1st Day of School Won\'t Be Peanut-Free?

Posted on: Mon, 07/23/2001 - 4:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

My son is entering Grade One this September, which means that he will start school on the first day of school. With JK and SK, the children were staggered in, and Jesse wasn't one of the first kids to walk into the classroom. Also, with JK and SK, you have a meeting with the teacher beforehand, and they are able to provide the information about the classroom being "peanut free" before any child enters the class.

So, here's my dilemma and I just know that someone has some experience with this. First of all, being in Ontario, Canada, and the school district I'm in, my son is entitled to a "peanut free" classroom.

I do meet with the principal of the school usually in late August. However, I completely forgot (idiot Mom here [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) before the end of THIS school year to discuss this very thing with her.

In the notice for going back to school in September, we have to assemble at the school at a given time and the children will be called by their new teachers. There is no class list posted before the first day of school, although I'm sure the classes are fairly well determined, as best they can be, before the first day.

So, how do I make sure that when I meet with the principal in late August that she has at least a preliminary class list of the class Jesse will be in and also that all of the parents/guardians are notified previous to the first day of school that the lunches (I'm not even clear if Grade One's get the two snacks the JK and SK do) have to be "peanut free"?

I know that as far as Duty of Care, etc., is concerned, I do have the right to ask the principal to do this. I would even pay for the postage for the letters. But, if anyone knows anything about my dealings with this particular principal, I feel like I'm banging my head against the solid brick wall already.

Do I just make this a clear and polite requirement (not request) at the meeting?

I'm fairly sure, as there are people posting that have children in "peanut free" schools and classrooms that some notice must go out before the first day of school.

I also recognize that there will be mistakes, as always, as non-PA parents learn the new routine of packing a "peanut free" lunch.

Can anyone tell me how they, themselves, have handled this, or would handle it?

For some reason, I guess because Back to School things are being thought of already, this popped into my head last week and I felt like BAD MOMMY for not having followed-up on it before school ended in June.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, as always.

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


Posted on: Mon, 07/23/2001 - 9:57pm
KatiesMom's picture
Joined: 03/01/2000 - 09:00

Hi Cindy, I haven't posted for a while, just been lurking. We must have the same principal, I deal with the same nonsense that you do. What I would do is call the school now and leave a message for the principal to call you(in the U.S. even though school isn't in session, the administrative staff is in the school during the summer). When lame-o principal calls you, ask her very innocently how she plans on notifying Jesse's class ahead of time about the peanut free classroom. You can pretend you're asking because your new to first grade and don't know what the school's procedure is (as if the school has a procedure, give me a break). She probably hasn't thought about it, but if you act as if she has, she won't get defensive. Do you have a letter prepared that she can use? If you do you can offer to bring it to her so she can xerox it. Good luck.

Posted on: Wed, 07/25/2001 - 12:00pm
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

I completely agree with the above Cindy. You are guaranteed a peanut free classroom for Jesse. I would call the school and leave a message as well as send a written (polite but FIRM) letter reminding them of their "Duty of Care" and asking how they plan on assuring Jesse a peanut free classroom on the first day of school.
Is Jesse going to the school where his principal from last year will be? If so I would be even more direct with her in your requirements (RIGHTS). Sometimes I feel like we spend more time apologizing to these people for the extra they do to keep our kids safe even though we know that our children are entitled to a safe environment, it is their (our)right. I think they need to be reminded that they are not doing us a favour out of the goodness of their heart (yeah right!), they should be doing their job! Sadly, as we both know, many of them need to review their job description.
Let me know how it goes!
Katiee (Wade's mom)

Posted on: Wed, 07/25/2001 - 1:32pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Ladies, thank-you both for your responses. Now, as far as I can tell, I can't phone the school and leave a message. I did speak with a superintendent's assistant at the school board after school closed and it was in early July. Then, the whole district in shut down until August 20th.
That's the other thing, Katiee. I can only assume that Jesse will be attending the new
school in our town, complete with the OLD principal, because my request for an Out-of-Area transfer was denied. This was what I was speaking with the superintendent's assistant about. We played quite a bit of telephone tag, with me leaving VERY clear messages about Duty of Care and only during our last telephone conversation did the assistant finally seem to clue in to what I was saying.
What I was saying is that I have consistently run into problems with the principal for the last two years and that because of this, I have requested that my children attend the old school so that at least if I'm banging my head against a brick wall again, it will be a NEW brick wall.
She had to relay this information to the superintendent. Then, she will call me on August 20th and let me know if this has been able to change the superintendent's mind about my request. Get this though, and this is where my blood boils [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] If the superintendent doesn't decide before school starts, a decision will not be made until TWO WEEKS of school have gone by.
So, what do I do? Let both kids stay home for the first two weeks of school because they can't make a decision in a timely manner? I can't send them to the new school, requesting a "peanut free" classroom for Jesse at the new school only to send him back two weeks later to the old school and also requesting a "peanut free" classroom. Do you know how many people in this community that would upset and enanger? It's virtually impossible.
DH believes that they have told me this so that I will cave in and simply accept their decision that my children have to attend the new school with the old principal. You know what? He's partly right.
I need to know where my kids are going to school before school starts and if they're not able to give me an answer until two weeks into school, I can't deal with that. I also want my kids to know what bloody school they'll be attending. I had the JK teacher call me from the new school to set-up a meeting for my daughter and I, but I never bothered calling her back because I figured a proper decision would have been made and I would be making an appointment with a JK teacher at the old school.
And I can also see this - them saying that due to Duty of Care, Jesse can go to the old school but Ember has to attend the new school.
This whole school thing continues to make me see red [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] I think the whole thing is that because we do have the bloody right to certain things for our PA children, we expect them to be implemented with some ease or at least without too much disruption. But again and again, my school experience has proven that PA, to this particular principal is simply a pain in the a** that she would just as soon not deal with.
I'd really like to thank both of you for your thoughts and ideas. I don't think that I'm getting myself into a tizzy over nothing. I may have started a couple of weeks earlier than I *should* have, but it's definitely something that would make anyone crazy.
Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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