A good meeting with the school.

Posted on: Fri, 03/04/2005 - 12:34am
qdebbie1's picture
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Joined: 02/10/2005 - 09:00

This is my advise on what worked for me. My sons school was offering peanut products, pbj and nutty bars, on the menu. Thier initial answer was to have my son eat his lunch in the principals office. I dont think so. This is what I did.
Take a deep breath and get yourself educated. Read everything on this site. Read the 504. Know your rights. Ask the school directly what the policies are and briefly explain your position. If thier position is not what you are looking for let them know you will be getting back to them. Then I stopped talking to the school and went to work. I called other districts and found ones with good policies in place. I asked them how their eyes were opened. They said one mom came in with so much homework done on this that they had no choice but to make changes. So I started mine.
First I got my doctors letters. I didnt call and ask for letters. I made appointments and wrote them myself. This saves the doctor time and effort too. I worded the letters with quotes from the 504, like major life activity of breathing and strict avoidance is the only way to allow full participation. I also had letters for the dr.s to sign to excuse my son from school on the days the cafeteria served peanut products stating that this was unsafe, and even dangerous. When I went to the dr I simply asked if they agreed if they could sign it. I also contacted the US dept of edu office for civil rights. They directd me to court cases where they got involved.[url]http://www.doe.mass.edu/bsea/decisions/03-3629.pdf[/url] my husband read it all(too long for me) and he hightlight some extremely stongly worded statements. I printed emails from the dept of ed, advising us to file a claim. I also got copies of my sons medical records showing he is a 4+ and has a history of life threating reactions. I gave them just a few strong articles about recent death(right here in our area) and articles where schools were sued and lost. just a few of those, too many of them and they would not read them. My husband wrote a detaild plan using info from that court case and other resources and requested an official 504. Once I felt I had all the aces, I called directly to the superintendents(i cant spell) office and very briefly, calmly and almost asking his advise pretending to be ignorant asked what he thought I should do. The 504 called me within 1 hour and scheduled a meeting a few days later. The day before the meeting I went all in. It was at that point only that I gave up copies of all this information with a cover letter explaing I had been legally advised to tape record the meeting and any and all suggestions from the school needed to be in writing. Neddless to say this meeting turned into how they could solve this rather than a debate over a childs right to peanuts. By the way, the answer to that question is, no where in legal legislation can you show where someone has a right to peanuts, but I can show you numerous documentation of a childs right to a safe public education. I am usullly very emotional about this subject. At the meeting I was very clam because I knew I had all four aces and nobody in that room was going to stop me. I sat at the head of the table and watched them scurry. It went just as I hoped it would. They are scared to death jumping thru all my hoops, as they should be, if they like being federally funded. My email is on profile if anyone needs to ask anything. I hope this made sense, I rambled on a bit and I cant spellcheck. I hope this helps someone.

[This message has been edited by qdebbie1 (edited March 04, 2005).]

[This message has been edited by qdebbie1 (edited March 04, 2005).]

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