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Duval County School Board approves change to diabetic student policy

11:42 PM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's victory for one First Coast mom whose son lives with diabetes. After five years, her fight to change the Duval County Public Schools policy is over.

Tracy Milligan's 10-year-old son, Jared, lives with type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed at age 4.

"It's definitely a challenge," she said.

He manages a pump to administer his insulin 3 times a day. He checks his glucose levels several times a day.

"It's extra work that he has to take care of while he's at school," she explained. "Checking his blood sugar when he's not feeling well or before he eats anything."

Starting in 2007, when he was a kindergartener, Tracy went to his school to help him with his daily insulin for two years.

"It was difficult to have to go at least once a day. Sometimes I had to go more," she explained.

The previous district policy limited where a diabetic student could attend school, based on trained staff availability to provide care.

Tracy, along with the American Diabetes Association, fought for change.

"He shouldn't have to go to another school simply because he has diabetes," she said.

Now, in 2013, her fight is over. The Duval County School Board approved a new policy stemming from 2010 Florida House bill 747 passage.

"It's been a long road, but I knew we would eventually get the policy changed," Tracy said.

Students with diabetes can stay in their schools. With written permission from a doctor and a parent, students like Jared can carry their needed medication and equipment on their person.

"I'm pretty happy that she doesn't have to come all the way from work anymore," Jared said, speaking about his mother. "To give me insulin and check my blood sugar."

"It's a victory for all of the students with type 1 diabetes here and in the future," Tracy said.

First Coast News asked Tracy how much all of this cost her. She said not a penny. She told FCN that various diabetes groups covered the cost of her legal fees. A school district spokesperson confirmed the policy approval to FCN.

First Coast News is awaiting more information on how this specifically impacts your children.


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