Target: Charles Trujillo, Moro, N.M. School District Superintendent
Goal: Provide necessary accommodations for student with diabetes to attend field trips and other class programs.
High school sophomore Dennasia Cordova has type 1 diabetes. School administrators used her condition as an excuse to ban her from a recent field trip and force her to take an unexcused absence. This is not the first time the teen has been forced to miss school activities due to her condition.
Administrators told Dennasia’s mother that her daughter would have to miss the field trip due to concerns that they would not be able to follow her medical plan and would be out of cell service range in the event of an emergency. Dennasia monitors her own blood sugar levels and administers her own insulin. She does require additional supervision because her blood sugar levels fluctuate frequently due to other comorbid conditions. Administrators offered to allow Dennasia to attend the field trip if her mother was able to attend as chaperone, but her mother had to work and was not able to do so.
Dennasia is an involved student and would have liked to attend this trip with her class. If the school district had followed anti-discrimination laws, she would have been able to do so. These federal laws state that schools must provide accommodations both during the school day and at all school-sponsored events, including field trips, in accordance with the student’s care plan. In this situation, the school was obligated to provide supervision for Dennasia in the form of a school nurse or other appropriately trained school personnel. In failing to do so, they violated federal laws and disappointed an eager 15-year-old girl.
Demand that the Moro, N.M. school district abides by federal laws and provides Dennasia with the accommodations she requires.
Dear Mr. Trujillo,
A sophomore in your school district was recently banned from attending a school field trip with her classmates due to type 1 diabetes. Dennasia Cordova has a care plan in place, which should mean that the school should provide appropriate supervision for her on the trip.
Instead, the school violated anti-discrimination laws. School personnel told her mother that, unless she accompanied Dennasia, Dennasia would not be allowed to attend the field trip. They feared that they would be unable to follow Dennasia’s medical plan and that, in the case of an emergency, they would not be able to call for help because the trip’s location might be out of the range of a cell phone. Although Dennasia is able to monitor her own blood sugar and inject her own insulin, she requires additional supervision because of additional issues.
Federal laws demand that the school provide supervision during the school day and at any school-sponsored events. Dennasia’s mother should never have been asked to attend as a condition for allowing her daughter to go and Dennasia should never have been forced to take an unexcused absence for the school’s failure to follow federal laws.
We demand that the Moro school district provide Dennasia with appropriate accommodations in accordance with federal laws and her care plan.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: pamula133