter in other ways as well - I’ve been wearing my hair like this for a month - no one said anything before - is brave, although that’s an area that may need to be tread with caution…
As an outsider I can understand the school’s concern about heat - although it does sound as if they mis-stated your daughter’s need in that area; and being in a remote area with spotty cell phone coverage would be cause for concern - but while I’m no attorney I would think your willingness to sign a waiver (if that’s the case) and your being there to handle things if necessary, would make a difference - particularly since her endo is willing to vouch for her. And really, any student or chaperone could have an emergency - falling and breaking a bone, heart attack - and I would think they would have some sort of plan for that.
PS - let’s face it, most kids want to hang with their friends overnight so FWIW I think her willingness to sleep with you rather than the students shows maturity and understanding of her needs, and she should get credit for that as well.
An attorney should be able to navigate things.
I considered a lawyer. The thing is that she attends private school and they are not impeding her ability to treat her condition. Her health plan covers her co dition, treatment, and special considerations for success in education. The rules are different, I was told.
I said the same thing about cell reception - would the service be better for a snake bite or broken bone then whatever emergency my daughter might have?
I’m sorry you and your daughter are going through this. I don’t have much time as I have to leave for work soon, so I might come back later with more thoughts, but lest I forget… There are answers to the poor cell service problem. I went to Costa Rica for a week when I was in high school (20 years ago, no CGM or insulin pump) and my dad rented a satellite phone for me so I could call my doctors for advice if I needed it. If you google “satellite phone rental” a bunch of websites will pop up. He also signed me up for Medjet so I could be brought home in an emergency. That one might be overkill for a local school trip, but still an option.
There have been some updates. My daughter is excluded from the trip, period. They handed out invitations in the classroom on Friday of last week, Hers said she “did not earn her place” on the trip. No explanation in writing, just she didn’t earn it.
Further, the principal has made is paying extra attention to my daughter- for example, she was walking with a friend to choir and the principal was standing outside the door (something she has not done in the past), the said good morning to my daughter by name. My daughter didn’t respond, the principal then yelled at my daughter “I SAID GOOD MORNING!”. My daughter flinched, said good morning and hurried away.
I asked the principal about this, to which she responded that she tries to greet everyone. I asked why then didn’t she acknowledge the other child my daughter was walking with. No answer. I asked why she was outside the choir room, if that was a normal practice, she didn’t answer.
I did tell my daughter that she cannot use what is happening as an excuse to be disrespectful, if someone says good morning, say it back and move on. My daughter said she didn’t say anything because she’s afraid of the principal, she feels like she’s watching her.
I’m so over this. I feel like it’s just me against all the school, possibly the Diocese. I really just want for my daughter to just be able to finish out the year with some normalcy. Let her enjoy the last 30 days.
You could take your concerns to the diocese since the school is offering no explanation for their actions.
On a side note, I went to Catholic school too. One of my classmates was suspended for a few days for reasons her parents found ludicrous, so they took her shopping and let her do things for fun the days she was supposed to be suffering at home. If the school thought she was learning their lesson, they were quite mistaken.
I know this doesn’t compare with what your daughter is going through now, but if you’re not able to get the school to listen to reason, maybe there’s something she can do to make the best of things.
PS - show them this article about a person with Type1 who just scaled Kilamanjaro - we can do most anything we put our minds to!
On my way to meet with the superintendent now.
Wish me luck .
Jayme, I’m so sorry. It sounds more and more like they know you have a discrimination case and they’re trying to cover their tracks. I hope the superintendent was open to dialogue.
Agreed. @Jrepine0 forgive me if I’m overstepping here but I hope you will share how your meeting went.
My meeting with the superintendent went well, I think.
She was professional and organized and kind. It seemed like she was truly interested in getting all the facts and finding resolve.
I do worry that there will be bias, or that the Diocese will just suuport the school - I mean a formal complaint of discrimination for a medical condition is kind of a big deal. There are worse things, sure, but that still wouldn’t look good in the Catholic community.
Just trying to remain optimistic.
The investigation is underway so I guess we’ll find out soon enough. I can let you know how things turn out.
Thanks for the suggestions, and for investing time in hearing and helping me.
Hi, I am also an 8th grade girl with t1d. I’m so sorry that happened, and I hope your daughter knows that she didn’t do anything wrong and that she is not alone ! I also had a similar experience with a school trip to DC where I wasn’t able to go because of diabetes. Its really frustrating because you just want to be like the other kids and not let t1d keep you from having fun
Thanks so much for your message. I’m sorry that you’ve had some struggles with your school as well, that’s so disheartening. I will share your message with my daughter, because I’m sure she DOES feel singled out.
Hang in there, Sophie, and don’t let anyone tell you that you “can’t”. If only these people knew how strong you girls really are and how much you’ve overcome already.