Bad day at my son\'s Kindergarten today
I have been on and off crying all day and feeling very depressed.
My son is in a half day Kindergarten school. So every day that he gets dropped off is immediately recess time where he and 59 other kids share the playground. During this time, the kids are allowed to have snacks. Today, I drop off Jacob and I see a huddle of about 5 kids around a table eating recess peanut butter cups. During recess, there is only 1 teacher on duty, and she is busy watching the kids on the play structures and oblivious to the fact that kids are eating. I immediately approach the kids and, short of wanting to rip the candy out of the hands and dump them in the garbage, I ask them to wash their hands. I then ask my son's teacher, who was on break, to make sure the kids wash their hands and don't make a mess. Still feeling very insecure, I decide to walk to the principal's office and talk to the principal. The first thing I say to the principal is, "I am feeling very worried right now." Then I describe the situation of 5 kids eating recess cups. Immediately, the principal becomes defensive and argumentative, saying that she cannot ban peanut snacks and that kids are allowed to have snacks and asked me if my son knows to just stay away from them and that there's no 100% guarantee that peanuts will not be brought to school. After defending my position of being concerned for about 5 minutes, she said she'd go check out the situation. When I followed up with her after school to ask her what she saw, she said the kids had all washed their hands after their snack with the "you had nothing to worry about attitude". She said the kids can bring snacks and no one can stop them from bringing peanut snacks. I asked if I can send a letter home to each Kindergartener's parent to ask them to not bring peanuts to school, and she immediately said, "No." Then, she seemed to relent a little bit and said that it's up to the teacher to do that and that she'll give the teacher the option to include a message about not bringing peanut snacks (her tone of voice was like no-promise, but I'll try). My son's teacher agreed to write a note, in her words, so I'm waiting to see what she says. I really hope she will convey the urgency of the matter.
What depresses me is the way the principal is so defensive and makes me feel like I'm battling her and being over-bearing. I can tell I'm on her "difficult parent list."
I don't think it's unreasonable to ban peanut snacks during recess when there are 60 kids sharing a playground and only 1 adult watching the kids. Thankfully, my allergist is going to write a letter explaining the severity of my son's allergy.
I'm not looking forward to this uphill battle. I'm so glad I have your support. The biggest problem for me is that this is so emotionally draining for me. I'm not a very confrontational person. PA gets me depressed and gives me trouble accomplishing day-to-day tasks, and the thought of the the special task I have ahead of me - convincing a resistant principal to do more about PA - is overwhelming.
By the way, what happens during lunch is that there are 2 lunch ladies watching 20 kids each. Jacob always has the same lunch lady watching him. The kids eating peanut butter sit on another table and wash their hands. I feel this is reasonable effort by his school to keep him safe.
All you Christians out there, please pray for me. I wonder how many PA parents out there have depression. Every time an allergic incident occurs, I get drained for a couple of days.