A Minnesota school district denied one child’s enrollment into a summer program, arguing his diabetes would prevent it from caring for him.
The St. Michael-Albertville superintendent noted that there isn’t a nurse on campus during the summer program, which is why the school can’t take 9-year-old Grant Nieman on, reports Fox 9. When Grant’s mother, Katrina DeAntoni, tried enrolling him in the program, she was shocked his needs couldn’t be met.
“He’s pretty self-sufficient but he’s 9 and it just requires at his age, oversight by someone else to ensure that he isn’t giving himself too much insulin and result in an emergency situation,” DeAntoni said.
While the superintendent has argued that asking non-medical staff to monitor Grant was not a “reasonable” accommodation, DeAntoni insisted that denying her son entrance for his Type 1 diabetes is discriminatory.
Attorney Andrea Jepsen, who specializes in the rights of students in families, believes the school district has breached the law.
“It sounds like this is a school district that has dug in and doesn’t know how to get itself out of what I think is ultimately an inappropriate and unlawful position,” Jepsen said. “It’s hard for me to understand how a district can argue that it’s not in a position to hire a trained person or a nurse when the district pays an attorney.”
Jepsen noted that the district is legally obligated to provide accommodations for Grant, despite its opposition.
In 2005, a family in Minnesota's Anoka-Hennepin school district sued for the same reason and won the case. DeAntonio hopes the same will happen for her and her son.
Photo Credit: Screenshot via Fox 9