Health

New Mexico School Reportedly Tells Girl She Can't Attend Field Trip Because Of Her Diabetes

| by Karin Sun

A New Mexico mother is furious after her daughter was reportedly banned from a school field trip because of her diabetes.

Dennasia Cordova of Mora, New Mexico, said that she was left out of a science field trip that her classmates went on in early November because of her health issues, KRQE News 13 reports.

Cordova's class at Mora High School went on a trip to nearby Watrous, New Mexico, to look at beaver dams, but she was reportedly told that she couldn't accompany them because of her diabetes.

The superintendent of the school district sent a letter home to the teen's mother, Connie Chavez, explaining that her daughter was being excluded because school staff would not be able to accommodate her medical needs during the trip.

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The school was also concerned that they would not be able to call for help in the event that Cordova has a medical emergency, since the class was going to a remote area with a weak cellphone signal.

Chavez said the school's decision was unfair to her daughter, who has lived with Type 1 Diabetes her whole life.

"She should have every right, like every other child," Chavez told KRQE. "She shouldn’t be treated any differently because of diabetes."

She added that the school did not offer an alternative assignment for her daughter to do while her classmates are on the field trip, so Cordova just had to stay home from school that day.

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The school has reportedly marked the missed day as an unexcused absence.

"If it’s going to be part of my grade, how am I going to make up the grade?" Cordova said. "And it just puts more stress on me."

The superintendent reportedly clarified in the letter that Cordova would be permitted to go on the field trip if her mother was willing to chaperone. However, Chavez was not able to attend.

Chavez said that school staff should have worked with her daughter's needs as they do every day while she is at school.

"It’s like my child has to accommodate their needs, not them her needs," Chavez said.

She added that she was "mad" because this wasn't the first time her daughter was excluded from something at school because of her condition.

About 29.1 million people, or 9.3 percent of the population, in the U.S. has some form of diabetes, according to statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014. 

Sources: KRQE News 13, CDC / Photo credit: Bernd Moehle/Wikimedia CommonsH. Michael Miley/Wikimedia Commons