Safe at School

Legal Protections

Families, health care providers and school nurses, administrators, teachers and other school staff are all committed to ensuring that students with diabetes can learn in a safe environment with the same educational opportunities as students without diabetes.

The development of a written accommodations and care plan developed under federal disability law—such as a Section 504 Plan or Individualized Education Program (IEP)—is the best way to ensure that your child's diabetes needs are met.

State law

This information was prepared by the ADA, a national leader in diabetes information and advocacy. It covers state rules on diabetes care in public schools, and may not include all the important details. We strive to be constantly up to date, but laws can change. It is not a substitute for professional legal advice. If you need more information or help, email or call us at 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383). We have experienced legal advocates who are here to help.

Some states give more protections, or give helpful guidance on how to best provide diabetes care in the school setting. Learn about your state’s laws and resources here:

Sometimes, state rules are complicated and make it unclear about who can provide care at school. Remember that your child still has rights under federal law, regardless of what state law says.

Federal Laws

Federal and some state laws protect students with diabetes and their families against discrimination at school. These federal laws include:

Americans with Disabilities Act

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504 is a federal civil rights law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that requires states to provide a "free, appropriate public education" to children with disabilities.