According to the Indiana State Department of Health, at least 36 percent of boys and 32 percent of girls are overweight by the eleventh grade - over 22 percent and 15 percent are obese! The frequency of childhood obesity in Indiana increases the likelihood of childhood diabetes. Accordingly, in 2007, the Indiana General Assembly passed a new law, effective July 1, 2007, requiring all public schools, including charter schools, to implement a diabetes care program for students with diabetes.
Under the new law, each school must obtain a "diabetes management plan" for each diabetic student. The diabetes management plan, prepared by the student's licensed health care practitioner and parent or legal guardian, identifies the student's medical needs and ability to manage his/her health condition. Each school's nurse must also execute an "individualized health plan" for students with diabetes. The individualized health plans should be implemented by the school nurse with assistance from school employees who volunteer to participate as volunteer health aides. All school nurses and volunteer health aides are required to participate in training provided by the state department of health and/or the school.
Each school has the duty to secure an adequate amount of volunteer health aides as well as signed authorization from the parent or legal guardian of a diabetic student regarding care by a volunteer health aide. So long as the necessary authorization is obtained, volunteer health aides are immune from civil liability for assisting in a student's diabetic care. Schools are prohibited from punishing any school employee who declines an invitation to be a volunteer health aide or restricting a student's school assignment based upon availability of volunteer health aides.