Student Field Trip Chaperone


(Kelly) #1

I am seeking advice!
My son in newly diagnosed and will be going to high school next year. He will be in band, so we have to make accommodations for summer band camp. Not an issue with this. BUT… this is the year that they take their big trip to Disney and Universal. The first time I met the band director I informed him of our situation, and stated that I would need to be one of the chaperons going on the trip. He then informs me that they don’t take parents on the trip. NOT okay. They will have 3 band directors, 1 principal, and possibly the nurse on this trip to cover 170 kids. He explained that the kids are relatively confined within the park, and that they take the ‘see you later, met back here at this time’ sort of approach to chaperoning.
As far as my child rights are concerned, I know that they can’t deny him the trip because of his disability. But as a parent, legal guardian, and medical monitor shouldn’t I have rights as well? I found this verbiage that states parental attendance can not be required, but can the legally deny it? We are in Texas.

**Schools must provide reasonable modifications and accommodations to policies and procedures and provide related aids and services so that students with diabetes are given an equal educational opportunity.

In plain English, among other things, schools typically need to make sure that:

Staff members are trained to check blood glucose levels and administer insulin and glucagon.
Staff members with immediate custodial care of students with diabetes are trained to recognize high and low blood sugar levels and know what to do in an emergency. This includes gym teachers and bus drivers.
Students are allowed to self-manage their diabetes if they are capable of doing so.
Students can fully participate in all sports, extracurricular activities, and field trips. This may require that trained staff are available to supervise or provide diabetes care. (Parental attendance cannot be required as a condition of participation.)
Students may take extra trips to the bathroom or water fountain.
Extra absences for medical appointments and sick days are permitted.
Academic adjustments for classroom time missed for medical appointments, testing, or because of periods of high or low blood sugar are made.**

I am open to any thoughts and suggestions. Has anyone been through this before?


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #2

Hi Kelly @ktwok, I can understand your concern and can see that you [your family] may need to make some decisions. A lot of your decisions should be made based upon how well your son understands diabetes [now and next year] and HIS ability to make necessary choices and care for himself; checking BGL, insulin dosing calculations, measuring and administering or pump abilities, food choices, and most importantly his awareness of how he is feeling especially avoiding hypoglycemic events - and how to counteract then if they happen. Yes, staff must be aware of his condition.

Is the bit you pasted in from HIS school policy manual? I have seen this, or a very closely worded policy before and agree that it does state quite well the “student rights” but not mention parental responsibility or rights. I finished my schooling in the 1950’s and didn’t tell anyone that I had diabetes yet I survived overnight field trips and took all my classes and examinations without “special accommodations”, including the SAT exams as an HS junior that got me admitted to the college of my choice. College life was my BIG downfall.