How I made a difference
After being unsucessful at controlling my daughters exposure to peanuts in her classroom and at her lunch table at school I filed a complaint with OCR (The Office For Civil Rights). I am very happy to say that after a few phone calls from OCR to the school board and a 504 meeting with a few members of the school board we now have an acceptable plan for my daughter that I'm comfortable with.
1. Her entire class is peanut free. A letter was sent out to the entire class stating that no peanuts or peanut containging products are allowed at all for the entire year. The few "resistant" parents were given a phone call from one of the school board members telling them that the must stop bringing peanut products in immedietly.
2. She no longer has to sit "segregated" (OCR used this term)
at a peanut free table from the other children in order to eat her lunch and can now be like the other children and socialize with who she wants at lunch time.
3. She is allowed to carry an emergency bag with her epipen from class to class and even outside to recess and lunch.
OCR has been very helpful and I know I couldn't have done this with their help as the school was VERY resistant to doing anything on their own. The only way things will change is for people to start filing complaints with OCR. The laws have already been passed. A peanut allergy is a "hidden disability" protected under the 504 Act and our children have a right to go to school without being exposed to peanuts. Any public school especially will be likely to rethink being resistant once OCR tells them the can get their federal funding taken away for not complying with the law. I hope this helps anyone who is having a struggle with their schools. On the down side people will be angry at you for doing this and think it's extreme but most parents of PA children will agree that it's necessary to protect our children however necessary because no one else will...
and if people don't like me for it then too bad.
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