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Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2007 - 4:54am
lilpig99's picture
Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

We're perpetuators, of good (safety for our kids) and evil (exclusion of our kids). It's a very difficult situation we're in, isn't it?

Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2007 - 5:12am
ceross's picture
Joined: 01/27/2004 - 09:00

Sorry, this may be a bit of a non sequitor. The Washington Post had an article on school snacks today. Kudos to the article for mentioning food allergies. There is also a great sidebar about local (DC Metro) school snack policies.

Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2007 - 5:26am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

gvmom, sorry, I should have worded it do-able or not do-able legally.
As far as I know, it is legally do-able.
Could I stand alone with a complaint of repeated food transgressions and go to the OHRC? I'm not clear. The one year I did have a case to go before OHRC, it was a series of things, starting from my son missing the first day of school that occurred.
But repeated exclusion on the basis of cupcakes?
I have to say that when I phoned Anaphylaxis Canada regarding my son's BENCH situation at current school, they actually thought it was okay - if that was all the school could do with their resources (I had been given the line limited resources by the school) then it was okay. We had to deal with what we had to deal with and would I rather have the BENCH or nothing in place to keep my son safe kinda thing (I have to find that particular thread). That was Anaphylaxis Canada speaking and yet, I am fairly clear that I approached the OHRC as well.
Excluding 7 or 8 children to sit at a BENCH every day because they had PA? I don't think so. Not in *my* world. Not in the *real* world.
So, my answer to you again, since I do know that it is do-able, and understand that a 504 Plan is a legally binding document THEN cupcakes would not legally be allowed into your child's classroom.
Exclusion - my answer to that would be more in the BENCH situation where my national advocate kinda told me to grin and bear it but I am fairly sure OHRC said otherwise.
He**, OHRC said otherwise when they wouldn't let me kid into school that year.
So yes, how it is presented to them - who is on the other end of the phone/e-mail/whatever, but NO - NO EXCLUSION.
I am unclear right now, but as far as I can tell, although I don't think any of us have been daring enough to try (not from what I've read in this thread anyway) and even file a human rights' complaint because of exclusion based on a food allergy.
I don't mind being corrected on that one at all and would love to read examples, actually.
But, I do know that each time I have called OHRC, I have been told that what was happening to my son at school was not okay and the basis for a complaint - so my assumption therefore that it was not legal.
I think I remain dazed and confused however.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
There but for the Grace of God, go I.

Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2007 - 6:00am
solarflare's picture
Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

I haven't sent in a safe treat box since Jason was in the second grade (that was the only year I did)... because the teachers always put the kibosh on birthday cupcakes/cookies/candy, and I've always been involved with the class party treats at some level.
I don't think that it's unreasonable to expect the teachers to make a reasonable attempt to include students with food allergies.
Cheryl, mom to Jason (9 MFA including peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, coconut, sesame, squid)
Joey (7 NKA)
Allison (4 milk allergic, suspect shellfish, avoiding PN/TN for now)
Ryan (1) nka *knock on wood*

Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2007 - 6:08am
PinkPoodle's picture
Joined: 06/12/2007 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by gvmom:
You fight for the right to life for your child.... the accommodations that are necessary for them to attend school.... go to the mat for principle and law contained in IDEA/504..... but then still send in something that lets them out of their contract.
If it is okay for a school to treat your child differently based on their FA's in an exclusionary sense, and you sanction it and promote it with things like snack boxes, what is next?[/b]
Gvmom-I guess it depends what your 'contract' says about food in the classroom. Our 504 Plan says (we agreed to this for safety reasons) that DD's PARENTS will provide her snacks. It says DD will only eat food provided by home. I don't know about the legality of it (did the school put in writing a planned discrimination...?), but I do know this, the clarity of that accommodation did protect her life. It is clear to her and although the teacher attempted to violate it, DD knew not to accept the food. Her 504 Plan was changed this year (initiated by us) to have any classroom projects/use of food during a party safe for all or not have it all. I'm not talking about cupcakes; I'm talking about activities with food (decorating cookies as a classroom project, making gingerbread houses, "bobbing" for doughnuts, etc.).
I'd love to see birthday cupcakes banned from school (just a hunch that the kids who are bringing in cupcakes are also celebrating with cake at home--it is overkill). Our district has recently moved to "guidelines" (aka snail's pace--too shocking to say mandates) that will make the cupcakes in the classroom decreased. It still is not ideal, but better. AND..it will only be as good as the teacher's ability to enforce it and send food away.
I already stated that my reason for not sending in a 'safe treat box' is because it sat for the year without any use. I will send DD with her own treats once a month when they do their monthly birthday celebration. This is how her life is--she is allergic to egg, peanuts, and tree nuts. She has never been to a party where the cake was 'safe' for her. She did go to a MFA child's party and it would have been safe, but she wouldn't eat it. I don't feel comfortable with her eating cake (if she outgrows egg) that other moms might feel OK giving to their peanut allergic children (for example we were at a birthday party and the cake came from a bakery that has customers who request a "peanut-free" cake sign a waiver saying there is always a risk of cross-contamination....). I would rather see my DD eating her own cupcake courtesy of our kitchen (or Divvies if I decide to buy some).
I am very interested to hear what the OCR's position on this is. It is my understanding that our children are not entitled to an 'equal'/'idenitical' experience--the school can provided an alternative experience. I do think it would be great if the school all of a sudden had to do mass orders from Divvies to keep up with the cupcake celebrations rather than me slaving away baking [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2007 - 6:11am
gvmom's picture
Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

[b]I am unclear right now, but as far as I can tell, although I don't think any of us have been daring enough to try (not from what I've read in this thread anyway) and even file a human rights' complaint because of exclusion based on a food allergy.[/b]
Yes! Thank you. *smacking own forehead*
Human Rights. The basic rights of the individual.
Where is the "moral outrage" based on exclusion -- period?
Where is the "moral outrage" based on a blatant disregard for the illegality of exclusion?
Would you sit back and watch another child at school be excluded for another reason?
Would you not say something?
Would you not do something?
Maybe that is it. Maybe those of us who send in safe snacks, even with a legally binding agreement, are the ones that would not say something --- even if we see a wrong, feel it is wrong, have that urge to step in but don't for whatever reason ---
If the teacher of your own child scheduled an activity which a child in a wheelchair couldn't participate in, would you say something? Would you say something and still let your child participate if the wheelchair bound child couldn't?
.... it is a lot about human rights.... basic..... inherent......legal......
For me a lot right now is about the person that I am. The person that I aspire to be. And above all, the safety of my children and my hope for the people they are to become. There are things that I will feel I will have failed them in if I don't hold true..... and don't raise them to believe in. To fight for. To believe and know are right.
....now apparently I need to go work on my crooked tail which should be curly.... get a washcloth to wipe off some of this mud on my nose.... and practice my take-off and landings.... still a bit bumpy.....

Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2007 - 6:33am
gvmom's picture
Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

[b]Gvmom-I guess it depends what your 'contract' says about food in the classroom.[/b]
No products with Peanuts/Treenuts. No may contains, made in facility, etc.
Pre-packaged, individually wrapped, with ingredient list & allergen warning.
That is just to get into the classroom.
For DS to eat it, add that either DH or I (or both) have exclusively given our permission for it after having been able to see it & examine it.
No food for class projects (at all).
That is the current 504.
Not enforced last year until after March, and then not consistently and only because we accidentally caught things that we would never have found out about save for dumb luck.

Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2007 - 6:39am
lakeswimr's picture
Joined: 02/01/2007 - 09:00

I guess I don't see things the way you do. My son's real life is eating foods different from others. (shurg) I think *that* is far more upsetting that being left out of some *particular* snack and having to have a different snack. My son will participate in parties by eating safe foods that *I* provide. He is right now fine with this.
I would *love* to get rid of bday treats in school and would feel this way even if DS didn't have FAs. I think they have no place in the classroom. As a teacher I find it to be a waste of learning time. I would work towards eliminated food-based bday celebrations in school. I wouldn't keep my son from having a safe treat when others *are* going to be having them. Others *are* going to be having them, like it or not at DS's school. Outside of school we go to events and DS eats his own food.
I don't trust others to determine if a food is safe. I don't expect others to know this. It requires calling companies. He eats our food and that's what is safe.
I don't think having DS eat an alternate treat = he is being excluded. I think him not having any treat would = that, though if others are having something.
*I* care that he eats different food from others at parties. So far he *doesnt'*. That surprised me but I'm relieved and glad he feels that way. My brother who always loved lobster recently became allergic. He also was having very bad reactions (not IgE but bad reactions) to dairy and stopped his other favorite food which is ice cream. I asked him if he felt sad about this and he said, "why should I feel sad about not getting sick?" This is how DS feels about it, too. Safe food keeps him safe and he likes that. Also, our stuff is usually better than what others have anyway. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
I respect your opinion but i dont' share your outrage or emotion on this. My top goal is DS's safety. 2nd is his mental and emotional health. All are important.
I am, as I said earlier, very sorry you have had such a hard time with your school. They really should be following the plan they created with you and it stinks they haven't. It is criminal, really, if they don't, IMO.
I wish you all the best.

Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2007 - 6:50am
MCKMOM's picture
Joined: 08/25/2006 - 09:00

I have "heard" that on Back to school night this week they,(school) will announce a school wide policy of "food free" celebrations....
One can only hope, I heard some of the teachers last year got fed up will all the competing "cupcakes", some classes had treats 2-3 times a week....Plus I think it is becoming the norm in S. Cal, (law?)
My dd will start in 2008 but my non-allergic son is in 4th grade and has a PA boy in his class, I cant wait till
thursday night to see how this is handled....and one whole year to implement before my little one sets her little foot in the Kinder-door...
We shall see, I am hopeful but after reading all of these posts I don't know why...
Good Luck

Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2007 - 8:17am
TwokidsNJ's picture
Joined: 05/28/2005 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
*Show them FAAN's model school board policy requiring all treats brought to school must be packaged foods with ingredient labels.
Are you saying that this model school board policy already exists (re: packaged food recommendation)?
If so can you point me in the direction of where to find this?
Thank you!


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