How much do you trust your child\'s school?

Posted on: Thu, 11/18/2004 - 8:05am
nicolimom's picture
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Joined: 02/04/2004 - 09:00

Hello everyone....I have been homeschooling my son , and I possibly may be sending him to 'regular' school at some point soon.

As I have posted before , my son has a form of autism, and as a result , does not know he's allergic. And he has a really bad tendency to eat anything he sees. And he has almost a class 6 allergy. He is contact sensitive, don't know about air-born yet.

So....how do you trust that the teachers will take care of a situation like this?

Has your school has ever let you down when it counted? (so I know what to watch out for)...or- How has your school made it so you feel comfortable leaving your child ?

I would love any advice as I am a nervous wreck.Thanks!

Posted on: Thu, 11/18/2004 - 10:28am
darthcleo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

Well, I shouldnt be the first one to comment here, because my son is borderline-Asperger (quite functional mind you, just some quirks) and also PA. We homeschool and intend on homeschooling *forever*. I just don't trust the school system. I don't trust them to keep my kids away from peanuts. I don't trust them to react properly to an Asperger child (since he's borderline, he wouldn't get any special help), and I don't even trust them to educate my kids properly!
(with the Asperger comes some giftedness issues, and we're in an area with no giftedness programs. )

Posted on: Thu, 11/18/2004 - 11:04am
solarflare's picture
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Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

I trust his teacher and the school secretary, but I don't trust most of the other staff.

Posted on: Thu, 11/18/2004 - 12:01pm
SpudBerry's picture
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Joined: 07/23/2002 - 09:00

I don't. I hate to be a wet rag here, but I honestly don't trust the school my son goes to. I hope and pray that I have taught him and his twin well enough to not eat anything that didn't come from me. That combined with the fact that I know the teacher would never "knowlingly" cause harm to my child. I hold my breath every day as I drop him off.
So far my child has eaten 2 things that I didn't approve. Neither caused a problem - a fresh apple, and some canned corn - but still not thought of with the peanut rules we have in place. And he has been smart enough to turn down eating candy that was offered to him twice. He started pre-school this fall, so these 4 incidents have all happened in the past 10 or so weeks. Does not leave me with warm and fuzzy trusting feelings.
------------------
Sherlyn
Mom to 4 year old twins Ben & Mike - one PA & the other not.
Stay Informed And Peanut Free!

Posted on: Thu, 11/18/2004 - 1:06pm
leers's picture
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Joined: 07/09/2001 - 09:00

I hate to say this but I don't trust my kids school. I feel alot of times I have to give gentle reminders about this, that and everything else about his allergies. I don't think they get the seriouness of it. I sometimes would think my expectations are too high and then I think, I used to work in a daycare setting and every allergy was taken very seriously. Is it then that the school system itself is the issue? I am talking Ontario, Canada specific. I know that my children's classrooms are pushing 30 kids per class. Maybe too many kids to try and keep track of children with allergies. Who knows.....I try and make sure I drill into my son's head not to take food from others and not to take candy from anyone as well. I would like to think that my son's two common environments (home and school) would be the safest they can be, but are they?????

Posted on: Thu, 11/18/2004 - 1:38pm
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

My issues with the school have been similar to Sherlyn's. My dd has had one or two things from a teacher who read the labels and was sure the allergens we face were not present. Her label reading was good, but she was in conflict with our agreed upon rules of nothing I do not directly approve. Dd was fine, and I do not thing it was a big rist in any of the situations. However, my trust is broken by the breach of our agreed upon rules. I think it is hard for teachers to not feel trusted to read labels. They just do not grasp the notion of our calling companies to check beyond the labels. I do try to explain this calling thing each year and every couple of months again!
We are in preschool.
This year, age 5, but still preschool(we miss the cutoff for K), dd has been abstaining volutarily from things I have approved. I okayed any butter for the air-popped popcorn they have. Dd was leery and said she could not have it because it had peanuts in it and chose her Ritz crackers alternate. The teacher brought it up and I was assured it was just plain popcorn with butter. I was so proud of dd to abstain and chose a safe snack. She loves popcorn, so I know she is getting it and just feels more comfortable with knowing her snack is okay if she has any doubt.
So, though I have some doubts about the teachers year to year, I have gained much more faith and trust in dd's awareness, which is paramount to me! Our school is peanut/nut free and does not allow may contains. So, even a mistake would be relatively safe(might be a brand issue others would think is fine). That helps. Becca

Posted on: Thu, 11/18/2004 - 1:59pm
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Dd age 9 1/2 has been taught ever since she started preschool at age 3 never to eat anything unless it came from her lunchbox, so there has never been a problem. At age 6 we altered the rules slightly. If a snack has been brought and I have read the ingredients (this would be a store bought snack, never a snack made by another parent), I put a sticker on that says "okay for ---------(my child`s name)". Obviously this was after dd knew how to read. So if I tell her it is okay and she sees the sticker on it, she can have it. The only time this was violated and this was minor, was in third grade. I had okayed a bag of some sort of candy on Valentine`s Day, and put the sticker on. The teacher bought a second bag a week or two later and told dd I had okayed it. It was identical to the first bag but I had never even seen the second bag, and I had not read the ingredients. Since I read ingredients every time, I was a little irritated that the teacher told dd I had okayed it when I had not even been asked. The teacher`s reasoning was that it was identical to the bag I did okay, but that was not what was supposed to happen.
The only other problem was when the cafeteria unexpectedly served pb which was not on the menu. When that happens dd is supposed to be sent back to class to eat with a friend. Twice in four years they did not send her back to class. Nothing happened, and she has no history of airborne reactions anyhow, but her allergist said every pa can become airborne, just like every pa can lead to anaphylaxis. So I guess those were minor problems.
The last one was this year during our epipen training meeting when another teacher pointed out that at that moment the cafeteria was serving trail mix with lunch. The cafeteria had NEVER had trail mix during dd`s 4 years there. The explanation was that the cafeteria manager ordered fruit and this was sent as fruit because it had raisins in it. Dd sat in the caf during this, and because she is at a peanut free table, she had no idea what was going on. I don`t think she even knew what trail mix was anyhow. The cafeteria staff did refrain from serving the trail mix to the kids at the peanut free table. But all the other kids in the caf ate it.
So in terms of being offered food when she should not have been, there was just the one time when she was given food from a bag I had not okayed, but it was identical to a bag I had okayed.
As far as airborne/contact issues, there were just the three incidents in 4 years of dd eating in the caf when peanut products were served.
Now that we have a principal who has an epi, it is all a different story. She takes this sooooooooooo seriously. Wouldn`t our lives be easier if all schools had principals who had a history of anaphylaxis and an epi. We got this new principal just this year. When she looked at me and said, "I know what it is like to be gasping for breath and it isn`t fun", I knew she would look out for the pa kids. Now if there is a menu change and pb will be served unexpectedly, the principal announces it on the loud speaker.

Posted on: Fri, 11/19/2004 - 7:42am
Suzy Q's picture
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Joined: 05/20/2004 - 09:00

My son is in preschool. They have approx 20 kids with food allergies. I believe they understand the seriousness of it. They have implemented allergen-free classrooms for the kids with food allergies, which they announced during orientation for all parents to hear. The teachers have all had allergy & Epipen training. Last year they brought in an allergist to talk about food allergies.
I feel relatively comfortable sending my son to school there. However, my son was given 2 treats last year and 1 this year. The one this year was from the people taking school pictures. They brought suckers for all of the kids. Teacher was not present. I am now trying to teach him not to take anything from anyone.
I think the school is very aware, but it is not always on their mind as it is ours.

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