is letter to teacher too much?

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 9:27am
mcmom's picture
Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

At the start of the school year, our principal sent home a letter re ds's class, that there was a PA child in the class and laid down some ground rules. One of them was that parents should not send goody bags in on holidays, and that Valentine's cards should not have candy attached.

One or two parents have violated the no goody bag rule (one even sent in pb candy!)- I spoke to the principal about it, but she went out on a sudden medical leave. I'm worried about Valentine's Day, and that since the letter was sent in Sept that there is going to be a lot of candy around, especially in the cards.

I don't especially feel like having a meeting with the teacher about this, because I am not happy that she has let some parents get around the rules. (No, these rules are not part of his 504, I am working on changing that.) I felt that I would rather send her a letter, but I am getting advice that it might seem too "unfriendly"? I like the idea of something in writing in case there are further infractions, though.

Here is the letter I wrote:

With Valentine

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 9:49am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I'd focus on FUTURE cooperation at this point... not past mistakes. Unless SHE brings it up with you.
So I'd edit that to reflect only those things you [i]want to see happening.[/i] Leave your first two paragraphs just as they are-- they are very clear and to the point, I think. Very pleasant "tone."
The part where you talk about infractions, though.... hmmmm. Teacher may feel a little defensive there. Not what you'd like. I'd just stick to what you would [i]like to see in the future[/i] w/r to handling "goody bags." ('Don't give him one that contains candy without your express approval beforehand,' right?)
Without the specific instructions being in the 504, you need to get the teacher's cooperation. Not her 'compliance.' Big difference.

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 3:58pm
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 6:56pm
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

I think the letter is too long and sounds too apologetic. You have a very serious issue to address, but you are wrapping it up in a lot of convoluted, overly polite and obsequious language.
He's allergic and the teacher gave him peanut candy to take home, so a little unfriendliness is probably necessary at this point.
The teacher gave him something that can kill him. I think you should tell her very directly that this had better not ever happen again.

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 10:56pm
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I agree with the above posts and would probably still go to the new principal. I don't think teachers are allowed to send notices home that aren't approved by principal anyway.
What about your school nurse?
The other thing I've noticed is that since first grade, the teachers seem to involve the kids in being informed to help inform their parents. KWIM?
Example: my son has told me numerous times that something isn't allowed or other moms have called saying my daughter told me to call you because I'm bringing in xxx and I want to make sure it's safe.
If the teacher gives the kids a reminder that they are not allowed to pass out goodie bags or bring in candy for V. Day, I'll venture a guess that it won't happen as much.
Think about it, kids want to follow the rules, kids usually want to conform and do what their teacher says. If mommy is putting together goodie bags and kid says, we aren't allowed to do that....serves as a reminder.
Think about it, if you put goodie bags together and child says, mom we aren't allowed to do that, I don't want goodie bags, I don't want to get in trouble...are you going to send the goodie bag? probably not.
So maybe you can ask the teacher to remind students so they are involved in knowing the rules and helping their parents remember them!
On a side note, check out the bill for NJ, if you're a nj governor's office to support. It's a good amended law!!
[This message has been edited by saknjmom (edited January 23, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 6:53am
mcmom's picture
Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

Thank you all [img][/img]
I know I am way late to complain about what was sent home on Halloween - in my defense, ds had his parent teacher conference scheduled for first week of November, and I planned to talk about it then. Then the teacher was out on a medical that week and the conference never got rescheduled. I told the principal about it instead, mainly because it is always just this one child bringing the food/goody bags in. It was before Xmas, so I asked her about resending the letter to this child's home (trying to give the benefit of the doubt that maybe the parent had never read it in Sept.) Then, I only found out af few weeks ago that the same child's mom did go ahead and send something in to the Xmas party (my friend is the class mom and she told me, but again it was after the fact.)
It's so aggravating that this principal wrote this great letter and implemented all these rules, but now she isn't around when I need them enforced, although of course it's not her fault she is out. The reason she did the letter is because ds's 504 says a letter must be sent even though the 504 doesn't technically say no candy in the classroom, the letter that states it is part of the 504, so I don't feel like I need to get the teacher's cooperation, I actually do think she needs to comply. The letter also stated that snacks would be checked and anything with nuts be sent home, which was also not specified in his 504 (it just asked for a "request to limit nuts in snacks".) And she had complied with that part of the letter, so I think it's reasonable to expect her to comply with the other rules outlined.
I'm starting to think I have too much to go over with her and that I should request a meeting so that there is no more confusion. If I do, maybe **follow up** with a letter confirming what we discussed, that I can have a copy of put in his file?
[quote]On a side note, check out the bill for NJ, if you're a nj governor's office to support. It's a good amended law!![quote]
saknjmom, I hope you know I'm from NJ, lol [img][/img] Where is the info posted - I always follow up and call or email when you post the info, I appreciate you doing it!!!

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 8:08am
Christabelle's picture
Joined: 10/03/2004 - 09:00

I agree 100% with Sandra Y. You are sounding way too apologetic (probably because you are such a nice person). I can't imagine who would think your letter was unfriendly. If anything, I think it was too friendly - only in that you need them to understand you are very serious. Their slipups are not just oopsies - they could kill your child. If a teacher allowed guns or arsenic in the classroom against rules, no one would send a friendly letter reminding her how wrong that is. Peanut butter candy is a gun or arsenic to your child.
I know why you are couching it in very nice terms - sugar works more than vinegar is some cases - but I think we peanut allergy parents shouldn't have to kiss someone's butt just to get him or her to do the job they are paid to do.
Good luck, the teacher is probably afraid to stick up for the rule and say no. She needs to grow a backbone, fast. She is afraid to offend some other parents, and is risking your child's life. Unacceptable!

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 8:45am
TwokidsNJ's picture
Joined: 05/28/2005 - 09:00

I would actually make the letter more firm:
Background: Include the halloween incident. Remind the teacher/principal that this is very dangerous for your child and could have life threatening ramifications.
Then: Request a note be sent home saying "no candy" with valentines.
Please call you if she has ANY questions or comments. Also, can you volunteer to help at the party that day?

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 8:58am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

If the original letter from the principal is good, why not just request that the teacher to reissue it to parents the week before Valentine's Day to prepare for the party? You could do that in an e-mail and 'cc' the acting principal. Also, in that correspondnce that you could request that either the teacher or the school nurse review the contents of that letter with the class so that they also understand the 'rules'. I really like what saknjmom said about kids helping their classmates follow the rules. So true. And in this case, the kids might also help the teacher follow the rules. . .

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 1:33pm
mcmom's picture
Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

I'm laughing at the comment that I am too nice [img][/img]
The thing is, we live in a very small town, everyone knows everyone, and most of the teachers (including ds's) live here too. His teacher actually lives around the corner! So I probably watch my tone a lot more than I ever would have in my past, pre kids days, lol.
I wound up emailing her. I work in the school on Fridays, and her class goes to art during the time I am there, so I will pop in and confirm with her that she received it and is going to follow up on it. That way, it's in writing *and* I talked to her in person. The email was a lot briefer than the letter, lol, but when I speak to her in person I get go into the details. The email read:
Dear Mrs. ***,
Since Valentine

Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 8:53pm
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

MCMOM---Of course I know you're from nj and i originally wrote--MCMOM call the governor for the NJ law.
I didn't want to post any "personal" info about you and your location isn't in your profile, so I quickly changed it to be generic. Guess I'm paranoid at this point.
the info for the bill is in the legislature thread!
Also, what ever happened with your son and the meds the doctor was going to put him on?


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