An unreasonable accommodation

Posted on: Wed, 10/10/2001 - 2:39pm
ted's picture
ted
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Joined: 10/10/2001 - 09:00

I've received a letter from the school which says that my child (age 9) is in a class with a nut, nut-oil, and perhaps seed, allergic child and that I should sign this letter stating that I have read it and taken apropriate action. Further, as my childs' lunches contain what my wife bakes and makes (bread, muffins, cookies, and leftovers), I have an idea that our usual diet will change somewhat. Does anyone out there think the school is downloading a legal liability problem to parents and is there any schools which are providing allergy safe lunches to children in these classrooms?
tks, Ted

Posted on: Wed, 10/10/2001 - 9:31pm
Rhonda RS's picture
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Joined: 02/24/2001 - 09:00

Hi Ted,
Could you please type in the entire text of the letter so that I (and others) can get a better understanding of what was asked of you?
Stay Safe,
Rhonda

Posted on: Thu, 10/11/2001 - 1:12am
KatiesMom's picture
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Joined: 03/01/2000 - 09:00

It would usefull to see the whole letter. A lot of us here have requested 'peanut free' rooms for our children, but I don't believe any of us have placed any legal responsibility on the parents of the other children.

Posted on: Thu, 10/11/2001 - 2:07am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I don't blame you for being careful about signed something potentially making you liable. But I don't believe the onus is EVER on the parents of the students for anything regarding school safety (unless you are driving for a field trip and don't buckle the kids up, or are driving without insurance, perhaps).
The onus and any liability is on the school itself - this letter (yes, please post it) sounds like the teacher just wants acknowledgment that you've read and understand the particular items you can and cannot send to the school in order to make the environment safer for the other student.
Carolyn
P.S. Cayley's school was peanut-free for years before she ever attended, and I don't think the criteria for what to send/not to send is unreasonable, but I would definitely find any liability on my part unreasonable. That's what school staff is allergy-trained for. I'm sure there is no precedent for this in the courts, so I doubt very much you would ever be legally bound to this letter, if its intent was your own culpability. Just my opinion.

Posted on: Thu, 10/11/2001 - 2:39pm
ted's picture
ted
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Joined: 10/10/2001 - 09:00

Thank you for your responses. Unfortunately, my wife signed the letter this morning and sent it back to school so I am unable to post it. Having a bit of time to think of this issue today, I have come to the conclusion that the possibility of being joined in a suit is probably remote. I suppose that the recent case law expanding the perimeter of vicarious liability and its subsequent demands upon previously unlikely defendants made me think of an alternate intent to this letter, especially the need for a signiture.
Why did I ask about schools that supply safe lunches? We have had no specific instructions yet on what is safe food in the classroom so I am left ignorant and a little upset that we have just heard of this now, and by this method. I have read that this is a life threatening condition and is more serious than a palliative 'peanut free classroom' suggests. My child brought home the news today that oils from her hands could kill her classmate. I believe this situation would be a good lesson in compassion and understanding if it was well presented and it would seem reasonable and prudent to have knowledgeable professionals inform all those concerned and maintain the environment that is needed. This would include providing safe lunches for the students. To do less may be endangering lives.
All the best to you and your loved ones,
Ted

Posted on: Thu, 10/11/2001 - 10:21pm
Rhonda RS's picture
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Joined: 02/24/2001 - 09:00

Ted,
Wow, your concern is much appreciated by me and my husband. Okay...you sent it in?...Hummm. I would still ask the office for a copy of the letter for your records. You should still post it because it would be useful for us to see what demands schools are putting on the parents of the children without food allergies. Parents of children with food allergies are told NEVER to sign any waiver of liability forms. -You haven't received any other correspondence regarding the child's food allergies? As a parent of a child with peanut & nut allergy, we sent out an informational letter 2 weeks before school started to parents' homes. We included our telephone number and e-mail addresses and encouraged parents to call us *anytime* with questions or suggestions. And then included a "green, yellow and red light food list" for the classroom along with some recipes. Parents got this list & recipes the first day of school in the "parent information folder." So the fact that it is October, and this is the first piece of correspondence you have received raises a few questions in my mind. I think that you should call the principal and ask him/her about his/her expectations for what you and your child can and cannot bring into the classroom. Also ask if the district has any materials from the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. [url="http://www.foodallergy.org"]http://www.foodallergy.org[/url]
Do you mind me asking what state you are in? Keep in touch. And thank you for caring so much.
Stay Safe,
Rhonda
[This message has been edited by Rhonda RS (edited October 12, 2001).]

Posted on: Thu, 10/11/2001 - 10:39pm
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Ted I realize that you have signed the letter and sent it in. I am wondering if for your own state of mind if talking with the PA childs parents may help you in understanding the whole reason of the letter. Sometimes the school papers can seem a little bit overwhelming and this would help you in getting aquainted with the parents. Best wishes Claire

Posted on: Fri, 10/12/2001 - 12:29am
kelly01's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2001 - 09:00

Hi Ted: just a thought...maybe the reason that the school asked you to sign the letter had more to do with the schools responsibility than yours. Schools are used to dealing with kids who "forget" to give their parents things. Maybe making sure the paper was signed was the schools way of documenting that THEY had informed all the parents of the situation. (Although not providing you with any insight as to safe snacks, etc seems like a missed opportunity). Just a thought and thank you for posting here.

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