Is a PF table segregation?

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

Last year after my 5 year old had to sit outside the lunch room SEVERAL times because everyone else was eating some type of peanuts and tree nuts, I decided no more. No more of him being upset like he was being punished for something when he did nothing wrong. So I starting out trying to protect him with a 504 plan (which I know now that there is much that needs to be added!) One of the things that the school said they would do was the peanut free table. Well now my son is sitting by himself right out in the open in the lunchroom and everybody knows that he is the one that is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. They try to get kids to sit with him but then cannot because they will not give up peanuts or nuts.

Anyway, Chandra sent me a link to a video that says they are dividing the lunch room somewhere in Colorado I think to make it safe for the allergic kids and the other parents were crying that it was segregation. So what about the kids with allergies that have to sit all by themselves at the PF table so everyone knows that it is them.

I believe right now this is the safest thing for him, but the **** he has to put up with. Parents are complaining about they can't find any snacks for their kids to send to class that are peanut and nut free (welcome to my son's world!), one child had to be moved from the table because she had a granola bar in her lunch box and she went home and told her mom and know the mom says that my son went thru her childs lunch box and she is highly ****** . For the first time my son said he did not want to go to school. I just wanted to cry. Writing this letter I am sitting here with tears down my cheeks.

Can we say it is segregation and that the allergic kids have every right to participate normally. Is that too much to ask? I tried this 504 which has been violated 2 times in 2 weeks. The 504 lady tried to say one time that maybe my son was at fault in one the instances. He is sitting at the PF table. But at what cost. I feel like it is worse than last year. He has some close calls last year and missed some school because he had touch reactions. I just don't know what to do anymore and I am in need of some advice on how to do this. I have not been a member of this community very long, but I feel like we are in the same boat without a paddle. What do you do? How do you keep your child safe without him being ostracized in the process???????? I am so upset right now I may not be coherent! Help!

------------------ #1 son - peanuts, tree nuts, walnuts, eggs, every weed, grass, tree, mold, dust, cats, dogs, horses, and has asthma #2 son - peanuts, shellfish, eggs, every grass, weed, tree, mold, dust, dogs, cats, horses, cows, and has severe asthma

On Aug 23, 2007

I believe your son's peanut free table to be segregation. However, you need to get some advice from parents who do have a peanut free table for their child and how they integrate it with the rest of your son's class so that it doesn't feel like segregation. If that makes any sense.

You really need to hear from parents whose peanut free tables "work" and how it is they got them to work.

I can't help you because my son was placed at a BENCH to eat.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 23, 2007

I'm sure others will have advice on what to do....but I just wanted to say how sorry I am and that I understand and am sending you a big cyber hug!

I wish I had some concrete advice to give you. But you are not alone.

On Aug 24, 2007

Sorry to hear this is happening. What I did in our very first 504 meeting was to get a peanut free table. The teacher, principal, nurse and the head of the lunchroom were all there for the meeting. The table has a sign so everyone knows it is pf. However, it is by the other tables not off in the corner somewhere. All the teachers eat with the students, so his teacher made sure whoever sat by him did not have any peanut products. He really never sat alone for lunch, there was always at least one child there sitting by him. He had a few close friends in school right away and they just made the choice not to choose pb. His table is also sanitized with it's own bucket and rag to be used only for his table every day before and after lunch. There is still pb in the lunchroom, but he has never had a reaction and he will be in 2nd grade this year.

Is it only his grade eating in the lunchroom? Have you ever had a safe snack list for the teacher to give to the parents? My parents have never complained, so I really can't imagine anyone doing that.

How can it be your son's fault?!?! He is a little boy!! The adults are supposed to be protecting him, not blameing him, unbelieveable. I would demand another meeting with all the people above I mentioned. I would also call the 504 lady's boss and complain about how your son is being treated. If that doesn't work, go higher up the chain until someone will do something about it. We did have a few problems with his teacher when he first started school 2 years ago. I had 2 meetings because of it with the higher powers. I showed them food labels, gave them each 3 articles from this site to read. One being all the people that have died because of eating peanuts. I just told them to put themselves in my place and imagine if it was their child, what would they want to have happen in school. A few tears and the mention of a lawyer didn't hurt either. After that meeting there was not a problem.

E-mail also was the key to a successful 2 years for me. Ryan's teachers and I e-mailed all the time. I told them to e-mail me or call me if they had any questions about anything, little or big, weekday or weekend.

Let me know if I can help in any other way. Good Luck!!

Jan

On Aug 24, 2007

First, sorry you are going through this right now. Does your school serve pb with its main lunch? It it a daily item that is served or just served on certain days?

Our school does have pb free tables, [i]but[/i] any student that has hot lunch can also sit there because there lunch would be considered safe since pb is an option given to the students in the form of a pb cart. If the child eats hot lunch then visits the pb cart, then that child goes to the "red" side of the cafeteria. However, if the student does not visit the pb cart, he/she can sit at the "greeen" side of the lunch room, which is peanut free. All cold lunches sit at the "red" tables.

This set-up helps because many kids are able to sit at the green tables. It actually has worked pretty good for us. One problem I see in the future is if my son has a friend who brings a lunch from home daily, he would never be able to sit next to him. But I will cross that path if it becomes a problem.

Maybe if you give us a little more detail as far as how things are set up, you will get more help.

Also, try searching for peanut free tables and you will get along of older posts on topic.

I remember reading somewhere that PF tables can be considered segregation. I think it depends how they are set up. Gail, if you are following, didn't you have a lot of difficulty with this for you DD?

Good luck and welcome to the Board.

On Aug 24, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by notnutty: [b]I remember reading somewhere that PF tables can be considered segregation. I think it depends how they are set up. Gail, if you are following, didn't you have a lot of difficulty with this for you DD?[/b]

Yes. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] (I mean, what [i]didn't[/i] happen to us? LOL! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] )

Our allergist had recommended a PF table for DD in his letter to the school when DD entered K. But when it became a problem, the school said that they needed to follow the allergist's recommendations. So I asked the allergist to write a letter to the school that she no longer needed to sit there. Our allergist wasn't too sure about recommending that, and this lead to his conducting a "touch challenge". It's all described here: [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/004077.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/004077.html[/url]

In any event, in retrospect, I sorta regret not having applied more pressure on the school to make the PF table work. <>

But yes, in our situation, I believe the PF talbe was segregation.

On Aug 24, 2007

Our school has 2 peanut free tables. At one time they had 2 very large umbrella's over them(to jazz it up) but they were taken down(I would hear non-allergy kids complaining it wasn't fair they got cool umbrella's...I just laughed in my head at that one!) But anyways, some grades the 2 tables are very empty(like my son going into 1st, he is the *only* allergy child in that grade...well, there is one other PA but supposedly he *just* gets hives, so he sits amongst the other students (shaking my head). In 3rd grade there are about 5 allergy kids, so their table is pretty full. They *boys* are allowed to invite 1 friend just because there's only 1 chair left, so they all rotate the day of the week(worked it out themselves that way). NOw the boys sit at one table and the girls at the other because *they* choose to sit that way, no rules were implied there. The girls have about 3 chairs, so of course more friends come sit with them. This last year it became quite the little *hot spot* to the girls. The only rule though is that the *friend* has to order a hot lunch(no cold lunch bags allowed if you are non-allergic) and they can't pick hot-lunch pb&j if they sit there.

It could be considered segregation, I don't see it that way personally. Like the story I posted(about an angry parent calling the local news because our school *also* has a peanut table) those parents were angry and upset, but in theory, they were complaining about the same darn thing....their child(and my child too) has to sit at a certain table durig lunch! I don't see it as segregation, because *my* child has the choice not to sit there(if I deemed it okay, like the other 1st grade boy who just gets hives!!). And *their* child doesn't have to sit at the cold lunch table if they choose to buy a lunch. I don't know. You could read into all this much deeper then it is, but in the end, you just need a safe place for your allergy child to eat, so the pf table does a great job doing so!

I have to go one step further this year, my son has soooooo many allergies that the pf table no longer protects him(he actually got welts on around his eyes last year at his pf table!), so he will be sitting in a desk just off the table. We just do what we got to do, right....to keep them safe [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ Chanda(mother of 4) Sidney-8 1/2(beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig, hamster & asthma) Jake-6 1/2(peanut, all tree nuts, seeds(all-sesame, sunflower, poppy, pine nut) beef, chicken, eggs, coconut(also avoiding legumes), trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma) Carson-4 (peanut, tree nuts, milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig, hamster, grass, mold, dust mite and EE) Savannah-1 1/2 (milk, beef and egg, dog(avoiding peanuts, tree nuts, strawberries, seeds, legumes and corn)

On Aug 24, 2007

Just to clarify, the reason that I believe the PF table in my DD's school was discriminatory was because:

1. The table itself was different (it sat only 4-6 compared to the other tables that sat up to 20) 2. Only children with 504s and/or IEPs sat there 3. It developed a stimga and became known as "the reject table" amoung students and their parents

On Aug 24, 2007

Oh, wow. (((Hugs))) to you. I'm sorry your little guy has had these experiences.

If it's working right, I think the PF table is a valuable way of keeping our children safe.

I think it can become a point of segregation if it is not handled well by the school--or if our children end up sitting alone.

Also, in an instance last year, I really felt that DS was segregated. In our former community no peanut products were served--only brought in with other lunches. DS could even eat two of the meals in the cafeteria line: Red Baron pizza and the veggie baked potato. It seemed to me that he should be able to sit with kids eating a cafeteria line lunch and he initially wanted to. It didn't seem fair that he was stuck in one table at the end when it would have been safe for him to eat with most of the other kids. So changes were made to allow that. However, he eventually did not feel comfortable and moved back to the PF table.

At his current school there IS PB served, and most of the kids in his school bring their lunch. I'm liking the PF table a lot right now and think of it in terms of a means to keeping him safe, not as a means of segregating him. This could change, but for now it's what I think.

For your child, I think there is some onus on the school to make lunch period equal for him. It sounds like the school hasn't done a good job of managing parents' expectations.

On Aug 24, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]Just to clarify, the reason that I believe the PF table in my DD's school was discriminatory was because:

1. The table itself was different (it sat only 4-6 compared to the other tables that sat up to 20) 2. Only children with 504s and/or IEPs sat there 3. It developed a stimga and became known as "the reject table" amoung students and their parents[/b]

well, in Gail's situation, in point #2 that ONLY IEP's or 504's can sit there(unless ALL the seats are taken by those students) I think making a child sit there alone is sad. Like if my son was sitting at the peanut free table with 6 seats(ours has 6 seats as well)....but he sat there alone, I *would* have a problem with it. We worked it out(the principal and his teacher) that the teacher rotated 2 friends to sit with him each day. She would do it during circle time, she would have kids raise their hand if they wanted to sit at the pf table and order a hot lunch(no pb&j either)....the kids remained excited to sit with him, so it never *got old* or a *bad rap*.....the older kids(the 2nd graders I was talking about) they chose the friends. But I think allowing non-allergy kids(with safe lunches) keeps the tables from getting *labeled* as weird or whatever. It's the school(principal, teacher etc...) that needs to keep the tables as something positive, not as punishment!

------------------ Chanda(mother of 4) Sidney-8 1/2(beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig, hamster & asthma) Jake-6 1/2(peanut, all tree nuts, seeds(all-sesame, sunflower, poppy, pine nut) beef, chicken, eggs, coconut(also avoiding legumes), trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma) Carson-4 (peanut, tree nuts, milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig, hamster, grass, mold, dust mite and EE) Savannah-1 1/2 (milk, beef and egg, dog(avoiding peanuts, tree nuts, strawberries, seeds, legumes and corn)

On Aug 24, 2007

Can you get them to send home a list of peanut-free lunch ideas so he can have other sit with him?

It is very hard to believe that *every* child in the cafeteria at the same time as him had peanuts in their lunches. I hope they aren't using your son to be passively agressive towards you. But even if they are I would look for solutions and present them with a smile and positive attitude (as well as you can anyway.)

Good luck! This is just temporary. The other kids are going to want to sit with your child in the future. He will have good friends who beg their parents to make peanut-free meals so they can sit with him, I"m sure!

On Aug 24, 2007

IMO, if the child feels isolated, or is being picked on or talked about because of it, it is segregation. If the child is comfortable with it, and the other kids don't make a big deal of it, then it is simply a safety measure. Of course, that means that it can be segregation to one child, and not to the child sitting beside him/her.

------------------ [url="http://www.the3day.org/boston07/deedaigle"]http://www.the3day.org/boston07/deedaigle[/url]

On Aug 25, 2007

Thank you everybody for cyber hugs and good wishes. Right now my son needs all he can get. It has been a tough week and like I read somewhere else I have cried until I can cry no more.

They do try to get 2 kids to sit with him and alternate, BUT the parents aren't trying to send in peanut or tree nit free snacks. The one girl had a granola bar and got sent to the other table and that is what started out as an all out rage against my son and his allergies. But I may be overeacting. I think things got mixed up and that is what I told my son. I believed and him and that is all that matters.

As far as the lunch menu, he is allergic to so much I WILL NOT take the chance of them feeding him. I just DO NOT trust them!

I think I am going to retype a 504 that I think will better suit my son. Then when I mail it to the 504 lady I am going to include in my polite letter that their has been 2 violations and these are the "suggested" changes to his 504. I am going to also say that I thought that this would help my son but so far it seems to have done more harm than good.

Last year he was in kindegarten. I could take my 3 year old and the teacher did not mind because he was so good and I was helping out. I could oversee things more than I can now that he is in 1st and I guess that is why I am so scared.

Again thank you all and I find such good information here! I wish I had joined earlier.

------------------ #1 son - peanuts, tree nuts, walnuts, eggs, every weed, grass, tree, mold, dust, cats, dogs, horses, and has asthma #2 son - peanuts, shellfish, eggs, every grass, weed, tree, mold, dust, dogs, cats, horses, cows, and has severe asthma

Related