Safe at School


1. Does California allow people who are not health care professionals to administer insulin at school?

Yes. A California Supreme Court decision specifically allows unlicensed school staff to administer insulin. A doctor usually has to give written orders for administering insulin, and the parent must give consent:

In fact, California law expressly permits trained, unlicensed school personnel to administer prescription medications such as insulin in accordance with the written statements of a student's treating physician […] American Nurses Assn. v. Torlakson, 57 Cal. 4th 570, 575 (Cal. 2013).

2. Does California allow people who are not health care professionals to administer glucagon at school?

Yes. California law specifically allows trained school staff to administer glucagon if a nurse is not on site at the school:

In the absence of a credentialed school nurse or other licensed nurse onsite at the school, each school district may provide school personnel with voluntary emergency medical training to provide emergency medical assistance to pupils with diabetes suffering from severe hypoglycemia. […] "Emergency medical assistance" means the administration of glucagon to a pupil who is suffering from severe hypoglycemia. […] All materials necessary to administer the glucagon shall be provided by the parent or guardian of the pupil. Cal Ed Code § 49414.5.

3. Does California allow students to self-manage diabetes care anytime, anywhere?

Yes. California law specifically requires schools to permit qualified students to perform all diabetes care anytime, anywhere:

In the case of a pupil who is able to self-test and monitor his or her blood glucose level, upon written request of the parent or guardian, and with authorization of the licensed health care provider of the pupil, a pupil with diabetes shall be permitted to test his or her blood glucose level and to otherwise provide diabetes self-care in the classroom, in any area of the school or school grounds, during any school-related activity, and, upon specific request by a parent or guardian, in a private location. Cal Ed Code § 49414.5.

4. Does California allow students to carry diabetes supplies such as needles, insulin, and blood glucose testing devices anytime and anywhere?

State law is silent.  As mentioned above, students may self-manage diabetes anytime, anywhere, but state law does not say where they may carry diabetes supplies. Cal Ed Code § 49414.5. Regardless, federal laws may allow capable students to carry diabetes supplies, anytime and anywhere. This may be necessary so that children with diabetes can access education just like any other child.

For more information, see the following helpful resources: