Sunday, October 10, 2010
I am part of a group of type 1 parents who are supporting a motion that has been put forth before our Catholic School Board to create and implement a consitant policy/procedure for all children with type 1 diabetes.
In August our JDRF outreach committee hosted a Back to School Night for parents of children with type 1 diabetes. This was a night to share information and to give parents an idea of the steps which can be taken to try and work with their schools on making it a safer place for children with T1. Click HERE to read why we did it and HERE to read about the event and HERE to read some tips that were highlighted.
This was the start to what is turning out to be an incredible experence which I'm so blessed to be part of it.
In attendance at this information night were school board Trustees from both the Public and Catholic school boards in my area. Well... one of these Trustees (Shannon) she GOT IT!! She understood our frustrations, our concerns, our desperate need for help and change in the schools and she put forth a motion to develop a consistent policy for dealing with children with type 1 diabetes within the Catholic schools.
On September 14th a group of parents went before the Catholic School board and spoke in support of this motion. HERE is my speech.
Unfortunately the motion was deferred, it was a big hit to our group. We went in thinking who would say NO to this? These are children suffering from a life threatening disease in an environment that can become very dangerous to them. But they did...well kind of!!
We are getting a second chance to change the minds of the Trustees to pass this motion. On October 12th at 7:00pm I will be speaking with a wonderful group of type 1 parents to the board asking for a consitant policy for all Catholic School when dealing with children with type 1 diabetes.
We have implemented a letter writing campaign asking all type 1 family and friends to show their support for this motion by sending an email or phoning Trustees.
We have contact media outlets to inform them of our fight and the issues surrounding them. In fact on Tuesday morning at 7:15am I will be interviewed by CBC radio to get our message out. I'm so excited and so nervous all that the same time. More postings about this to come!!
Why do we need a policy... you might ask?? (even if you weren't here it is)
We have about 250 children with type 1 diabetes within our community attending school, We also have an epidemic of type 1 diabetes diagnoses within our community (the phrase epidemic was used by a nurse when Cara was dx with T1), Our children are now attending JK (junior kindergarten) and SK (senior kindergarten) full days. Which means we have T1's as young as 3 years old in school for a full day of school 2 days a week and every other Fridays. Our schools have NO policies for dealing with the day to day challenges that a child with type 1 diabetes have to endure. As of right now it is up to the schools principal and that child's teacher to implement what THEY believe is an appropriate standard of care for type 1 children. Some schools are doing a great job but most are struggling. Our school right now is AMAZING, our school last year not so much. I could probably fill a whole blog post with links of stories that I have share with the many issues we experienced. We do not have any emergency guidelines, there is no set education for teachers and staff to learn about type 1 children, there is no definition of the needs and rights of the students, there are no clearly defined roles and responsibilities for parents, students, teachers, staff, and administration. We believe that a consistent policy will not only keep our t1 children safe but we hope to elevate the stress and anxiety for teachers, principals and all school staff that work within the schools. Type 1 diabetes is a very complex and complicated disease and the more informed people are and the more prepared people are the safer our children are.
A very important aspect of what we are asking for is we are not asking teachers or any school staff to administer insulin or take on a nursing/doctor role for our t1 children. We are very lucky to have nurses come into our schools, we are only 1 of 2 areas in Ontario (I believe) that receive nursing staff who come into our school for about 30 minutes a day to administer insulin to our children.
Wish us luck on October 12th
and a massively huge THANK YOU for everyone's support... a post coming very soon about the wonderful people in my life who support, lift me up, have my back and walk with us along this journey. I'm so THANKFUL for all of you!!