Your Rights, One Voice: Lance’s Story

LanceFor the thousands of teenagers across the country who have diabetes, many are able to self-manage their diabetes care at school with no problems. Lance Paoli, of Maumelle, Arkansas, was one of those students. He had been successfully handling his own type 1 diabetes care at school for several years.

However, at the beginning of his sophomore year in high school, a new school principal started a policy that no longer allowed students to self-manage their medications or even carry their own medical supplies at school. All medicine had to be kept in the school nurse’s office.

Lance’s mother, Susan, knew that her son’s health would suffer under this new policy.

Susan met with school leaders, but the principal would not change the policy. She filed a complaint with the Pulaski County School District and, around the same time, Lance was also suspended from school for testing his blood glucose level while in class.

So, Susan contacted the American Diabetes Association for help!

She spoke with one of the Association’s Legal Advocates, who gave her information about the legal rights of students who have diabetes, and then she shared this information with the school principal.


The school principal reversed the new policy so students like Lance could once again self-manage their diabetes at school. The principal also dropped Lance’s suspension.

“I am so grateful for all the help I received from the American Diabetes Association’s legal advocate,” said Susan. “Because of this, Lance can continue to be medically safe while at school. Thank you for helping to keep all children with diabetes safe at school!”

The American Diabetes Association leads the effort to prevent and eliminate discrimination against people with diabetes at school, at work and in other parts of daily life. If you need help, call 1-800-DIABETES or visit

Through our nationwide Safe at School program, the Association is dedicated to making sure that all children with diabetes are medically safe at school and have the same educational opportunities as their peers. Visit our Safe at School website for information and resources.

Give the gift of fairness — donate now to help people with diabetes facing discrimination, just like Lance:

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This entry was posted in Advocacy, Family, Life with Diabetes, Parents, Safe at School, Stop Diabetes, Your Rights, One Voice and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Your Rights, One Voice: Lance’s Story

  1. edna sizemore says:

    I have had something similar happen to me. I work at a school and was told by the principal that i was not to test anywhere but in the nurses office

  2. Michelle says:

    I am inspired by Lance’s story! I will never forget the day, when I was in high school and I was called to the principal’s office. He informed me that somebody had found a bottle of Humalog in the school and that I was not allowed to bring medications to school without bringing them to the school nurse. This was back in the day when I had to go to the nurse every day before lunch to check my blood sugar too! I got so mad that they would try to dictate that to me. I refused to ever see the nurse ever again for anything diabetes related. Great job Lance, as well as his mom and thee ADA!

  3. cathy arment says:

    i can understand this policy for elementry school but by high school the young adults know how to manage there own diabetes and what if they cant get to there supplies in time this can be a very dangerous situation

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I trust my family member more than I would the school officials with her diabetes care. We’ve been in this long enough by now that a lot of the “experts” have proven they definitely aren’t!

  5. Jessica Marshall says:

    Thanks for sharing Lance’s story, I had a similar experience in my teenage years..

    What hurts me most is the constant monitoring and strict dieting, the guilt of not following my diet and the complications that come with it, the diaper bag full of supplies I need to bring with me when I go anywhere. It’s a lot to deal with!

    I really think we need to bring awareness to these types of programs, it’s the only thing that’s offered me a true glimmer of hope.

  6. B.J. Rassam says:

    That’s a great story about Lance, thanks for sharing it.

  7. Heather says:

    When I was in school any student diabetic or not had to go to the nurses office even when my home town had our old middle school up and running if a diabetic student had a problem and needed to get insulin and their blood checked they had to go to the nurse in the old middle school it meant going to the 6th grade building because the 7th and 8th grade building didn’t have a second nurses office so I am glad that some school districts around the United States are letting students do this cause I don’t think that it is done in my home town of Winona Minnesota

  8. Eddie says:

    That’s a shrewd answer to a tricky qutoeisn

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