- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) - A Park City school district discriminated against a diabetic kindergartner for not ensuring a nurse was available to give her insulin, federal education officials concluded in a recent report.

The civil rights office at the U.S. Department of Education began investigating in November after parent Bridget Llewellyn filed several complaints over the care her 6-year-old daughter received at Parley’s Park Elementary School.

Llewellyn said that school district showed several times it was unable or unwilling to ensure there was proper care for her daughter, so she filed the complaints not only on her child’s behalf but with the hope that other students with medical conditions receive proper care.

Park City School District Superintendent Ember Conley said the district changed policies and added staff to address the complaints before the U.S. Department of Education was involved.

“I don’t think it had to get to that level,” Conley said. “I think it was a parent wanting to be heard in a different manner.”

As part of an agreement with federal education officials, Conley said the district will hire additional nurses and have substitute nurses available if there isn’t enough staff.

Documents from the U.S. Department of Education show the district regularly failed to have a trained staff member available to give the child insulin when the school nurse was unavailable, a violation of a plan to care for the girl that the district had agreed to follow.

Llewellyn said other nurses were eventually added but those nurses had her daughter test her own blood sugar, which the 6-year-old had never done before.

Her mother said the girl came home in tears.

“She said, ‘I feel alone and different because I have a disability,’” Llewellyn said. “I couldn’t get her to calm down.”

The federal report said the district also discriminated against diabetic students by requiring their parents to attend field trips and be on hand to give their children insulin because a school nurse couldn’t go on the trip.

Conley told The Park Record in Park City (http://bit.ly/1TaIPZ4 ) that the federal investigation and its findings will give the school district a chance to improve its practices.

The district must report back to the U.S. Department of Education to ensure that the discrimination does not happen again.

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This story has been corrected to show that the spelling of parent’s first name is Bridget, not Bridgette.

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Information from: The Park Record, http://www.parkrecord.com

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