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PA Son May Not Be Able to Attend School for 1st Week in Ontario, Canada

95 replies [Last post]
By on Sat, 08-30-03, 03:07

I never thought I would see this day. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] With school board policy throughout the province of Ontario guaranteeing PA children the *right* to a "peanut free" classroom, my son may not be attending school for the first week for the first time in FIVE YEARS.

I am absolutely beside myself. In working with two different school board districts simply on behalf of my PA son, I have never seen this. In helping countless other PA parents in Ontario get their children safely into "peanut free" classrooms in Ontario, I have never seen this. In speaking with many other Ontario PA parents I have never heard of this.

And yet, in the same school board district that my son attended for both Grade 1 and 2, he will likely not attend school for the first week.

Why?

A principal that did not read school board policy like any other principal has read it before and had very different ideas about what a "peanut free" classroom meant (peanut products could be eaten in the classroom, my son had to be removed).

And a superintendent who is tired of dealing with the PA issue, since he considers students as customers and there are not enough PA customers in this particular school board district.

Even with the intervention to-day of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Jesse has to remain at school until the details can be worked out between the principal and the superintendent and then presented to me. Then, I have to see if I even feel comfortable with what they present me.

I have a written school plan which adheres to school board policy throughout the province of Ontario. The principal to-day nixed every single point in my written school plan.

Would this have happened had I not been Nomad Woman? Damn straight. All he had to do was become the principal of the school my children were attending.

I am absolutely beside myself. I understand that in America this routinely happens and students may even miss months of school until things are figured out.

But this is the FIRST time I have ever heard of anything like this happening in Ontario, Canada.

My daughter starts Grade 1 on Tuesday. I spoke with her tonight and she doesn't want to go to school without her brother (makes sense since it's a new school).

You can know school board policy inside out. You can have a comprehensive written school plan that adheres to school board policy. All you have to do is run across one principal who is unwilling to deal with PA. And one that tells you that your PA child will OUTGROW their PA (even after you have explained the three anaphylactic reactions and how that has been blown out the window).

I am so worn out from the last three days of dealing with the principal and vice principal and even superintendent that I can't even cry.

So, lo and behold, even one of the resident *experts* on school board policies throughout Canada finds that it only takes one apple to spoil the whole bunch and your PA child is at home.

I'm ready to blow this pop stand and head to somewhere where there are more PA *customers* at the schools! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]

For everyone reading who do have children starting school on Tuesday, my best wishes for a good start to the school year and a great Labour Day week-end! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Thanks for listening. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By erik on Sat, 08-30-03, 03:27

Hi Cindy,

I don't understand. Has this principal never read the school guidelines from Anaphalaxis Canada? What's up with him... have you talked to Jesse's teacher? Maybe he/she is more knowledgeable and helpful. Anyway, maybe it's just Belleville, as most school boards in Ontario (ie: Toronto DIstrict School Board) have good guidelines regarding allergies. Keep us updated and hope you can knock some sense into him (or maybe just try another school if he is totally unreasonable to save yourself the grief)

[This message has been edited by erik (edited August 29, 2003).]

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By MommaBear on Sat, 08-30-03, 03:32

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]I never thought I would see this day.
[/b]

Not only have I seen it, [i]I've lived it[/i]. (Hard to believe when you read the text of ADA {as I reside in the US and am referencing a *US specific thing* and realize your child has a *disability* ---albeit hidden--- and covered under Federal Law.)

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By hannah mom on Sat, 08-30-03, 03:48

Hi Cindy
Wow, sorry to hear about this situation -- it sounds awful. As you say, we just don't expect this sort of treatment in Ontario. I hope it is resolved quickly and Jesse ends up with a safe classroom.
Sarah

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By domesticgodess on Sat, 08-30-03, 05:43

me tooo!!!!i am there with onario school boards and my child missed 2 months of school in my district(thames valley)there is not one(or so iam told)peanut free in my whole city(london)because as you put it "not enough customers"but i do know that there is alot of real estate to be had!!!what would they do if suddenly there were to many customers??lol,lol,lol!!!!to go along with the wholep/a my son needed a nebulizer that no one wanted to deal with.well my whole point is ,is my child has a right to an education and i have the right to demand that it is in a safe healthy enviroment.if you think about it these teachers princeples supers.ect....are the same people who would be the first to call the authorities if you were neglecting your child by not providing a safe enviroment at home would they not??when this was happening to us that is just what i did!!i called c.a.s on them!!!it may have been radical but i was at my wits end exausted and fed up.i am not trying to tell you what to do merely telling you what i did!!in the meantime i would really like to join forces with all ontarians and nip this in the bud!as school starts in 3 days i will have only 1 child home and some free time let me know what i can do from my end!

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By on Sat, 08-30-03, 06:03

Thank-you everyone for your responses. I kinda thought that I wouldn't get any because I've always been so vocal about PA children's *rights* in the province of Ontario and I thought people might have thought I was up on a high horse or something and deserved (although my son shouldn't) a come-uppance of sorts. Do you know what I mean?

I just know that I have researched school board policies throughout Canada re anaphylaxis and posted them on the board and had other PA parents help me, and I, in turn, helped other PA parents get their children safely into school. I am desperately trying to get in touch with one PA.com member to go over everything because I consider her *the* expert in Ontario re our school board policy.

erik, school board policies across Ontario re anaphylaxis are all basically the same. They may differ in wording only slightly. But I've received copies from all over the province and there is really not much difference to them at all. The school board policy I have here in Hastings Prince Edward district is basically the same I had in Simcoe County. But, it might be the time to get the he** out of Dodge anyway, as I said, where there are more PA *customers* in the schools!

I am also going to spend the week-end going through the 74 page Anaphylaxis Handbook for Schools which arachide posted the link for.

What I did learn to-day in speaking with one PA parent (another PA.com member) is that this type of approach (removing the PA child from the classroom and allowing peanut products in the classroom) was something that was done in the late 1980's and early 1990's when PA was becoming an *issue* for the schools.

This man was just extremely adamant and not willing to budge one inch. And, as I said, the superintendent is not being helpful either. It may be something that has to go even higher up in the school board district food chain, I don't know.

erik, the difficulty with me having Jesse (and Ember) go to another school is that I don't drive. I cannot have the school board bus Jesse to another school simply because I don't feel comfortable with the school. I have to be able to get him physically there myself. Now, apparently, there is another school that may be within walking distance, I would have to check.

In the Ministry of Education Act there are two things that you can ask for if your child is physically disabled and their disability affects their learning ability academically, an IEP or an IRPC. I was told point blank to-day by the principal that he would not even give me the paperwork to initiate that process because Jesse's hidden disability does not affect his ability to learn. I did say that if he was in a classroom where there was residue that he could react to, that would affect his academic learning should he have a reaction. Apparently, if I attempt to initiate an IEP or an IRPC, it would be a precedent for a hidden disability.

I have to say that the person I spoke with at The Ontario Human Rights Commission to-day was simply wonderful. He is hoping that the superintendent and the principal will get their act together next week. If not, then I start the process of a formal complaint.

Momma Bear, I completely understand where you're coming from. That is why I have always been so horrified at what my American friends have to do to simply get their children through the doors of their schools.

I believe through the years here I've tried to really figure out how things are different in America and hopefully be as compassionate as possible when we live in a country for one that seems to "get it" much better (no slight intended towards Americans - I mean manufacturers, etc.).

If I was American, I would still be posting about this as I see several other members have threads running to-day about their children not being allowed to go to school because of their allergy. But this is blatantly against school board policy in the province of Ontario.

If I was in another province, say, British Columbia, which has no policy whatsoever province wide, I could see a person from that province posting about this.

But, as I said, I have NEVER in five years of dealing not only with my own son, but helping other PA parents in Ontario and also just being in contact with other PA parents in Ontario ever heard of such a thing. I am absolutely aghast.

hannah mom, thank-you for your kind words.

We had a really long hard day after the meeting on the phone (including a phone call to the Housing Tribunal re our recent move - a legal matter and something that is extremely upsetting to me because I was devastated by this move in the first place) and we simply planned a fun night with the kids at home, which we did have.

I'll spend the week-end doing the necessary research I have to do which is basically refreshing my memory and getting in contact with a couple of Ontario PA parents.

But I haven't broken the news to Jesse yet. When I was presented with the thing about him eating outside of his classroom for the whole year while peanut products were allowed into this principal's idea of a "peanut free" classroom, I did ask Jesse how he felt about eating outside of his classroom. He said that he had never had to do that unless he was being disciplined for misbehaviour.

If this had happened from JK on, perhaps it wouldn't be as upsetting to me. But Jesse has been able to partake in school events and eat in his classroom for FOUR YEARS. In my opinion, this isn't the age to be making major changes like that (ostracizing him) when he never has been because of his allergy (I understand that there are other PA children that are and I honestly don't know how you parents deal with it or your child does). But to start this type of b/s in his FIFTH YEAR of school is simply incomprehensible to me.

If you look at the School Plan for Ontario Canada that I have posted here under Schools, the principal nixed EVERY single point in the plan.

I ran the breakfast program at the previous school. It was a "peanut free" breakfast program. By *rights*, I can request a "peanut free" breakfast program at this school because Jesse has the *right* to partake in the breakfast program as well. However, I'm at a school where all of a sudden Jesse's *rights* under school board policy throughout Ontario have been thrown out the window by ONE man and supported by another.

I had to visit Ottawa earlier this week with Ember for an eye specialist's appointment. We have to return at least three more times for her alone. I also found out this week that Jesse has been referred to a pediatric urologist in Ottawa even though Toronto is a closer trip for me.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't just start checking out the housing situation in Ottawa. We didn't have time for touring and stuff, but I have to say it was a beautiful city, much cleaner than Toronto (sorry, erik, and hey, sorry, Cindy since I lived there 'til I was 39) and perhaps there are more PA *customers* in the schools there.

I really appreciate the response everyone. I truly do. My heart is broken for my son. I know that he will take it in stride (he has always been really cool about *bad* PA news) but as I told the person from The Ontario Human Rights Commission to-day, I just wanted to be like every other Mom this coming Tuesday sending her kids off to school (now, I know for us PA Moms it isn't quite that simple, but you know what I mean).
But I won't be. I'll have my guy home with me and perhaps my daughter as well.

Thanks for the support. I appreciate it more than you can imagine, especially as I look out the computer room window and see a local Toyota Dealership's bright signage [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

domesticgodess, welcome! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] There is another member here that lives in London. I am not clear if her PA child has a "peanut free" classroom or not. I'm pretty sure that he does. I can contact her for you if you would like and see if she could help you out. I can't believe what you're going through.

I can't believe you called CAS on the school but you are right, they would do the same to us! LOL! My soul!

My best suggestion to you would be to call The Ontario Human Rights Commission and speak with the representative. They will ask you a bunch of questions and then they'll tell you whether they can call the school and school board superintendent (as they did in my case to-day) and see if they can resolve it that way without you having to file a formal complaint. Let's face it, no school board wants an Ontario Human Rights Commission complaint against them. I would do that. If you would like further information about that, please feel free to contact me at [email]cin44ca@yahoo.ca[/email]

Also, Katiee has posted in the Take Action part of the board about an Act that we have been hoping would be passed that would protect Anaphylactic Children in Ontario. You may like to read that thread and see the different people that you can contact with your concerns - just say you have a PA child and would like to see this legislation passed. Although it's probably unlikely that it will be passed with a provincial election on the horizon, it's worth the time and effort regardless simply to have our voices heard.

Okay, and now I have finally heard of a similar case in Ontario. I simply cannot believe it! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Edited to respond to domesticgodess who was responding while I was posting to my first three responses. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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[This message has been edited by Alternative to Mainstream (edited August 30, 2003).]

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By domesticgodess on Sat, 08-30-03, 06:33

you are probably sleeping lucky you!i would love a friend in london my son would too!

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By DebO on Sat, 08-30-03, 13:00

Hi Cindy

Sorry you are having so much trouble. In your situation, this is what I would do:

1 - Call the media TODAY. Get a news report on the local TV news that your child is missing school because of this.

2 - Continue to deal with the Human Rights Commission

3 - Go way over the Superintendent to the Director of your school board. I actually usually start there and don't bother with the Superintendent.

4 - I believe you have a lawyer from some of your other posts. Ask him about the possibility of suing the School Board for the emotional distress this is causing you and your son. Tell the principal, superintendent and director that you will be checking whether you have a right to sue or not.

5 - Call your local MPP (we are about to face an election here, you know)

6 - Call the Ministry of Education 1-800-387-5514. Since they won't be in until Tuesday send them an email as well. (you can find contact info on the Ministry of Education website). The Deputy Premier is the Minister. (like I said, we are about to have an election......)

7 - try contacting the Ontario Parent Council [url="http://www.ontarioparentcouncil.org/"]http://www.ontarioparentcouncil.org/[/url]
They are supposed to assist parents.

If I think of anything else I will let you know.

Take care

deb

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By MommaBear on Sat, 08-30-03, 13:40

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]

Momma Bear, I completely understand where you're coming from. That is why I have always been so horrified at what my American friends have to do to simply get their children through the doors of their schools.

I believe through the years here I've tried to really figure out how things are different in America and hopefully be as compassionate as possible when we live in a country for one that seems to "get it" much better (no slight intended towards Americans - I mean manufacturers, etc.).

If I was American, I would still be posting about this as I see several other members have threads running to-day about their children not being allowed to go to school because of their allergy. But this is blatantly against school board policy in the province of Ontario.

If I was in another province, say, British Columbia, which has no policy whatsoever province wide, I could see a person from that province posting about this.

But, as I said, I have NEVER in five years of dealing not only with my own son, but helping other PA parents in Ontario and also just being in contact with other PA parents in Ontario ever heard of such a thing. I am absolutely aghast.

[/b]

I, too, was "aghast". Jaw wiping up the floor, even. (When I initially experienced some very [i]similiar[/i] circumstances with my own child. (By now, many here on the boards might get a feel for how close to heart I hold similiarities.) Despite the fact that "Maybe it's just me". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Why was I "aghast" (WRT to my personal situation)? Because although you point out certain enumerated *rights* a child may have in a certain province related to PA. *Here in the US* there exists [b]Federal Law[/b] that is not just specific to one state (province?), but the entire nation regarding *disabilities*. Although I understand certain conditions must exist for the law to be applicable, as I understand it, it has the potential to be applicable in [i]every[/i] state.

No, I [i]don't[/i] believe we (the US) are behind the times. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] It's just that human nature might be.

Again, I absolutely understand the frustration you are experiencing at this particular time. I went through a school year of it, and at two different schools. One private, religious, non-federally funded (as far as I know), the other my local public school.

Physically, Mentally, Moral/Ethically *I* *****Personaly, Uniquely, and completely on an Individual Basis****** just couldn't comprehend or withstand it. The rest is history.

Really, Truly, and Honestly hoping the situation works out for you in the way you desire. I, too, have and am considering [i]moving[/i] to a different town if only for the ability of my children to attend a different school district (due to PA/Nuts/Asthma/etc). My oldest is currently homeschooled.

I just don't know if physically, emotionally, financially, we (my family) can withstand it. (Our current situation is *not so bad*)

MommaBear

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form.

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By erik on Sat, 08-30-03, 14:28

Hi Cindy,

I agree with DebO. Go higher in the food chain.. if the superintendant won't help, go to his boss. And with an election forecast for soon, call your local MPP and call your local newspaper.. they can do a story on this and that will put pressure on the school.

So this principal wants to allow students to eat peanut butter sandwiches in the classroom? Maybe it's time to get a letter from an allergist that states why this is dangerous and to state that the odds are that Jesse won't outgrow this allergy. Yes, DebO had a lot of good suggestions.

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By mae on Sat, 08-30-03, 14:30

Oh my gosh, Cindy! I've been too busy to be here much this past week - and I'm so suprised about this situation. Not a great start a this school at all. Have you found out about the other one within walking distance? I'd be looking into that, knowing that I'd be dealing with the principal/v.p. who won't budge, for the rest of the year.

Deb O. had some great suggestions. Contacting the ministry and your local MPP is where I would start - and if nothing was done I'd contact the media ( though this is a bit of a catch-22 - if they do a story and Jesse eventually gets into the school - how will he be seen/treated by staff, students and parents. Maybe it won't be a problem, but if parents feel they will be incovenienced by a *change* at the school - might not be a great situation).

We have a bull-headed principal as well. Stuck in the 70's or 80's and doesn't like confrontation. DS has a safe lunchroom ( though he is in Grade 4 now and continues to eat in the Grade 1 peanut-free room - because he doesn't feel safe in the larger lunch room) and classroom. There is one more PA student in his class - so his mom and I tend to work with the teacher more than the principal.
We just found out that 5 more children with food allergies are entering the school ( to add to the existing 12 or so) - so we are hoping to get the ball rolling on a few different issues.
I feel horrible for you and Jesse and Ember. Hope you get this resolved soon and that Jesse doesn't miss school next week. I've never been to Ottawa - but I've heard good things! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Take care.

[This message has been edited by mae (edited August 30, 2003).]

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By MommaBear on Sat, 08-30-03, 14:43

Quote:Originally posted by mae:
[b]
Deb O. had some great suggestions. Contacting the ministry and your local MPP is where I would start - and if nothing was done I'd contact the media ( though this is a bit of a catch-22 - if they do a story and Jesse eventually gets into the school - how will he be seen/treated by staff, students and parents. Maybe it won't be a problem, but if parents feel they will be incovenienced by a *change* at the school - might not be a great situation).

[/b]

Media and perceptions aside, and in light of what you state has transpired between you and certain individuals within the system..... Hypothetically, if your proposed plan (ie: you stated "I have a written school plan which adheres to school board policy throughout the province of Ontario."), the one you state was nixed from the get go (ie: you stated "The principal to-day nixed every single point in my written school plan."), was implemented and accepted today.......... [i]would you feel comfortable sending your child to that school and under the supervision of those persons?[/i] In light of what has transpired?

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By erik on Sat, 08-30-03, 14:52

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] would you feel comfortable sending your child to that school and under the supervision of those persons? In light of what has transpired?
[/b]

That's a good point. I guess it would depend on the teacher, as the teacher would play a significant role. But if the principal doesn't care, I would likely check out the school within walking distance for now... but I'd still contact the MPP as the election is soon and he/she may be more receptive than usual.

But knowing the principal's feelings, I would not have much confidence in that school at all as even if he accepted a school plan, he would most likely be an unenthusiastic follower. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

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By MommaBear on Sat, 08-30-03, 14:59

Quote:Originally posted by erik:
[b] But knowing the principal's feelings, I would not have much confidence in that school at all as even if he accepted a school plan, he would most likely be an unenthusiastic follower. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

[/b]

Howdy hey! (American for "[i]ya hey[/i].")

would you also say that where and how a parent chooses to direct their time and energy in such instances as this, for example, is [i]transitional[/i] to the event, given the limited nature of resources such as time and energy?

MotherBear [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

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By erik on Sat, 08-30-03, 15:18

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] would you also say that where and how a parent chooses to direct their time and energy in such instances as this, for example, is [i]transitional[/i] to the event, given the limited nature of resources such as time and energy?
[/b]

Yes.. I agree there is only a limited amount of time and energy available, and some of us may not have enough for this situation. With a principal this uneducated on the issue, it will take a lot so if the nearby school is a better option, I'd choose it.

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By MommaBear on Sat, 08-30-03, 15:18

Just curious.

Is there anyone in the healthcare professions in the school system you refer to that can [i]advocate[/i] for you and your child's behalf? Someone who carries that authority? A [i]liason[/i] of sorts?

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By erik on Sat, 08-30-03, 15:20

I am not certain, but I believe the local school board should have some type of medical professional on staff in their district office, or perhaps the local medical officer of health for the district? .. maybe contacting the board of education and asking about this would be a good idea too.

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By cynde on Sat, 08-30-03, 15:42

Cindy, I can't believe this. What cave did they drag your ignorant principal out of. I just don't know what to say except that I hope things get resolved quickly. Keep us posted.

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By on Sat, 08-30-03, 18:05

Thank-you everyone for your wonderful responses.

I have called the M.P.P.'s office and left a message for him to call me obviously on Tuesday.

I think what is really irritating to me is that I called the school on Wednesday morning. I called Monday morning before I left town for two days. The principal and vice principal were not in at the time I called Monday morning.

I had asked DH to call on Monday or Tuesday while my daughter and I were out of town but he did not make the call. When I confronted him with this and how it probably made things a *bit* harder on me having to make the first call on Wednesday, he said, Cindy, they probably would have chewed me up and spit me out while I was explaining the situation if you are having such a hard time with them. Why, I don't know because of the two of us, my DH knows his stuff nearly as well as I do and he can remain calm and diplomatic with people whereas I end up with long spaces of dead space in the conversation when something idiotic is said to me.

So, I started the process of calling on Wednesday and was only able to speak with the vice principal who is new to the school.

Both kids need their hair cut whether they're going to school Tuesday or not so I'm out to do that now and I'm going to take a walk to see how far away the other school is east of me. I checked on the map and it does look like it would be quite the walking distance but you really have to walk it to know for sure. Then, of course, I'd have to start the whole thing with that school as well.

This is one time that I am really kicking myself in the a** that I don't know how to drive because I would prefer that both children actually be attending the school that I posted about their policy on the board here.

The other thing that really ticks me off (can you tell that I'm just one angry woman right now?) is that in trying to find new rental accommodations over the summer, or starting back in June actually, we found that the rents have sky rocketed in Belleville for no apparent reason. There has been no work come into this small city that would justify rent increases of over $300.00 a month.

The house that I ended up renting to me is an absolute nightmare but it is a house with four bedrooms and a great backyard. The kids seem most interested in having their own bedrooms and of course we got to keep our dog. It doesn't really matter if the door to the bathroom is between my fridge and stove in the kitchen. It is an older home like the last one that we lived in, but with a lot of strange stuff that I have never seen before like the gas furnace in the dining room and the hot water heater in the kitchen.

Of course, then to find out that our old home is up for rent when it was supposed to be occupied by the daughter of the landlord has left me with an exploded head. I didn't want to move from that home as everyone here knows. I wanted my children to stay in the same school.

I do understand that even if you stay in the same school, PA can continue to be problematic. But to have to re-educate a school every year quite frankly is getting tiresome and extremely stressful.

My DH does have at least one year of college to complete here and then I really think that I will move out of Belleville and to someplace that is more PA accommodating.

Momma Bear and erik, you raised a very interesting question - even if I do, in fact, get Jesse's written school plan implemented with this principal at this school, how comfortable am I going to feel sending him there? To be quite honest you got me thinking hard enough that I am making the walk to the other school to-day.

Other points that totally shocked me about the school. There is no supervision of the children while they eat lunch. There is no supervision on the playground. There is a school population of 500 (up from the 300 at the school last year).

Parent Council at this school approved the eating of food on the playground. So, in effect, Jesse could be out on the playground with another child eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup beside him.

I have never heard of anything like it. We have been in four schools now (nothing that I am proud of) and none of the schools allowed food on the playground. Why this school?

The principal also said that there are a lot of parents in his school community that bake rather than buy store bought cookies because it's cheaper (although he didn't blatantly come out and say low income = pb). Now this comment I couldn't figure out because in my experience, I've actually found that in the short run it's more costly to bake then to buy - when you first have to go out and get the bag of flour, eggs, milk, butter, other ingredients. I am sure in the long run once you have all of your cookie staples it *may* be cheaper.

He did show me a picture of his four children and said that he was speaking to me as a parent. But I said, none of your children are PA. His children, do, however, attend a peanut free Catholic school in another town.

I am not clear what cave they dragged him out of but I know it must have been a cave that was made after my birth or quite close to it because this man was young. If he is older than me, I am quite surprised.

I thought I had had the Year from He** last year, both at Jesse's school and also just period. Then, in May month we found out we had to move. To end up moving into a house simply because it's a house that we could afford to avoid a crappy apartment (not that all apartments are crappy and nothing against anyone who lives in one, I just don't care for them) was stressful enough.

Now to find out that in the same school board district that my son has been able to attend school for the past two years in a relatively safe environment, it's not happening this year is just something that would send probably any parent that doesn't deal with PA and even those that do to the local psych ward.

Deb O., thank-you so much for all of the resources you provided me with. I'll work on all of those tonight after the kids go to bed or settle at least.

I did find out one thing that was interesting yesterday. Last year, there was an E.A. that checked the snacks/lunches when it was discovered that they had not been being checked three months into the school year. Then, her time was needed somewhere else and I trained another parent volunteer.
I remember posting here that I felt extremely uncomfortable about it and other members agreed that they would not feel comfortable with another parent poking around in their child's food or substituting food. Apparently what was done last year, not only by me, but by the parent volunteer that continued to check for the rest of the school year is in violation of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (I'm not sure if that's the correct title). What we were doing was basically illegal.

The principal said that he had no staff to check the food that was coming into the classroom. It was not a requirement of the teacher although teachers have done this in the past. He did not have anyone else that could do it. I offered to do it myself (although it leaves a sick feeling in my stomach) and he said that in order for me to do this he would have to send out a letter to every parent in Jesse's class asking them if it was okay if a parent volunteer checked the lunches. Can you imagine?

What they are going to rely on, since there is no lunch supervision is that another 8 year old will tell on a child that is eating a peanut product. Now I know Jesse would be able to spot a peanut product and tell, but can you imagine if he becomes the class tattletale? And why should he have to be?

I have placed calls to two PA.com members and PA parents (obviously) in Ontario and left messages to discuss school board policy specifically with them because in Jesse's written school plan it does say that SOMEONE is supposed to check the snacks/lunches.

I think I have come across a man running a large school that is cash strapped and he is simply unwilling to make the accommodations that he is supposed to make for my son. The thing that bothers me about this whole *hidden* disability thing is that if it were a child whose disability was obvious, there is no way in he** they could put up such resistance. And yet a child whose disability is obvious is not likely to drop dead in the classroom because of residue.

I really want to thank everyone that replied.

domesticgodess, I will contact the other member in London for you.

Oh, as far as advocacy. I called Anaphylaxis Canada on Friday and they were closed. I will call them on Tuesday and see if they have anyone that can advocate for me in this area.

I'm not sure about medical personnel in the actual school board but I do know that I could call Public Health (they were the ones who sent the literature out to the Breakfast Club Co-ordinators last year re PA that I posted about here).

And another thing that bugs me is that it is not like I left this 'til the last minute. It may seem as though I did but no one was in the school (administration wise) until this previous Monday.

When I asked the principal on Thursday if phone calls would be (as has been done in previous years to let the parents know it is a "peanut free" classroom) he wouldn't answer me. He actually would not answer.

I spoke with Jesse's principal from last year and she said that she made the phone calls as a courtesy (we met on the Thursday of the week last year) and that she continued to do so over the Labour Day week-end. But it was a courtesy, not a requirement.

I'm off to wander Belleville and get my children's hair cut so they don't look like ragamuffins (only Mom does! LOL!).

Many thanks everyone. My heartfelt thanks.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By on Sat, 08-30-03, 18:13

Deb O., also, yes, I will contact my lawyer. I already have an e-mail off to him about suing my former landlord for emotional distress and moving costs and am going back to Tribunal re that.

I'm also sorry that I didn't get the chance to meet you in Ottawa earlier this week. I don't know if you saw or not, but Ember and I will be there at least three more times and Jesse and I once at least, probably twice, so hopefully we can meet when I return to your fair city one of those times.
In the mean-time, could you start checking your paper to see if there is any affordable decent housing? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Only kidding. I can do that on-line.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By on Sat, 08-30-03, 20:56

I just remembered (I am sure I am blocking a lot of the meeting out of my mind so I won't curl up in my bed and forget about feeding my family) that yesterday in the meeting both the vice principal and principal asked me what my expectations of the schools would be when Jesse entered high school.

I told them that I wasn't really thinking about that now, I was trying to get him into Grade 3 and I would deal with high school when the time came.

There was a point in asking me the question but DUH!

There was something else, but it has blipped out of my head. I am quite tired. I *should* be lying down but I believe there are people to be fed and because I was in such a state about this house when we moved in two weeks ago, I still have a lot of unpacking to do.

Also, Momma Bear and erik, you had discussed time and energy, etc. I am quite willing to spend as much time and energy as I possibly can to get Jesse into school in relative safety. The thing with this year was that my daughter is entering Grade 1 and I have the opportunity to look for work outside of the home while both kids are in school. Now, I wasn't going to jump up and do that on Tuesday necessarily, I really should be painting the upstairs of my house since it is painted some horrid gray, but again, it's a situation whereby I can't be like every other Mom on Tuesday.

I have spoken with Jesse about him not going to school on Tuesday and perhaps for the whole week. He is okay with it. I asked him if he was angry and he said no. I asked him if he knew that what was happening wasn't right and that I was doing everything I could and he said that he knew it wasn't right but he was okay about staying home (now, in posting that, I'm wondering if that means he's actually scared and not saying anything [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ).

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By on Sat, 08-30-03, 21:02

Remembered.

The vice principal said something about *ownership* of the allergy which is terminology that makes my head explode even though I understand we're talking about a nearly 8 year old and not a 2 year old. I told her that Jesse had been reading food labels since he was 4 years old. (Right now, my bifocals need changed and I actually got Jesse to read a label for me in the grocery store within the last couple of hours on a cookie I have to post about although I think erik did and I just can't find the thread).

I said that *normally* at this age, I would begin to involve Jesse in actually meeting with the school to go over his written school plan but that the feel I got from the phone calls on Wednesday and Thursday suggested to me that it would be better off if he stayed home. I do know that he was with me at the meeting last year but he didn't participate in it.

I do know that I spoke with Jesse about the "may contain" clause which I decided to leave in (as if any of his written school plan matters to-day, this moment [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] ) and he wanted the clause to remain in as well. He just had an anaphylactic reaction in December month and I think it's okay for him to be being cautious even though he would never eat anyone else's food.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By Codyman on Sat, 08-30-03, 23:32

Cindy,
I can not believe what is happening to you.

What is the name of your School Board?

I must say that my daughter's school (and School Board) has proven to be nothing less than positive regarding her peanut allergy.

I went to my daughter's school August 21 and gave them pamphlets, video and trainers that I received from DEY and the principal was very happy to show it at the staff meeting this past week.

I'll reply more later I gotta go now I have a sick 4 year old.

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By erik on Sun, 08-31-03, 00:44

Quote:Originally posted by Codyman:
[b]Cindy,
I can not believe what is happening to you.

What is the name of your School Board?
[/b]

Yes.. never heard of a principal like this... hopefully if u go up a few levels you can get someone more helpful as DebO suggested.

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By Codyman on Sun, 08-31-03, 01:03

Cindy,
My PA daughter says that it isn't nice what the school is doing, she also asked "what if something (meaning peanut product) drips on a desk and he has a reaction when he is in the classroom?"

I would go to the Director of Education, since you said it was the same school board -- not school your son attended last year!! I would also send e-mails as Deb O suggested and send them daily -- even if it is the same e-mail, keep sending them until you get a response.

I don't understand why there is no supervision on the playground or why the "parent council" approved eating on the playground -- this is NOT a decision for parent council but rather an administration decision. Parent council's have strict guidelines for what they can and can not make "decisions" or rather "suggestions" on.

I'll ask some of my teacher friends to see what they have to say and see if they have any suggestions.

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By on Sun, 08-31-03, 14:47

Codyman, we're in Hastings Prince Edward school board district. We have had the same written school plan and basically the same school board policy (school board policies are not generic or uniform in Ontario but basically the same with only slight wording changes) in both Hastings Prince Edward and Simcoe County in Ontario.

I spoke with the other member yesterday who I consider *the* school board policy expert in Ontario (IMHO). Her school board policy is in another part of Ontario.

She confirmed that the principal was going against school board policy (she has physically seen a copy of mine from Simcoe County and the Hastings Prince Edward County one is basically the same, except, as I say, for slight wording changes).

Her advice to me was to be on the phone all day tomorrow to different people and follow the advice that Deb O. gave me as well and keep coming at them until it was resolved. She was even willing to come from a very far location in this province to speak with my son's school on my behalf! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

No, not tomorrow, Tuesday.

So, I'm basically sitting here, except for being able to e-mail people, until Tuesday when my son *should* be in school.

I continue to be ticked right off, but mostly right now I am emotionally exhausted.

The only hope I do hold is that Jesse's teacher, despite the administration in the school, "may" be okay. I've always preferred working closely with his teachers and have found that usually works without the administration being involved (JK, SK, Grade 1) but I do remember his JK/SK teacher getting in trouble for something re PA from the principal and she had to keep her distance from me because she would be in trouble with her boss. It was a really sad situation that I can't even remember the cause of because the woman was wonderful and caring and she knew what was happening was wrong but didn't want to lose her job on the other hand.

To-day, I'm throwing my hands up in the air and resting despite what *should* be done around here (it seems to be that the other adult in the house is having a relaxing week-end and I'm the only one working full-time on this so what the heck?). I also find it ironic that out of three people in my house, it's the 44 year old that goes to school on Tuesday and not the 8 year old and the 5 year old.

I have been thinking about whether Ember *should* go to school on Tuesday but she doesn't want to go without her brother and I can understand that because it is a new school for her. Now, if he was going to be out of school for months, obviously, I'd have to think differently but if it is for one day, two days, or the week of four days, I think she'll be okay out. It is heartbreaking though. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By on Sun, 08-31-03, 14:52

Oh, Codyman, no one was in the schools here until April 25th. I would have given anything to get this ball rolling earlier, especially when I know that some schools do send out letters in June month (that is, if you're not changing schools). Jesse's last school is trying to find the It Only Takes One Bite video to send to the new school. Sitting beside me at the meeting on Friday was his computer keyboard and mouse that the previous school had sent to the new one (he got this after another member here posted about her child having a reaction to residue on a keyboard).

Oh, and there are children eating daily in the library of this school.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By mae on Sun, 08-31-03, 15:06

Cindy- you mentioned that there is no supervision while the kids eat lunch or while they are on the playground. This shocks me! Especially with 500 children attending. I wonder who takes care of all the skinned knees and other injuries that occur on the playground ( at DS's school - same population- we treated up to 15 kids during they *play time* outside). What would happen if a child was choking, I wonder?

Do they eat in the classrooms? I attended a few workshops last year when I worked in our school's lunch program and was suprised to find out that some schools - even with supervisors, have the children eat lunch in the halls - sitting on the floor.

DS's school also allows food on the playground - something I want to see changed, but his principal is unwilling to budge. Luckily, DS plays soccer out on the field most days and few kids take snacks out there - not that they couldn't. I've often seen Reese's PB cup wrappers and granola bar wrappers in the garbage cans, but as DS gets older, he has become more aware, and avoids anyone eating a snack outside.
Keep us posted, Cindy! Hope you get things worked out.

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By MommaBear on Sun, 08-31-03, 15:29

Quote:Originally posted by mae:
[b]Cindy- you mentioned that there is no supervision while the kids eat lunch or while they are on the playground. This shocks me! Especially with 500 children attending. I wonder who takes care of all the skinned knees and other injuries that occur on the playground ( at DS's school - same population- we treated up to 15 kids during they *play time* outside). What would happen if a child was choking, I wonder?

Do they eat in the classrooms? I attended a few workshops last year when I worked in our school's lunch program and was suprised to find out that some schools - even with supervisors, have the children eat lunch in the halls - sitting on the floor.

[/b]

*Personally Speaking??*

[i]I'll take a liability driven society anyday.[/i]

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By erik on Mon, 09-01-03, 00:41

Hi Cindy,

With that principal you have, I see many problems. Hopefully your teacher will be more sensible and will be willign to work with you.

But considering there is no supervision in the school yard (who ever heard of this??) and kids can eat peanut butter cups in the school yard, I think there is a big problem.

Even if his superiors manage to make the principal ban eating in the schoolyard, who will enforce this. I can just imagine the principal walking around the schoolyard and seeing students eating pb cups, and thinking "who cares?"... and ignoring it... I can see him saying "who cares" if parents send M&Ms with their child's lunch.

You can fight like crazy if you want, but in order to preserve your sanity and to prevent getting an ulcer, the other school within walking distance sounds like a better bet to me.

Let us know how your meetings go this week. Maybe it's time to move to a bigger city such as Ottawa or Kingston where they are more in sync with the times. Good luck! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By on Mon, 09-01-03, 02:12

I was quite shocked that there was eating on the playground only because Jesse has attended two schools in Stayner (we didn't move but they built a new school) and this would have been his third school in Belleville. So, four schools so far (not this one) and I have never seen eating allowed on the playground. The reason that was in place (or that I was always given) was that there were children anaphylactic to bees. Also, think about the custodian having to clean up all that garbage/litter every day.

I have never heard of eating on the playground. And in Jesse's written school plan, it does say that there is to be no eating on the playground.

Of course, this is with the understanding that of course children in the older grades especially are probably going to sneak food into the playground regardless.

When I spoke with the other member yesterday, she said that her child's school does allow eating on the playground. Now, her child's school plan was the same as mine so I'm not sure if she has been able to have that difficulty taken care of.

The whole situation, even if Jesse is given the "peanut free" classroom sounds problematic to me. 500 children eating on the playground = increased risk to me. Children eating in the library = increased risk to me (I mean, my son).

All I can see and it's not even nice to say, and touch wood and all, but even after I get the written school plan in place, if I even can, I suspect Jesse will have a reaction at this school. That's something I could throw in their faces liability wise, but I'm not sure these people even care about liability.
I do. And I would not hesitate.

erik, I had thought when I was Stuck in Stayner that I had difficulties with the school because it was a small community. I remember another member from here contacting me and saying no, that's not true. And you know what? Stayner had a population 1/10th of the size of Belleville and yet by the time we left the principal was running a "reduce the risk" school and had seen her number of PA students increase from 1 (Jesse) to at least 5.

I really don't think the size of the community has anything to do with them "getting it" but it did take me a long time to understand this.

I think what has happened is I've run across an a**hole and that's it. And a**holes are everywhere. Even a move to Kingston or Ottawa doesn't mean I wouldn't come across an a**hole principal pulling the same kind of crap.

However, I think there may be some merit to the strength in numbers thing - i.e., more PA children, the school is more "accommodating" (I hate that word when it comes to my child).

The other school is a half hour walk.

I still have a lot of things whirling around in my head but I'm trying to figure out if there is any way in he** that I can get my kids bused to the one school that had a policy that was school specific.

I'd like to thank everyone for their caring and concern. I'm off to bed. I am quite simply worn out and know that I will be ready to go again Tuesday morning but it was very upsetting tonight even in the grocery store to see everyone else doing back-to-school shopping when I wasn't.

Thank-you everyone. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By domesticgodess on Mon, 09-01-03, 18:34

i am having a hard time getting an email to you!i sent it to the address you left but it keeps getting returned send it again only this time to [email]kathleen.s@sympatico.ca[/email] okay!!

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By on Mon, 09-01-03, 19:00

Just sitting here, hands kinda tied because nothing can be done until tomorrow and I'm really upset and angry. This has NEVER happened before. I didn't even pressure myself to do back-to-school shopping yesterday when the stores were open. Why bother?

I figure I'll be on the phone tomorrow all day but also have both kids home with me so I can go out and run errands.

And I keep thinking about whether or not I want Jesse to go to this school period. With children eating on the playground unsupervised and children eating in the library I just see increased risk.

Now, I know that this is what routinely happens to children in America. And my heart goes out to each and every parent in America.

But here? Now?

I was wondering if I presented my son as a huge liability to the superintendent whether or not he would agree to bus-ing the children to another school. But there is no precedent for this.

I remember when I came on this board and saw how many people actually did homeschool their children. Jesse was already in SK and in relative safety so I couldn't really comprehend why. Then, I read about the horrors that Americans go through to get their children safely through the doors and then what their children have to endure once through the doors. I began to understand.

But here, in Ontario, I never would have thought that a PA parent would choose to homeschool simply because of their child's allergy. It's against school board policies throughout this Province for our PA children not to be accepted through that door and guaranteed a relatively safe environment.

I have Jesse's written school plan, the one that the principal nixed every point on. The other member I spoke with on the week-end suggested that we go through the school plan again and each time he nixes a point, ask him for what his ideas are instead. She said that sometimes they do come up with alternatives that do meet our requirements and just ones that we haven't thought of. There are other ideas out there that may be acceptable. She said to just keep badgering away at him until he was able to give me a reasonable solution to each part of the school plan or give in to mine.

I need reinforcements here in Belleville tomorrow! Despite how vocal I am here on the board, I am not in *real* life! LOL! I do say what needs to get said, but not with much bravado.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By California Mom on Mon, 09-01-03, 21:08

Cindy, I only just saw this thread, now. I cannot believe what you are going through [b]now[/b]. I really don't even know where to begin. All I can really tell you is that I care so much about you and your family. It breaks my heart to know what you are up against. Hugs to you, Jesse, and Ember.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] Miriam

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By on Mon, 09-01-03, 21:46

California Mom, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

While all households are starting to get ready tonight for school tomorrow, I'm kinda sitting here now in shock, in total disbelief that my son is not going to school tomorrow. And wondering what I will be faced with when I start making phone calls tomorrow. And truth be told, even if I emotionally feel like making them (but of course you make them regardless).

All I wanted to do tomorrow is be like every other Mom, although a PA Mom so a bit scared, but get her children dressed in their new back to school clothes with their new knapsacks and lunch boxes and pack lunches in the morning and send the kids to school.

Then, I was going to come home and think about what colour to paint this horrid gray upstairs (I can see it out of the corner of my eye as I sit here and type and it is driving me bonkers). Might even have meant a walk over to the paint store and some peace to select colours. But no.

And so yes, that is okay, because we do what we have to do for our PA children to get safely into school. I would fight to the death for both of my children.

I'll never forget that walk home when I had the interview with Jesse's teacher for JK and she said that he would be sitting beside another child eating pb (this was before he had had an anaphylactic reaction to residue, which didn't occur until last December month). I left the school in shock and horror. (This was also pre-PA.com so I didn't know the difficulties my American friends have).

I thought, okay, Jesse doesn't legally have to go to school until Grade 1 here in Ontario. I'll keep my social, outgoing little guy home. But NO. No kept screaming in my head.

In the twenty minute walk home and now not clear if I stopped and had a coffee as well, I figured out there MUST be something. Yes, in fact there was, school board policy re anaphylaxis in the schools!

With great ease I called the school board, received a copy of their school board policy and my PA son was in school in a "peanut free" classroom. Now, it has not always been easy, but I certainly never experienced the Year from He** until last year, but he has ALWAYS walked through the door of the school on the first day of school. ALWAYS.

Grade 3 is an important year here in Ontario. They do province wide testing that is quite intensive.

And to top it off, for both kids, it's a new school so it would be kinda nice if they were starting their new school on the first day of school.

I'll keep everyone posted and I appreciate all of the caring and concern.

Charles Bronson died. My Dad loved Charles Bronson. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

I'll keep everyone posted tomorrow as the day wears on and the phone rings away.....

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By PeanutTrace on Mon, 09-01-03, 23:45

Hi Cindy:

As you know, I'm thinking of you and hoping for a productive day tomorrow.

Just wanted to clarify that our school use to eat on the playground before we arrived on the scene. ...but I was adamant that it could no longer continue once my daughter arrived. So, it was stopped immediately! I'm like you, there is no way my child can be safe with eating permitted on the playground, library, gymnasium and hallway. ...and there is no logical reason for this to occur. We live in an obese society, ...children just don't have to be eating everywhere!

You're not asking for too much! Stick to your guns!! I'll check in tomorrow to see how it went!

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By on Tue, 09-02-03, 00:28

PeanutTrace, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I really appreciate your comments about the playground. To me, even though Jesse will be 8 in December month, it just doesn't make sense to me to send him to a school where 498 other children could be eating peanut products right beside him unsupervised. I just have visions of not only the food, the kids, but residue (if one can visualize residue) all over the playground equipment.

I understand that Jesse is getting older and has to begin to take *ownership* of his allergy. I really believe that he has done a pretty good job of it to begin with.

I think being PA is quite enough for a kid. Now, of course, there are a lot of things that are a heckuva lot worse.

But going on a *normal* shopping excursion in the grocery store and passing product by product that you can't buy, for Lord's sake he just tried his first jelly bean, gum drop and ju jube this year at the age of 7, is enough. Being threatened on the school yard, as he was last year by other children in his classroom is enough.

I have the feeling that the superintendent will avoid calling me tomorrow. He had told the OHRC representative that he would get back to me within a couple of days. So, of course, that means me playing telephone tag with him. But my first school board district call will not be to him in the morning so that's okay as well.

I remember last year when I had the meeting with the principal. It was her first year at the school and I really got the feeling from her that she felt I was *telling* her how she had to run her school. In speaking with Jesse's teacher later that same day, I should have known that she would be the useless twit that she was all year because she mentioned cashew butter and some other stupidity.

But the principal, even though I felt as though she felt I was telling her what to do still didn't say NO to me about anything in Jesse's written school plan. She just looked at how the school could accommodate each and every point. One thing was picnic tables in the school yard and how they would have to be cleaned.

This feels like a diary thread to me of emotions. Right now, as I'm getting the kids ready for bed (always he** at our house), I'm feeling angry again. Angry that they aren't lying clothes out for school tomorrow and even angry that I don't have to get up early in the morning.

I'm glad Jesse took it in stride. He's a cool guy [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

PeanutTrace, thank-you again. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By on Tue, 09-02-03, 03:38

Time to go to bed but can't figure out where to start tomorrow. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] I've already been told by the OHRC representative that the superintendent will call me. I think I'll call his boss, as Deb O. suggested first. I have a call into the M.P.P.'s office so see if they call me back or if I have to call them back. Oh, and call the Ministry of Education.

I just feel tired again and confused [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] and extremely upset. Extremely upset.

I know I'll get up in the morning, have my two coffees and some filthy cigarettes and start dealing with it all, but tonight it just feels confusing, overwhelming and tiring again.

It's not like the a**hole principal is going to call me tomorrow and say, hey, where are Jesse and Ember? But his children will be off to their "peanut free" school (but in a really crappy town [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img] )

Thanks for continuing to listen. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By KarenH on Tue, 09-02-03, 04:47

Ohhhhhh Cindy. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] I'm so sorry.

My son has a hidden disability too-he gifted/learning disabled. While it's nothing like PA in that he won't die from it, I can understand the anger, the protective feelings. It floors me when people act like they don't believe that he is LD, and expect more of him then he can do. Or they insist that remedial instruction is the ONLY way, and refuse to adapt anything. People are so pig headed.

I agree with Deb O. Call the media. Call your MP. The Minister of Education, (Christy Clark?), get a letter from your doctor stating how eating on the playground, the library, and in the classroom are just downright dangerous. I would also consult with a lawyer.

I can only imagine how angry you are, and how heartbroken you are for Jesse. But you know, once Peg posted something on here that really spoke to ME in my fight for my son. It was something about not being emotional about it when you are dealing with those pigheaded people, just stating the facts loud and clear, and not backing down. My husband is always the one to get a bit irrational and start yelling, but the problem is that if he does that in our dealings with schools, our son is the one who will eventually be dumped on by the teacher. So, we are doing our best to be very firm and no nonsense, but not get emotional.

A mother is a force to be reckoned with when her child's life is in danger. This principal likely thinks that the PA children in his kid's school are a bother, and that to put the other parents in HIS school through the steps of not sending in peanut products is too much to ask. He should not be speaking to you as a parent. THAT is not his job. He needs to be speaking to you as a principal. Continue up the ladder. Document everything.

I have been at over 100 schools as an EA. I have NEVER ONCE seen kids eat on a playground, or in a library. Ever. It is far too risky to have children choke on something. Especially with no supervision-I would be upset-and I am a parent of a NON PA child. Not to mention the garbage factor, yuk.

Keep your chin up, Cindy. You can handle this. You're a strong, resourceful woman. And if it means you'll choose the other school, there's no harm in that. But before I did, I would check out their policy with PA first (you never know, the principals could be friends).

My son isn't going to school tomorrow either. Why? Well, I work at a school 40 min away. DH is going to school too-an hour away. I couldn't find before-school-care for tomorrow. I asked for the day off to take my son, who is terrified, considering the last two horrible years he had, and now it's a new school. My boss said no. Instead he wants me to bring my child WITH ME TO WORK. Isn't that ridiculous? Especially when a sub could be called, and I'd willingly go without pay? Fortunately we get out early, and I can take my son to HIS school for the afternoon. But geez, that's stupid.

Hang in there. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] We're all rooting for ya Cin [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By on Tue, 09-02-03, 06:34

Karen H., thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I really appreciated every word of your post.

While my DH remains the calmer of the two of us when we're sitting at home discussing PA, and would probably remain calm at the school as well, I was quite calm at the school on Friday. I didn't get angry. I didn't cry. I clearly stated my case as someone who knows their stuff (but not in an over confident way) and when the principal said something stupid (which was often), there was just dead space in the conversation.

I didn't go into other semantics with him, like how Jesse wouldn't be suited to the split Grade 2/3 class but better in the Grade 3 class alone.

When he spoke of his lack of resources (it sounds as though he has none, which I believe is a crock), I didn't question how one custodian could clean up a school yard where children have been eating every day.

When he said that his school yard was also a "public access" school yard because a local soccer team plays there, I didn't point out that at Jesse's previous school, it also was, with a local baseball team and how that was not problematic.

The man very simply nixed every part of Jesse's school plan and really felt that he knew more about PA than I did. I am not an overly confident woman in any dealings with people although I may sound like I am here, but I am confident in the knowledge I have about PA period and with my son in particular.

I can't sleep now. It's 2:26 a.m. I have asked DH to get me up when he's getting ready to go to school so I can get my coffee in me and write up my list of phone calls to make before the kids get up.

Here's the latest thought I had - what if the superintendent of the school board and the vice principal were deluged with e-mails from PA parents from not only Ontario but across America who want to help me? Is that something that could work in my favour? If anyone thinks so, please let me know and I'll be more than happy to provide their e-mail addresses! Seriously.

I'd like to say at this time, which I have in the past, that I appreciate each and every person who posted in this thread and every member of PA.com who has supported me through these trials and tribulations (some that should not have been at all - like this situation).

I called my Mom to-day wanting to talk about the situation. I thought it would be kinda okay if Grandma called her local media and told them how her Grandson wasn't attending school tomorrow. She had her nephew's wife there and wasn't able to talk on the phone.

I spoke with one PA parent in Ontario this week-end who helped me greatly (aside from everyone in this thread). I had spoken with another one Friday and have just left a message for her to call me tomorrow if she gets a chance after getting her three children into school.

What I'm trying to say is that I have received the most support and understanding about this situation here at PA.com and from members that I have become friends with off-the-board. Not family, not friends that don't deal with PA, but from PA.com members.
It is a wonderful thing. And I thank heaven for PA.com. It is in times like this that I see the true spirit of the board and recognize why I continue to come here (and not only when I'm having difficulties).

Thank-you to each and every one of you. Now, off to drink some more water (although why a middle aged woman who has had two children and has a bathroom downstairs rather than upstairs near the bedroom would drink more water is rather beyond me [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] )

Karen, also, I'm sorry your son isn't going to school tomorrow. Isn't that the most ridiculous of situations especially when it is a new school for him? That's why my daughter is going tomorrow, she doesn't want to go to a new school without her brother although the way they behave with one another at home you would think she'd leave him at home no problem.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By ryan's mom on Tue, 09-02-03, 10:44

Just ditto"ing" MommaBear's comments on the supervision issue. That is soooo totally scary to me and makes me wonder if this happens elsewhere in school. Liability issues galore... I would be concerned over so many things stated above, but most importantly, the principal's support on the PA issue, because he/she is the backbone of the management plan. Is this principal's head in the sand or what over protecting a PA child in school?

It's amazing how one person's ignorance can smother so many people's attitudes, feelings, and concerns, especially when working together is the easiest, compassionate, and lawful thing to do.

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By on Tue, 09-02-03, 13:26

ryan's mom, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Yes, it would have made sense for the principal to go the other way (and that doesn't necessarily mean meeting me on all of the points in Jesse's written school plan) than to do what he is doing. However.

I have called the Ontario Ministry of Education at 1-800-387-5514. Since I fall under the Ottawa branch, I had to call 613-225-9210. The person I was to speak with there, got his voice mail and left a message.

I called the school board and found out the name of the superintendent's box and lo and behold got a voice mail there as well and left a message.

I called Anaphylaxis Canada in Toronto and a very nice young gentleman named Scott took down all of my information but he has to give it to the Director to call me back. So another message left.

I called my M.P.P. back and although his office was supposed to be open at 9:00 a.m., I had to leave another message there.

I got the phone number for my local newspaper just in case.

Does anyone know what television affiliate services my area? I called CFTO in Toronto and it's not them and I know I'm not in Moses (or former Moses) land so I'm not sure what channel in Toronto the affiliate would be from now - either Global or CBC?

I have called my landlord re a plumber so I can do laundry in my house.

I am expecting a person from the water company to call me because my water smells and tastes mouldy.

So, basically, I'm sitting here waiting for the phone to ring (well, not this moment while I am typing on dial-up).

Will continue to post throughout the day.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By California Mom on Tue, 09-02-03, 13:39

More {{{hugs}}}. I will check in later to see what is happening. I will be happy to send e-mails whenever you feel that is the right thing to do. Maybe it would be better to see what you can accomplish today with all the "higher ups" you're contacting, before we hit them full force.

Best of luck. As my mother would say: "you need this like a hole in the head".

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] Miriam

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By erik on Tue, 09-02-03, 14:52

Hi Cindy,

I'm not sure which television affiliate services the Belleville area. The only channels I can think of out there are Channel 12 in Peterborough and Channel 11 in Kingston (I think they are both CBC affiliates). Maybe the local Belleville newspaper is a good option too, as they are probably interested in carrying local interest stories.

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By on Tue, 09-02-03, 16:10

So, by 10:30 this morning the only person I had heard back from was another PA parent in Ontario. She doesn't think the e-mail thing is the way to go because it would probably enanger the principal even more.

What she did do was check the Ministry of Education website and find out about the IEP/IPRC process that I was denied by the principal on Friday. He refused to give me the paperwork saying that Jesse did not meet the requirements. The superintendent told me the same thing.

However, Jesse does meet the requirements although me applying for an IEP/IPRC for a hidden disability may be a precedent (which I'm okay with).

I have to request the process in writing and will do so.

At 11:30 I began to re-make phone calls that I had already made and left messages for people. I was really hesitant about whether or not I was calling the superintendent or the school itself.

I called The Ministry of Education and got the voice mail of the person that I had left a message for earlier. He called me back almost immediately indicating that he was in a meeting but that he would call me back by about 2:00 p.m. to-day.

I called Anaphylaxis Canada only to find that the person I have left the message for may not be in the office to-day at all.

I called the boss of the superintendent (a Director) and got his voice mail again and left another message.

I then called the superintendent and got his voice mail. I left a message asking him if he could get back to me to-day with what was going on and saying in my most sugary syrupy voice that we had worked really well together for the past two years and I was not clear why things weren't going so well this year.

I received a message back from him saying that he was trying to reach the principal of the school and that he would get back to me to-day.

I called both the vice principal and principal of the school and was told by the secretary that they were both in meetings. I left a message for either/or to call me back.

And so I continue to sit.....

erik, if I don't have this resolved by the end of the school day (around 4:00 p.m. in my mind), I will call the newspaper. I actually think I personally would do better with the newspaper because I can't imagine being on camera.

And I have the big person in the house just leaving to make his second trip to the college to-day. In second year, he has to do a job placement thing and I have suggested that he try to find the job placement in Ottawa. Here's hoping.....

Continuing thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By darthcleo on Tue, 09-02-03, 16:22

Oh my.. and it seems this year is a disaster for the back-to-school bunch. I was away for a few weeks and I come back to a bunch of threads with problems! Yuck!

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By California Mom on Tue, 09-02-03, 17:43

Cindy, I am crossing my fingers for you. I'm sorry I haven't offered any concrete help, but it sure sounds like you are doing everything humanly possible to correct this horrible situation. More {{{hugs}}}, Miriam

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By KarenH on Tue, 09-02-03, 20:16

Cindy I have to post quick and haven't read everything cause I have to run soon...but something you said really made me sit up.

The principal stated something about lack of resources. Was this pertaining to them not being able to guarentee Jesse's safety because of it?

DH is studying to be a social worker. Check out the Children's Act, the United Nations Rights of Children, and the Human Rights act. This principal canNOT use lack of resources as an excuse to not provide Jesse an appropriate education. I believe that an appropriate education also means keeping him SAFE. It simply is illegal. If a child had epilepsy, and the seizures were life threatening, the school would be forced to provide proper supervision. I don't see the difference with a severely PA child.

Now I gotta go get my son [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By DebO on Tue, 09-02-03, 21:42

Hi Cindy

I have been thinking about you all day and can't wait for an update (sorry I was too busy to check the site earlier).

First, I really hope we can get together next time you come to Ottawa - I can help Katiee drive you around! There does seem to be a lot of awareness here, although our housing market has been pretty hot recently since the federal government is hiring and rent is probably higher than in Belleville....I would expect a townhouse to be in the $800 to $1000 range monthly, although there are tons of nice apartments which are cheapar and you may find a private home for a better price too. (just a thought)

I am pretty sure that our local station, which is very community oriented would cover the story if you want to contact TV - it is CJOH at cjoh.com.

Anyway, I have been thinking over another idea..

Right now the problem you are having is with the principal. The teacher may be wonderful, and the other parents may be supportive too - you don't know. If Jesse does not go to school tomorrow, why not ask to meet with the teacher after school? My approach would be that since he has to miss school since it is not safe for him, if you meet with her she can maybe give you some material for him to work on at home. While talking with her you can find out how hard things really will be. Even if the principal is no help, if the teacher is good you may not have a problem. She may be able to tell you if half the kids had in the class had peanut butter today, for example, so you will know what you are up against (or not).

Have you considered negotiating your plan at all? For example, in my school peanut products are not allowed in the classroom. The children eat lunch in the classroom. Children with peanut products (sandwiches, granola bars, cookies or whatever) have to exit the room and eat their lunch in the hallway. They are then required to wash their hands and face prior to returning to the classroom. My daughter tells me that only one girl ever brought peanut butter last year and it was not very often, but the teacher was rigorous about keeping it out of the classroom.

I also always suggest that I come in to talk to the children about allergies (I have posted about this before). I can give you my "script" if you want - it is sort of a question and answer session on allergies and we end by watching Alexander the Elephant. Any classes with a child with food allergies in it comes to the session (last year I had 2 extra classes besides the ones containing my own children).

I provide the school with my emergency procedure form with the children's pictures. I also give them a list of safe snacks to distribute to the classes.

Maybe if you approach the teacher she may also have some ideas about how to handle things. In the end the teacher is the critical person to make sure your process is followed.

Anyway, I have been thinking of you guys all day and hope you are making some progress.

take care

deb

[This message has been edited by DebO (edited September 02, 2003).]

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By MommaBear on Tue, 09-02-03, 23:27

Quote:Originally posted by KarenH:
[b]DH is studying to be a social worker. Check out the Children's Act, the United Nations Rights of Children, and the Human Rights act. This principal canNOT use lack of resources as an excuse to not provide Jesse an appropriate education. I believe that an appropriate education also means keeping him SAFE. It simply is illegal. If a child had epilepsy, and the seizures were life threatening, the school would be forced to provide proper supervision. I don't see the difference with a severely PA child.

[/b]

You got me thinking. I have some hypothetical questions.

[i]Exactly what would "proper supervision" be in such a "life threatening" case?[/i] Is a child's health expected to be somewhat [i]stable[/i] prior to attending school? ie: would a child with seizure disorder be expected to have a health record that is reflective of someone who has a seizure disorder that is somewhat controlled through certain measures? (Thinking "advocacy" and "safety" here.)

Also: If indeed a child is to attend school and has a healthcare concerns that fall outside "normal limits" (can I use that term?)------------- If the school is to accept responsibility for that child, would the care necessary, [i]or even possibly necessary[/i](preparedness) [b] have to fall within the SCOPE OF PRACTICE of the school[/b]? Or at least would the school have to hire someone to act as an agent of the school who can provide that SCOPE OF PRACTICE? Possibly in some cases through the process of [i]delagation[/i] where legally acceptable and legally allowed?

In addition, if the school was to hire someone, (thinking of funding/excuses) would it be more morally/ethically correct to spend money in a fashion that would benefit the system as a whole as well as the individual in question?

Anyone?

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form.

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By Codyman on Wed, 09-03-03, 01:32

Cindy,
It would be good for this to be in the newspapers -- would have alot of people open their eyes.
Good Luck!! Thinking of you!!

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