frustrating experience with school

Posted on: Thu, 01/22/2004 - 6:27am
meadow's picture
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Joined: 10/21/2003 - 09:00

I phoned the superintendent of our school district yesterday. He was unavailable, so I left a message. Today I received a phone call from the director of special education. The superintendent referred the call to her because she deals with "special circumstances and not just special education."

My concern was the ban our district has on children carrying epi-pens - our state allows inhalers but not epi-pens. I wanted to know what could be done to work around this situation. This woman was so noncommital in all of her answers it was infuriating. I am a former newspaper reporter and am all too aware of of the dodging techniques of career bureaucrats.

I told her I'd supply her with a detailed letter from our doctor stating the severity of our daughter's allergy and what our doctor feels is the best plan to keep her safe. She said once she got the letter she could sit down with her nurse and the building principal to come up with an individualized medical plan for our child. I told her that I too would be involved in the decision-making and would not take no for an answer. In my head I was thinking, "this woman is crazy if she thinks I'm letting her make the decisions about my child's life." I also told her that I wanted all aspects of this process documented so at no time in the future would there be any confusion about what was said or intended by things said.

The entire time I was cordial but felt this woman was not taking me seriously at all - probably thought I was an overbearing mother.

I would like my next meeting to go much smoother. Honestly, I'd rather deal with someone else, but am doubtful that will happen. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Oh an thank you to everyone who shares their experiences with me. We've been feeling so isolated since we don't know people who have dealt with this situation.

Regards,
Meadow

Posted on: Thu, 01/22/2004 - 6:48am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Sorry to hear about your frustrating experience with the school - "been there, done/doing that".
I don't know that I can be of much help, since we haven't had much success ourselves. However, I have been told (and I believe it to be true) that it helps if (1) you have personal meetings with the administrator you need to talk to - sometimes that is easier said than done (I realize they are busy people too) but some people can be easily distracted while on the phone. If you are meeting with them in person, you have their undivided attention; and (2) you and your husband and/or child's father goes with you AND is just as vocal, knowledgable and concerned as you are. It is frustrating to be labelled as an overprotective mom (even if they don't vocalize those exact words - you can tell what they are thinking), but dads can sometimes say the exact same thing and get through to the person on the other side of the table.
I don't know - I wish I had something spectacular to tell you, but I don't. I will be watching this thread though and taking all the tips/hints others share.
GOOD LUCK!! Hang in there!

Posted on: Fri, 01/30/2004 - 11:21pm
synthia's picture
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Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

Meadow,
How is it going?
I would start taking notes and sending letters of understanding per meeting or phone call.
Have you done any research on the laws in your state?
Are you able to get a doctors note?
Let us know how you are doing?
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Sat, 01/31/2004 - 12:37am
Jodi2boys's picture
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Joined: 01/23/2003 - 09:00

This is a response I got from FAAN...it is regarding Connecticut but maybe it will help you also:
A couple of states (NH, MI, NJ) have recently passed (or are about to
pass) laws that ALLOW kids to carry their epinephrine-pens with them at
school, provided that there is parental and physician authorization.
However, your situation becomes murky if you don't live in one of these
states. To the best of my knowledge, there is no law that FORBIDS your
child from doing this. If anyone in CT tells you it's against the law,
I would challenge them to produce the law. What probably is the
situation in CT is that your local school district has the freedom to
adopt/draft its own policy on epinephrine use in the school setting.
And apparently, they may have decided to adopt a hard-line approach.
This is surprising because it goes against the AAAAI, who, in Position
Statement 34, state that children who are old enough should be allowed
to carry and self-administer.
What I would do is ask them on which basis are they making their
decision? If they tell you it's against CT law, ask them which law. If
they tell you it's school district policy, ask to see the policy.
Please follow up with me as often as you like. I also know some people
in CT who might be able to help.
Christopher Weiss
Director of Legislative and Regulatory Research
The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network
11781 Lee Jackson Hwy, Suite 160
Fairfax, VA 22033
1-800-929-4040 (tel)
703-691-2713 (fax)

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