Upland, CA—November 10, 2017— A landmark settlement to make Upland Unified
School District safer and more accessible for students with diabetes was approved by
Judge R. Gary Klausner earlier this week. This civil rights victory was negotiated with
the Upland Unified School District by Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) and Foley &
Lardner LLP (Foley) on a pro bono basis.
Filed in September 2016, the lawsuit (V.N. v. Upland Unified School District, et al.)
alleged that Upland Unified School District failed to appropriately accommodate the
needs of an 11-year- old girl with type 1 diabetes in violation of federal and state
disability laws, including Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act, California Government Code § 11135, and the Unruh Civil Rights
The lawsuit alleged that the District’s discriminatory actions included providing
“haphazard” and unreliable nursing coverage, refusing to allow for storage of the
student’s prescribed life-saving medications on campus, failing to train staff, excluding
her from school, and failing to create proper policies and procedures to address the
needs of students with diabetes within the District, including during emergency
Under this agreement, the District must change how it treats students with diabetes.
Among other things, the settlement requires the District to create a Diabetes Handbook
that contains a series of policies and protocols designed to train and inform District
employees on the best practices and methods for providing care for students with
diabetes, to properly account for students with diabetes in emergency planning, and to
designate at least three on-site staff who are specially trained in diabetes care and
management at each campus where a student with diabetes attends school. These
changes will have a positive impact for every student with diabetes who attends school
in the Upland Unified School District.
In addition to improving the educational experience of students with diabetes within the
District, this settlement may save lives. John J. Atallah of Foley & Lardner explains,
“Because of this settlement, students with diabetes have a chance to be successful in
school without having to worry about whether their medical needs will be appropriately
Maronel Barajas of DRLC says, “This agreement helps to ensure that students with
diabetes are provided with appropriate accommodations and services for their diabetes
care, and are no longer segregated in or restricted in their attendance at the District,
solely due to their disability.”
The plaintiff is represented by Kimberly Klinsport and John Atallah of Foley & Lardner
LLP and Maronel Barajas and Anna Rivera of the Disability Rights Legal Center. The
case is V.N. v. Upland Unified School District, et al., Case No. 5:16-CV- 1958-GHK
(KKx) in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California.
About Disability Rights Legal Center
Founded in 1975, Disability Rights Legal Center is the nation’s oldest national non-profit public interest cross-
disability law center. Its mission is to champion the rights of people with disabilities through education, advocacy
and litigation. To read more about DRLC visit drlcenter.org.
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Maronel Barajas, Director of Litigation, Disability Rights Legal Center:John J. Atallah, Associate, Foley & Lardner: