Field Trip and Teacher Issue


Hi all. I am new here. I am Helen, mommy to a 5 year old daughter who has a sever peanut allergy (contact & ingestion), and a 3 year old son with no PA. My daughter, Alyssa, is in Kindergarden this year and the district is now peanut free as of this year. So I started the year off helping the nurse and teacher get certain policies in place, and changing a few things as well. I dont think the teacher appreciated the changes at all; she would have the kids go to the restroom after lunch and "wash their hands" while she stood out in the hall. So I thought it would be best if the kids used the basins at the Exit of the lunchroom so that the washings were monitored to ensure that all kids in her class washed up. They do not have a PA Free table at lunch, but Alyssa sits at the very end of their table surrounded by kids that eat in the caffitera so that she is not near anyone that has brought their lunch.

A few things that the teacher does still bothers me...she doesnt notify me when there is a birthday party in Alyssa's class. I know there have been some because she tells me that so-n-so's mom brought cup cakes for birthday and such. So I am conserned about that. Well today took the cake: Alyssa's field trip is Dec 6. They are going to a local theater to watch a play and then to a park to eat lunch and play. I notified the teacher via email that I will not be able to attend the field trip because I do not have a sitter for my son (they do not allow siblings on field trips) and asked if reminder of nut allergy could be passed to All parents of All kinder kids because they are all going, not just Alyssa's class. The teacher caught me in the hall today and flat out said she cannot tell the parents not to bring PB for the field trip because most parents pack it because it doesnt spoil. She said, "And YOU arent Coming???" like I am expected to attend. So I told her I dont have anyone to keep my son and my husband cannot take off that day of work. She went on and on about how she doesnt know how it is going to work out and she doesnt know what to put in the note to the parents....good think we were right at the nurse's office, she popped her head out and said that she had the notice typed up already and that she stated it was just a reminder to keep the nuts to a minimum and wash hands and to also notify the teacher if they are bringing nuts,pb ect.. They teacher then went on about how there is no way to get ALL of these kindergardeners to wash their hands in the tiny bathroom at the park after they eat. They nurse spoke up and said she has TONS of wipes so they all need to wipe hands after eating. The teacher went on to gripe that it just wasnt going to work. I spoke up and said I will make it to the park if my son is allowed to go and I will make sure that they all wipe down and keep a close eye on my daughter. The teacher then just shrugged us off and said she had to get back to her class. She walked off! The nurse said she thought the teacher was just nurvous...I said, I thought the teacher doesnt want to have to deal with it, like this is not what she bargined for this year. The teacher made me feel like **** ...and all of this was said with Alyssa standing right with us!!! The whole situation was sad and I am very upset and depressed about it. Not sure how to handle it and how I am going to make it with this teacher for the rest of the year. She seems so unconcerned! Please if you have any advise, I need all that I can get at this point. Plus, I know I need to look into 504 Plan, but I have so many questions and I dont know where to start...that will be a whole other post [img][/img] Thank you all in advance for your help!!!

------------------ Helen Mom to Alyssa (PA, age 5) Mom to Theodore (age 3)

On Nov 29, 2005

Welcome, Helen. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this teacher! We had trouble with my son's teacher last year and actually changed classes mid-year, and it was such a relief.

What really bothers me about your case is the way the teacher said how she didn't know how it was going to work, and right in front of your daughter!!!!! How does your daughter feel about the teacher otherwise? The reason I finally changed classes was that my son was so afraid to talk to his teacher, I worried that if he had a reaction he wouldn't ask for help.

If changing teachers isn't an option, then I would consider talking with the principal about specific issues that are still unresolved, particularly the celebrations in the classroom. If you've talked to the teacher and not gotten a good response, then the next step is to talk with her boss. I find whenever I start to feel bad about elevating things it's helpful to imagine myself as a momma bear protecting her cub.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

P.S I'm amending this post to agree with the others about getting a 504 ASAP, but I wouldn't wait for it to be in place before address specific issues, since it can take a while.

[This message has been edited by Greenlady (edited November 30, 2005).]

On Nov 29, 2005

Here is a different perspective. My dd with the same name, different spelling (Elyssa) is 10. I think the first thing to do is get a 504!!! Until you do, they can really do whatever they want. You have no recourse on whatever this teacher does until you get a 504. My dd is in 5th grade, and every teacher has been great except for last year. So each time the teacher violated the 504 last year (and there were many times), I wrote a letter to the principal. I never mentioned a lawsuit, but I am sure they were thinking "lawsuit, lawsuit". The pricipal and VP were extremely responsive. If there is a 504 they legally have to follow it; if there is not a 504 they can do whatever they want.

We have had no trouble with birthdays except last year. Every year at the 504 meeting I ask for a list of the birthdays. Whenever there is a child in the class who is having a birthday, I pack a treat for dd. If the birthday lands on a weekend, I pack a treat on Friday before and Monday after. The only time we had an issue was the same 4th grade teacher who violated her 504 did not want to give me a birthday list. So finally I said I would go to the office and get a list of the birthdays myself, and then she suddenly discovered that she had all the birthdays listed anyhow! (being a little sarcastic there). I`d get a 504 ASAP.

On Nov 29, 2005

First and formost, if this were me, I would schedule a meeting with the principal, teacher and school nurse asap. The teacher is out of line and needs to get with the program!!! Is there a plan for the teacher to take your daughter's medical supplies (epi, etc)? All these things need to be worked out, yes a 504 would definitely improve the situation, but in the meantime have a meeting. Also, can you drive w/your son and meet them at the park? Let us know what happens!

------------------ mom to Ari(5) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (8), mild excema

On Nov 29, 2005

First order of business is definitely the 504. Mine may be posted around here somewhere, or I could paste it in here if you'd like. You'd need to tweek it for your particular needs, of course.

As for the field trip, I would go, or keep my child at home if the trip is not required.

Welcome to!! You'll never find a better PA site. Lam

On Nov 29, 2005

There's lots of info on 504s here. Another great site is: [url=""][/url]

I hope you'll stick around here and let us know how you're doing. [img][/img]

On Nov 29, 2005


On Nov 30, 2005

We had the 504 meeting for our daughter about three weeks ago, and it went very well. I was pleased to see that the school folks have their act together. It was obvious that my daughter's welfare was at the top of their agenda.

I'm thinking the teacher is feeling overwhelmed. This may be her first food allergic student, so she is a bit freaked. Education will help her.

The 504 meeting is the perfect opportunity for all concerned parties to talk openly and work out problems. The teacher will learn a lot. It does sound like you've got a good nurse at the school.

As for class parties, my daughter's teacher also does not inform me when birthdays are coming. She may not have the time to call me, or she may not know the mother is bringing a treat until the woman walks in the door with a plate full of baked goodies.

My solution is to bake a batch of cookies and send a bag to school with my daughter. The teacher takes possession of them and gives Kylie a couple of cookies when a party is happening. Kylie lets me know when the bag is empty and I make more treats. It works out just fine.

Hope this helps! Good luck.

On Nov 30, 2005

First off, I want to Thank You ALL Greatly for your advise and help!! You are a wonderful group. I have sent much time here reading over the couse of about 3 months and you all have helped me greatly! Sorry I am just now posting...hard to find time with a 3 year!

When my husband got home last night I told him the situation again (I instant messaged him about it just after it happened yesterday and he seemed pretty upset about it). When he got home, he said, "well maybe the teacher was just having a bad day. Lets see how she acts over the next few days...I am sure she will appologize to you tomorrow." It upset me because there is no reason why a teacher should act so around a parent. But, I let it go. This morning I expected at least a Hello or a smile out of the teacher. We got there on time and found the teacher was running late and no one had their eye on the class out in the hall. So I stuck around until the teacher came. She didnt say a word to me, not even a look! I felt completely snubbed off. As much as I wanted to just cry on my way back home, I kept telling myself maybe she was just in a hurry because she was late. But then again, she has never acted this way to me before...I always had gotten a Hello out of her. I im'ed my husband about it and he said lets see if she posses any recourse when dd brings home her work/behavor folder on Thurs. I am just not sure what I have done to upset this teacher so much!

I do need to look into 504. My husband fears that they will try to put dd in Special Education classes...she is a very bright, intelligent young lady and has perfect scores in school in both work and behavior. I do not want any poor treatment that effects her education in any way. I do have emergency plans in order located in both the classroom and the nurses office. We have gone over the plans and Epi's are in both the classroom (which I had to push very hard for) and the nurses office. Do we need to apply for 504 or is it just something that we write up and submit to the district? Will she be labled as Special Needs or Disabled? I just want no recourse on her. Thank you again for your help!!!

------------------ Helen Mom to Alyssa (PA, age 5) Mom to Theodore (age 3)

On Nov 30, 2005

I'm no expert on the 504, but I believe obtaining one certainly should not cause your child to be sent to a special class. And though being considered "disabled" is a stigma, it also is true of our dear kids, in my opinion. We have children with a life threatening medical condition, and special adjustments must be made for them. I think that in legal terms they are considered disabled.

Anyone else with better knowledge care to add to this?

The purpose of the 504 is to ensure that the child is identified as having special needs, and that steps have been implemented to allow the child to remain in the mainstream and permit her to participate in normal school activities safely. It is meant to include, not exclude.

I am sorry the teacher is being unfriendly. This is really unfortunate, and darned uncomfortable for everyone. Hopefully things can be ironed out, so that your daughter does not suffer the fallout from these bad feelings.

On Nov 30, 2005

It is against the law for them to put your child in a Special Ed class (or any separate class) due to the pa. Another good reason to have a 504. If they try to do that, then you have recourse.

[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited November 30, 2005).]

On Nov 30, 2005

Hi - I have a 5 year old son in kindergarden with a severe PA. I just found this website and I am so thankful -- however, I have a silly question - what is a 504?

On Nov 30, 2005

Thank you so much for the links. I will look into it further and get it all together and submitted.

I saw dd's teacher at lunch today and she waved and smiled so I am not sure what her deal is. I noticed the past 2 days that they lunch staff is not doing their job anymore either. They are supposed to be making sure only kids with caffeteria trays are sitting near dd at the lunch table. Yesterday a little friend of dd's had sat down beside her and she had a Lunchable with peanut butter cups in it so I moved the little girl down to where she was supposed to be. Today the same girl sat diag. from dd with another Lunchable but with no pb. The staff is supposed to make sure that kids that bring their lunch are at the opp. end of the table from dd and they have failed to do that...maybe because I was there, but then again, it is not my job to move these kids and I like to make sure they are doing their job even when I show up. If they are not doing it when I am there, are they doing it when I am not? So, now I am even worried about not showing up for lunch. I only go to lunch with dd when she asks me to and she has asked me to all had been about a month since I had been in there last. Oh and they are supposed to be monitored just after lunch when they all wash their hands at a basin outside the lunchroom doors. Yesterday no one (but me) monitored all the kids. Today the monitor was calling down kids that didnt use soap or dry their hands. More anxiety. At the beginning of the year, hand washing after lunch was very organized and was closely monitored. Now it is sloppy, kids are pushing each other and I dont know if it is being monitored all the time. I guess it is time for a sit-down with the principal. Things are just getting too careless! Sorry to ramble...just very worried!!

------------------ Helen Mom to Alyssa (PA, age 5) Mom to Theodore (age 3)

On Dec 3, 2005


Originally posted by hawkdog: [b]Hi - I have a 5 year old son in kindergarden with a severe PA. I just found this website and I am so thankful -- however, I have a silly question - what is a 504?[/b]

Welcome to the board. And it's not a silly question at all.

I'm Canadian, and rather then explain it all incorrectly, here's a link that gives information:


Here is the first paragraph from that link:

[i]Section 504 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Section 504 ensures that the child with a disability has equal [b]access[/b] to an education. The child may receive accommodations and modifications.[/i]

On Dec 3, 2005


Obtaining 504 designation does not mean your child will be in Special Education classes. Not at all.

I will tell you that Ryan has a 504 and is in Gifted Education. Until recently, Gifted Education fell under the Special Education umbrella label. I believe it now falls under a different classification. Not sure though at the present time.

You can call your school district and obtain the forms that will tell you your rights under Section 504. You have many! Schools cannot just take a child and put them in a special education class. It doesn't work that way. Do not worry that this will happen. Since you mentioned that your child is very bright and intelligent, you may want to pursue testing for the Enrichment program if your school has one at the elementary level.

504 is a 504. It does not mean your child will be classified as a special education student. However, it will be documented that your child as a physical disability requiring accommodations for equal access to the same educational opportunities as other students.

Please look over this board carefully. You will learn much and empower yourself to make appropriate decision. I will rereaise Gail W's wonderful 504 thread for you. Definitely a great thread with so much information for you.

On Dec 3, 2005

My dd also has a 504 and is in the GATE program (Gifted and Talented Education). It is something that teachers recommend that certain kids get tested for in early third grade. My dd has been in very advanced classes ever since. The label follows them through high school so that they can take Honors/AP classes. They cannot deny your child this, just because a child has a 504.

[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited December 03, 2005).]

On Dec 3, 2005

Thank you so much! Congrats to your dd! That is great!

I had a sit-down with the principal. Over the past few days I had witnessed a few kids trying to skip hand washing after lunch and no monitor there to correct them on it. So I corrected them. One child, a good friend of dd, was covered in pb (face, hands, clothing, and area at the lunch table). She did her best to sneak past the hand washing, I called her on it and had her wash her hands. She put her hands in running water for 2 secs. and then trying to get back in line. I pulled her aside and said, "Morgan, you had pb for lunch so you Really need to use soap and wash your hands properly." She did as I said. Then the monitor came out of the lunch room to monitor the kids. Totally late and missed the entire washing. Anyway, I brought it all and the field trip issues up to the principal and she is having a staff meeting on the subjects. She was totally understand and very cooperiative. Very nice lady! She said her teacher is Very Nurvous. She said that the teacher knows that Alyssa is her responsibility while she is at school. She knows that if Alyssa has a reaction it is up to HER to do everything quickly and correctly and she feels under a lot of pressure by the thought. I totally understand, but the teacher could have just said that rather being so neg. about everything. Anyway, all went very well and we will see how the weeks to come go. Thank you all for your support and backing of this! Couldnt have done it without your support!!

------------------ Helen Mom to Alyssa (PA, age 5) Mom to Theodore (age 3)

On Dec 5, 2005

Alyssa's field trip is tomorrow! I am feeling very uneasy about it all. Please say a little prayer for her that all goes well and without any problems! Thanks so much!

------------------ Helen Mom to Alyssa (PA, age 5) Mom to Theodore (age 3)