Parents Complain Day Care Won't Give Insulin Shots to Diabetic Girl

Coppell day care denies it discriminates against disabled

In a case that raises questions about how far child care workers should be required to go in administering medical care, the parents of a 2-year-old girl with diabetes claim a Coppell day care is violating the law because it refuses to give her insulin shots.

"It could easily be fixed," Dave Campbell said. "The day care at this point refuses to budge on what we feel is right as parents."

Campbell's daughter, Caroline, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes about a year ago and requires insulin injections after most meals -- a routine so common, she doesn't even flinch.

In October, Campbell said he enrolled her in The Children's Courtyard day care in Coppell after workers there agreed to administer the injections.

"It worked for four months just perfect," he said.

Then, in January, the company told him it would no longer give her the shots because it was a "liability issue," Campbell said.

The group Disability Rights Texas helped Campbell file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, claiming the day care is discriminating against Caroline and violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law passed in 1990 designed to protect disabled people from discrimination.

"I think there's a good chance the Department of Justice will take a particular interest in this case," said the group's attorney, Susan Motley. "We are hopeful the law is enforced."

Lydia Cisaruk, Children's Courtyard Learning Care Group spokeswoman, declined to answer questions about the case.

But she did send an e-mail saying the company follows the law and makes reasonable accommodations for children with special needs.

"Our goal is to meet the individual needs of the child within the structure of our program while maintaining a healthy and safe environment for all children and staff," the statement said.

Campbell now leaves his job a few times a day and goes to the day care to give Caroline the injections she needs.

He said the day care is clean and its staff is friendly but he wants to see the company change its policy for his daughter and other children like her.

"Caroline does have a disability," Campbell said. "The day care does not have to alter their daily operation at all, and they've proved that from October to January. They did just fine."

Meanwhile, the same disability rights group involved in this case has filed another complaint alleging that the YMCA of Arlington refused to give insulin to a young boy with diabetes, preventing him from participating in a summer camp.

Sue White, YMCA of Arlington interim chief executive officer, said the organization is working to resolve the dispute.

White referred questions to the YMCA's Dallas attorney, Todd Hughes, who did not return a phone call.

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