2nd Time I\'ve Heard This Comment from One Child in Schoolyard

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 12:03am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

pI left the school this morning feeling really down. There are a bunch of things in the mix of why, but one thing is really troubling me and I'd like to get everyone's feel on it./p
pLetters have been sent home to all of Jesse's classmates indicating that it is a peanut free classroom and that if you eat pb before school, could you please wash your hands, if possible. We actually used personalized letters this year, which another member here, vic, wrote, rather than the regular school board policy ones./p
pAt any rate, I know this happened last week as well but I didn't really pay any heed to it because my mind was wandering elsewhere./p
pThis morning, as Jesse and his sister and I walked into the playground area of the school with the equipment, this one child came up to Jesse and said "Don't come near me, I ate pb for breakfast." Jesse asked him if he had washed his hands and the child said "No." I asked Jesse who the child was and it is another boy in his class./p
pSo, you could look at it two ways. The child either did eat pb this morning and didn't wash his hands and is simply telling Jesse to WARN him, OR/p
pHe's bugging Jesse about his allergy./p
pOf course, me, with the glass half empty instead of half full all the time, or whatever that expression is, tends to think that it is the child bugging Jesse about his allergy./p
pI spinned it this morning for Jess when I asked him the child often said this to him.br /
Jesse said that yes, he said it to him every day. It's like a way of saying "I don't want you near me, I don't want to play with you, etc." but put in a way so that it's related to Jesse's allergy instead of perhaps Jesse as a person (I guess)./p
pSo, the kid is saying it to Jesse every day.br /
pI spinned it so that I was defending the child and saying oh, okay, he's simply telling you that he ate pb so that you know and you'll be safe./p
pBut I'm sorry, I just had the feeling that the kid was bugging Jesse instead./p
pJesse, in the mean-time went over to the equipment that he wanted to play on, as did his sister, but I kinda noticed that my little guy was kinda crestfallen. That was his first greeting when he walked into the school yard this morning. Just great. Not a hi first or anything and he does get a lot of those, but that comment./p
pSo, what does everyone else think? I was going to approach the teacher and see what she thought but then I thought, man, it's only the second week of school. I don't want this to be happening to Jesse already. I don't want any bullying of any sort to be taking place. I don't want him uncomfortable in the playground./p
pI came back home and DH was in a fluster (when isn't he? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] ) and getting ready to go to school himself so I wasn't able to address this with him. And, for the most part, unless he actually SEES something happen, he usually just blows things off, unless it's something really serious when it comes to stuff like this. But I'm not like that./p
pRight now I just heard the bell ring for recess and I feel like sneaking over there to see what's going on, but I won't./p
pAny thoughts would be greatly appreciated./p
pMany thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]/p

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 12:13am
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

I don't think that you are over reacting. If this were a once and a while occurance, then maybe but from your post, it sounds as though this "child" is using Jesse's allergy to "exclude" Jesse and that makes him a bully!
I would address this immediately before it gets out of hand. I think you mentioned that this child is in the other class, had they also received letters Re/ Jesse and PA? Just wondering how he knew.
Bullying can take many shapes and forms, girls can be particilarily nasty because often times they practice exclusion and other not so obvious forms of bullying so it hardly ever gets addressed because the target child does not tell for fear of retaliation.
This "child" seems to be using PA to exclude Jesse and it's wrong.
Hope you can make the school see that but just remind them that in Ontario, we have a zero tolerance policy, period!
Take care,

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 3:27am
Askosrose's picture
Joined: 04/08/2002 - 09:00

Cindy, I don't think you're being paranoid at all. Of course, this is coming from the most paranoid person on Earth! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] I know if it was me, I would start approaching the teacher. Kids can just be so cruel [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]
My 7 yr old came home yesterday, and said some kids keep grabbing his Epi belt and they even try taking it out. This really infurates me! They have no right putting their hands on him, plus, it's dangerous. So, I'm sending the book No Nuts for Me in with my son tomorrow. Hopefully his teacher won't start getting annoyed with me, because it will be the third note I've written since school started.....of course the second note wasn't about allergies, it was about the school putting him on the wrong bus at the end of the day [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]
The way I see it, our kids shouldn't have to protect themselves, so it's up to us. Paranoid or not, we have to stand up for them and make sure they're being treated fairly.

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 3:27am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Katiee, man, I love it when I get your Irish blood boiling [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] I could really tell from your post that I did. I think you were more upset than I was, although I'm not clear.
The child is in the same class as Jesse's.
However, a letter was sent home to the whole student body requesting that they try to minimize the risk and not bring peanut products into the school.
I did hear one older girl asking Jesse last week if he was the Epi-pen Guy. Okay.
Then, later in the week, Jesse came home and said that he had figured out who the Epi-pen Girl was in Grade One. You know those times when your child says something and you just have to stand back and think before you just kinda shake your head and go WHAT?
I explained to him that it was great that he had figured out who the other PA child (in Grade 1) was. He is planning to introduce himself and make friends with the child because they have something major in common (don't know her thoughts on this). At any rate, I went on to explain that it probably wasn't a good idea to call her the Epi-pen Girl and asked him how he would feel if someone called him the Epi-pen Guy (which they have). So, yadda yadda.
What I found interesting about this particular little guy to-day is that he wears glasses. Now, Ember wears glasses and well and actually Jesse is the only one in the family who doesn't. But, I'm wondering if there is still a stigma attached to wearing glasses or did that pass in the last 30 years? At any rate, I thought, well, that's interesting, you wear glasses, but you've picked up on my son's allergy really well.
(that sounds really below-the-belt and I don't want it to).
The only positive thing I can say is that the child making the remark was not in a group of children, he was also alone (and thereby, stayed alone by verbally excluding Jesse).
Katiee, I have thought about it since I posted this morning and since I do have to go into the school this afternoon to speak with the school secretary about a couple of things, I think I may go in and speak with Jesse's teacher. She may know the child from last year and be able to give me some guidance as to whether or not she thinks he's capable of bullying etc.
I'm just really ticked off [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] because Jesse had such a hard year last year being bullied. I'm thankful that we moved because we won't be dealing with the same crowd of kids but if bullying is starting already with him does that mean that it doesn't matter where we go? And last year the bullying wasn't related to his allergy. This year, if this is bullying, it is, and it's particularly harmful in light of Jesse's heightened anxiety re his allergy.
No, you know what? Now, MY Irish blood is boiling! Thanks, Katiee [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 3:35am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Askosrose, you were posting at EXACTLY the same time as me so I didn't get to read your post first. Great minds think alike [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
Thank-you for your input as well. I think I'm definitely going to address it with the
teacher tonight.
I know what you mean about the notewriting to the teacher. I've started mine early and heavy this year as well. But what I do instead, unless I'm told otherwise, is I e-mail them so they don't have to deal with my notes first thing in the morning. But I tell you, with the two kids now in school (and it was last year as well), there seems to be constant paperwork flow from the school and back to the school. And then I have my own separate flow of paperwork to the school as well. I can get completely overwhelmed with it all.
No, no one should be touching your child's Epi-belt at all! Or touching your child! Jesse was asked to show his Epi-belt to his class, which he did, but when the principal asked him if he wanted to get up at the school wide assembly and do the same, he declined. I don't blame him.
No, it's definitely hands off! Have to go, Katiee got MY Irish blood boiling (even though I have two Scottish last names now [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] ) and I have to get a coffee in me and shower sweat off me.
Thank-you both for your responses. I'll speak with the teacher. It certainly can't hurt.
Oh, and GREAT (for me) to see at the school to-day a Peanut/Nut Free classroom sign (courtesy of river - see under Links or Schools) beside the Grade One class at the school as well.
Jesse had asked me last week why the Grade 1 class wasn't peanut free if there was a PA child in it. I didn't know if they were going to be or not (Lord forbid you ask the school for any information they consider *private*), and explained to him that different parents dealt with it differently and some didn't request a peanut free classrooms which led into answering of a ton of whys, but still very good communication going on so.....
I have to go. My posts have been nearly babbling incoherent all day and I honestly don't know why. It's bloody mid-day!
Many, many thanks to both of you, and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 4:22am
river's picture
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

Hi Cindy:
You should definitely mention it to the teacher and see what she thinks. She'll know the child better and be able to assess whether it is mean spirited or not. Certainly she should be reminding this boy to wash up.
On the bright side---at least the boy is showing some type of awareness about the harm pb could do. Last year it was not uncommon for children to come up to me to let me know that they had pb for breakfast but washed up afterward. At least they were aware. There was one time when a child in my son's class came to school with pb all over his face. Luckily the teacher's aide noticed and they did a major scrub down of the kid and the desks. That child definitely was not aware.

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 5:39am
mae's picture
Joined: 07/12/2002 - 09:00

Cindy - I agree - you're not being paranoid. I don't know if you saw my post (in your thread on "has anyone ever been threatened...."). My son had a kid wave a box of candy in his face on the second day of school. The next day, I sat down with the Principal, VP and the teacher. I was happy with our meeting but, I feel like we're kinda just "coasting" now. But I've talked to her a few more times and am glad that we dealt with it right away. I figure she is with these kids most of the school day, so she should be on top of things. I didn't know this teacher very well, but I feel like the lines of communication are open and I think that my "pouncing" on the issue made her realize that i won't tolerate any bullying/threatening behaviour by this other boy.
I know that "crestfallen" look you said that Jesse had- my son had it the first 2 weeks of school. Even one of the recess monitors mentioned it in passing to me. I kept thinking that the first week of school wasn't even finished and my son is uncomfortable in his own classroom and on the playground. Not a great start to the year.
I'd talk to the teacher ASAP - maybe they can nip the problem in the bud before it gets past "bugging" to something more serious.
Good luck - and take care!!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 11:00pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Well, I went in and spoke with Jesse's teacher this morning as she was not in yesterday afternoon when I went to pick-up the kids. Turns out that although the child that has been making the comments to Jesse has, in her words, HUGE behavioural problems, she thinks he is being aware of Jesse's PA and trying to ensure his safety. The reason she said this is because he came into the class a couple of times and said that he had eaten pb at home but not washed his hands and asked her if he could please wash his hands.
So, great with that then! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I feel much better.
On the down-side of our conversation, DH and I have to have a meeting with her re Jesse's behaviour. I had known that he had missed a recess last week and he wouldn't tell DH or I why (I don't know is what he said) so I did e-mail the teacher and ask her about it. She has tested his reading skills and he is "off the Dolce chart" for Grade 3. She doesn't have any other children in the classroom reading at that level or even close to it.
So, great! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] BUT, Jesse talks to himself, reads out loud and then also just talks out loud in the class whenever he feels like it.
Yesterday, they were given a writing assignment and he didn't work on it at all.
He is going to have to stay in at recess to work on it to-day.
The thing with Jess is, he is reading way above his grade level, but his writing skills don't match that. His spelling skills do, but not the actual writing. He will use lower or upper case, depending on what HE feels like using and not what you're supposed to use.
At any rate, now I've come home with a completely different yucky feeling for to-day. Not great, but at least something not totally unexpected and also very positive about the child making the comments, if, in fact, the teacher is right on about it.
I think she is because why did the child ask if he could wash his hands? So even though he may have other behavioural *issues* perhaps bullying isn't one of them. Cool, with that.
Now I have the difficulties with my guy to think about for the day.
On top of it all, she asked me about almonds in the classroom. As far as I can tell, the sign on the door says "peanut/nut free classroom" but I'm going to have to make a call now to double-check. When I said that tree nuts shouldn't be allowed in a peanut free classroom, she said that Jesse wasn't allergic to them. I don't know. I wish I could just drop my kids at school and hole up here for the day bothered by no one. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
River, you were right then! I do appreciate what everyone else posted though, just in case it turns out not to be what the teacher has said. I'll always have this thread for future reference. Many thanks. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Many many thanks, and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 11:32pm
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

Sounds like you're having a rough time of it lately Cindy. I just wanted to add my two cents here about Jesse.
It sounds to me lke Jesse might fall into the "gifted" category. Gifted children frequently have similar problems to Jesse. It could be that he is not doing the assigned work because he is "bored". It happened to my brother when he was little. They get bored, they get frustrated and they act out.
I don't know about the public school system in Ontario but in the Catholic system I believe the children are tested for giftedness in grade 3. What grade is Jesse in this year? Short of that, you have alternatives to having him tested yourself (quite costly if you undertake it), you can find other ways to challange him such as music lessons (piano, violin, etc.) or art lessons. This is what we've done for Wade because at age 4 we is way to young for testing (school wise anyway) and is in need of some challanges in his life besides playing computer games geared for children much older than he is. So far it's working, it also gives him an outlet for creativity.
I'm glad that things worked out with the child that told Jesse to stay away. Call me a skeptic but I would still keep an eye on things with him, just a feeling.
Wade starts school tomorrow and I'm a wreck and have a zillion things to finish.
Keep in touch!

Posted on: Wed, 09/11/2002 - 12:49am
river's picture
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

My son was reading way above grade level as well, (I taught him as a baby.) Just like Jesse, his writing was not up to the same level, and he is a lefty, so physically writing tends to take more effort. When he entered the classroom, all he wanted to do was read the books, and the rest was extremely boring for him. He did his work, but everyday complained about the boredum.
My thoughts on public school: school is a very old system bogged down in the mire of politics, bureacracy, short-sighted economics and labour relations. As a system it works systemically, that means that it has a weakness for the categorization of children and requiring the individual to fit into it's boundaries.
Jesse sounds like a really bright little boy who interacts with the world on a highly verbal level. It makes sense that when his wheels are turning, (and they're turning quickly), what's in his head naturely starts pouring out of his mouth. Also, his messy writing could be attributed to his brain working faster than his writing skills can handle.
I don't think Jesse is the problem, however, he as to learn to adapt to the system. Focus on helping him adapt rather than thinking that there is something wrong with him. At my most cynical: Schools are in the business of recognizing "defects" in children, they get paid money for each additional problem they can "diagnose."

Posted on: Wed, 09/11/2002 - 1:49am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I'm sorry you've been having a stressful time.
About the child at school - I'd say that if he was bullying, he would've chosen different words. Meaning, he would have called PB names, and the like. I just don't think saying "I ate PB for breakfast" is a very "bully-like" thing to say. JMO. I still would have checked it out with the teacher, though, just to be sure. As you have done, and found out everything's on the up-and-up. *I* think it is, anyway.
As for the giftedness... this is a hard one. My SIL has a very gifted (very high IQ score) child - but he's a real behavior issue. He's borderline ADHD - not uncommon with gifted kids. Their brains just work so fast. They have had no end of trouble with the school system. However, I think their parenting skills have played a very big part in his behavior problems. They don't discipline effectively or consistently. They're just mean.
My son is also very advanced - reading on a 4th grade level at 5yo. So far, he has been fine in school. He has a totally different personality than his cousin. Nathan (my DS) LOVES to learn anything and everything. Even though he already knows all the K stuff, he still happily does the work. I hope he continues like that.
So, from my rambling... I agree with river - try to help Jesse adapt. Has the teacher said anything to you about his advanced reading skills??? Has she noticed? Have you said anything? If there are behavior issues, then I'd say someone needs to be the first one to suggest it's because of his advanced abilities.
I haven't told the school about Nathan's reading (or math, etc...) yet. I'm hoping they'll notice on their own. I feel like I've hit them with enough re: the PA.
Do you have any idea what things are available for gifted kids in your system?


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