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Middle School teacher handing out pb cookies to the kids in my sons classroom,WHY?

My 11 year old son, doesn't want to go to Middle school anymore and has had 2 reactions at school, in less than 2 weeks. He has been with this School District for 3 years. Don't know what to do. The school nurse (District Nurse) has assured me that all of the staff members know of any special considerations with the students, and had a highlighted list, especially if the child is in their class. A couple of weeks ago, they were selling a pb/jelly item on the alacarte, which a good amount of the kids love and were eating, including out at recess, he couldn't get away from it, they never have had a peanut free table for him, they told him that he just needs to move if somebody sits next to him eating nuts. I contacted the principal and this item, after quite a struggle was finally removed from lunch. Then just 9 days later my sons teacher handed out peanut butter cookies to each of the kids in the Art class as they were walking in, and offered one to my son, he then told her NO, I AM ALLERGIC, she said she didn't know that, and he then had to leave the classroom and went to the library. He then broke out in hives and felt short of breath. Needless to say he will not be going to school tomorrow. Obviously the nurse didn't inform the teachers of his severe nut allergy. What do we have to do to feel safe at school. The nurse didn't even call me/art teacher, although she was aware because she called my son in the Library. The nurse also said he only needs one epi-pen, and said 2 isn't necessary. She also said she thinks that some of these doctors/allergist just overexhaggerate. Anybody else run into anything like this. My son just wants to be able to feel safe, but now is scared to go, and will that classroom be cleaned thoroughly???

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By Nutsnonuts on Sun, 08-17-14, 08:27

I moved and purchase the house where peanuts / tree nuts free school district is. It was not easy financially. But it's worth it for us. School before was just like what you describe. I Made them to make peanuts free table. But then they remove the table sign as my son finish the Lunch. District have to understand that need for peanuts allergy otherwise everything they do will be just surface and temporary.
You might want to discuss with superintendent about 504.

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By lovebug99 on Fri, 08-15-14, 15:21

My mom always sets up a meeting with all of my teachers every school year. This meeting was mandatory because teachers don't know how serious peanut allergies can get. She ran through everything with the teachers and made sure they got the deal. Also, at my school they even had a peanut butter and jelly drive. Crazy right?! Sometimes people just don't understand. Having a meeting with all your kids teachers with the principal sitting in may help. It's always worked for me.

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By stressedmommy on Tue, 10-22-13, 01:56

Let me first say that I am so sorry that you and your son are having to deal with this.
As someone has mentioned, a 504 would cover his peanut allergies. It sounds like you have done a great job of teaching your son about his allergies.
With that said. Our son has had multiple severe food allergies since he was about 20 months old. We attempted to place him in a public middle school 3 years ago (he is now 14). After meeting with the principle who told us he could not have his epi with him (but it could stay two buildings away at the office) and he needed to "learn to deal" with peanuts when I inquired about talking to the art teacher about not using peanut products in art (yes this has been a problem in the past). I asked about allergy free tables and was informed they did not do this. After about 30 minutes, he told me "In my 30+ years of being a school principle you are the first parent to ask for special accommodations for an allergic child.." because I wanted my son to continue keeping his epi pen ON HIM as he had for as long as he could remember. My son cried for days. He was terrified because this man just did not seem to "get" it.
We put him in a charter school the next town over which was much more understanding and educated about allergies (all the teachers were trained in epi pens, no food of any kind in the classrooms, etc).
Yes, I could have pushed for accommodations, but I felt my son's allergies were too severe to chance exposure.
It is always a constant battle to teach educators about his allergies. As I said he is now 14 and this year HE did the demonstration class we do EVERY year with ALL his teachers on how to use an epi pen (and now an auvi-q). And he just returned for a 4 night trip with his class...all chaperons (no parents allowed) were trained on the auvi-q and were very supportive of his special needs...no nuts or peanuts on the bus or in the rooms. So, some schools are more willing to work with you.
Best of luck on whatever you decide to do.

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By jap on Tue, 10-22-13, 01:02

WILL BE QUICK
JUST WALKED IN THE DOOR
AN ALLERGY CHILD FALLS UNDER A 504 DISABILITY PLAN

A CARE PLAN MUST BE IN ACTION BY THE SCHOOL, PEANUT FREE TABLE REQUIRED WITH BUFFER TABLES

NO PEANUT PRODUCT SHOULD BE IN HIS PLACE OF LEARNING IE CLASSROOM , EVEN IF SCHOOL IS NOT PEANUT FREE. ESPECIALLY HE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO LEAVE CLASSROOM AND 2 EXPOSURES IS VERY DANGEROUS AND SHOWS A LACK OF CARE.YOUR CHILD SHOULD NOT MISS OUT DUE TO ILNESS, DO THEY BAN THE CHILDREN IN WHEEL CHAIRS ??????

GO TO YOUR DOCTOR GET AN ORDER FOR SECOND EPI PEN TO BE GIVEN AFTER 5 MINUTES WHICH IS WHAT THE EPI SITE RECOMMENDS, REMEMBER THE GIRL AT CAMP WHO DIED HAD THREE GIVEN

MY DAUGHTERS PLAN ALSO BANS PEANUT FROM HER CLASSROOM AND NO TEACHERS ARE ALLOWED TO OFFER HER FOOD OR EAT PEANUT IN CLASSROOM

IF SHE INGESTS A PEANUT SHE IS NOT MOVED FROM CLASSROOM EPI GIVEN + BENADRYL AND VENTOLIN THEN 911 5 MINUTES LATER ANOTHER EPI AND SHE IS NEVER LEFT ALONE.

SOUNDS LIKE YOUR SCHOOL SYSTEM IS CLUELESS, MAKE THEM WORK FOR YOU, DRAW UP THE PLAN WITH A DOCTOR MY DAUGHTER IS 15.5 AND NEVER HAD A PEANUT EXPOSURE IN 14 YEARS

JULIAN

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By joshmom on Mon, 10-21-13, 12:49

I am really sorry that your son is going through this. Some people can be really insensitive. My son is 22 years old, and we discovered he was allergic to peanuts when he was 3 years old.

A lot of people don't understand the seriousness of peanut allergies, and will be very non-chalant about it. The school that he attended for early childhood, was well educated and the made sure that his classroom was a peanut-free classroom. I had him repeat kindergarten. For 3 years he attended a private school. I had a good repore with the teachers and Head of School, and was able to educate them on the seriousness of PA. If someone brought PB&J to school, his teacher would let him eat in the classroom, and she and another child would eat with him so that he wouldn't be alone. In 3rd grade I registered him back in public school. I wrote a letter to the school board, cc'd the principal and his teacher. The principal thanked me for sending the letter, and she said that she had no idea how serious it was. Another teacher who was the lunchroom teacher told us that although my son asked to be moved whenever someone at his table ate PB&J, she did not know it was that serious. The Principal told her that since my son had a very good behavior, she wouldn't see any reason for him to lie about it. The lunchroom teacher said that sometimes he would go and sit at a table alone, because she noticed that he would get sick from the smell(wheezing). The school nurse suggested that he not be in the cafeteria at all when children are eating PB&J or anything containg PB.

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By headfirstfearless on Mon, 10-21-13, 07:19

Okay, I may be playing devil's advocate here and I don't want to come off as insensitive because that is definitely NOT where I am coming from. I am just speaking from my own experience and want to give you what I consider reality. I am 24 and have had a severe, life-threatening allergy to peanuts since the age of 2. I have carried two Epi-Pens for as long as I can remember and learned to read at a very young age for the sole reason of being able to read ingredient labels on my own. When I started school, nearly twenty years ago, the schools had no idea about peanut allergies or how to handle them yet. No one understood that I could still have a reaction via other ways of contact and not just by eating peanuts. Few had heard of Epi-Pens. My mom did a great deal of education with the school nurse, principal, and my teachers, just as you have. Schools do have an obligation to provide a SAFE environment for all of the children they serve. Your son's school is clearly not doing an adequate job of accomplishing this for your son and it does need to be addressed. However, at some point, you and your son will need to figure out how he is going to handle his peanut allergies out in the real world. Colleges, universities, and workplaces have very little control over their environments and in most cases, cannot and/or will not accommodate allergies. This can present a huge challenge on a daily basis (believe me, I know!) but it's reality. Unfortunately, the world cannot accommodate peanuts allergies. It sounds like your son is already hyper-vigilant, which will of course help him as he gets older and enters new environments and encounters new experiences. Best of luck...

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By Mrsdocrse on Mon, 10-21-13, 10:00

I couldn't agree more. Well said. That is the reality.... this is not a peanut free world. Everywhere we go, there is a risk... grocery store, amusement parks, malls, etc. It is what it is. I tell my son now that he is older is that HE needs to take care of himself.... Control what you can control and make sure you wash your hands often and never go anywhere without your Epi-pen.

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By pamela hughes on Mon, 10-21-13, 01:40

Wow - I am so sorry. Your son's school clearly does not understand or is not compassionate toward his PA. I have had to pave the way at Preschool, Elementary and now are working with a new elementary too. They have been wonderful, but there is no fail safe - so I really empathize with the response you are getting. It's hard enough when they have a wonderful attitude and things still pop up. I have 2 recommendations to consider:
* Having a brief meeting with facts about PA and a Q&A time in case they really aren't clear on the severity. I would be sure your biggest advocate teachers are at that meeting - it is crucial. It's amazing how people influence each other.
* If that is not successful, I would look into other schooling options.
That may sound extreme, but I have found the worst trap for me mentally is when I feel like there is no hope or no option. Sometimes just looking at all your possibilities can give you renewed hope and new ideas. It may also encourage your son as you go through this time together.
Hang in there and make friends with as many sweet people who understand as you can. They not only encourage you, they may be the "other voices" that talk sense into the powers that be. And remember you are doing a great job protecting your child as you let him live life well. Not everyone will agree-but you can know you're doing your job. :)

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By LMT480 on Mon, 10-21-13, 01:00

While a 504 plan is absolutely essential, it isn't always the complete answer. The staff has to follow it, but it doesn't help their attitude, especially if they don't "get it." I had to pave the way at my daughter's elementary school 9 years ago and it wasn't easy, but at least everyone was open to learn. It sounds to me like you need to change schools if at all possible. If the nurse isn't on your side you are going to be fighting an uphill battle.
They didn't have room for a peanut free table in the very small cafeteria will very long tables, but they placed a small table right outside the doors. At first I thought it would be horrible for her, but it turned out to be a highlight of her day. In the beginning of the year they sent home letters to the kids in her class asking if they wanted to sign up to be lunch buddy of the day. If they agreed then a calendar was made at the beginning of each month assigning them as a buddy. They got to be line leader that day and some other special priviledges. They had to bring a peanut free lunch that was inspected by the nurse, and then they got to sit with my daughter at the special table for that lunch. It was near the principals office so she always managed to stop and say hi. The kids all thought it was such a treat. As for the classroom, that was peanut free, but I kept a box of her special treats filled so she always had something really fun to eat in case of a party. She didn't eat anything brought in by anyone, unless it was cleared by me first. It was a learning experience for the school as well as for me, but we were all always on the same page.

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By firthfamily on Sun, 10-20-13, 23:43

I am sorry that your son doesn't feel safe at school. It is really sad when the main focus of school is food and not learning. My daughter wasn't safe at her school either. I had talked with the principal and because it is a private school they are not required to make a 504 plan. So we ended up changing schools. We now have our peanut free table and even with out a 504 plan the parents of her class have told me that they will not have class projects that have peanuts in them. I am realistic, I know that some will slip through though. But it will only be products that are made in a facility and not contain any overt nuts. She knows though to only eat food if I brought it in though. So it isn't a perfect solution but at least it is a better one.

Ironically the same day that I had talked to the principal about getting a nut free table set up, I had a parent complaining to me that one of her daughters friends wasn't being to friendly. I looked over to her and it was all I could do to not say, I wish I had your problems want to switch for even one day. In my years as nurse I have learned many things from my patients- this one keeps coming up. Nothing really happens, until it happens to you.

So is there another school option that you could look into? Sometimes it is just easier if you aren't the first one. It was hard for my daughter to leave her friends but she feels safer now. Quite frankly that nurse scares me and I am a nurse. I would talk with her and find out if she has ever had anyone have a nut reaction in her care and if she was able to treat them correctly until help arrived. Trust your gut. Even with the 504 plan is he going to have help if he needs it.

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