School personnel may administer insulin to students with diabetes under the proper circumstances, California’s highest court ruled last week. The court rejected arguments from nursing groups that state rules allowing nonmedical school workers to give insulin condoned on unauthorized nursing practice.
The unanimous decision by the California Supreme Court has implications for students with special education or treatment plans under federal disabilities laws. The Obama administration filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case arguing that schools may use lay personnel to administer insulin when complying with a student’s plan.
The California court held that state 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 and parents.”
A version of this article appeared in the August 21, 2013 edition of Education Week as Court: School Staff Can Administer Insulin