\"It\'s not fair to the other students\"

Posted on: Sat, 04/29/2006 - 3:56am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I watched a wonderful video on learning disabilities yesterday called "How Difficult Can This Be?". It's a fantastic video that really makes you understand what kids with learning disabilities experience in the classroom. Towards the end, though, the speaker made a point that really stuck out to me regarding fairness, and I realized how much it applies to my PA son.

Here was his example - Janie has a disability that makes it terribly difficult for her to copy information from the chalkboard. Her special education teacher goes to the general classroom teacher, asks her to ensure that Janie gets a paper copy of any notes that go up on the board, and tosses out several suggestions for how to do so. The teacher says "I can't do that. It wouldn't be fair to the other children in the class."

In the video, this led to a rather heated discussion about what "fairness" really means. It doesn't mean treating everyone the same. It means making sure that everyone gets what they need. Of course it's fair - Janie needs it, the other kids don't. Therefore, the only "fair" thing to do is to provide her with notes that would allow her to be as successful as the other children.

Now, you might be asking how this applies to food allergies. How many times have we heard someone from the school say "we can't do that, it wouldn't be fair to the other students"? I understand we are talking about the flip side here - providing something to one and not the others instead of "taking away" from the others to protect the one - but it's the same basic issue.

In the case of FA, fair is setting up an environment where everyone gets to eat without fear, where everyone gets to participate in every activity safely, and where each child's needs are addressed individually. If the reduction of certain food allergens can create this evironment, isn't it the fair thing to do?

Just wanted to share.
Lori

Posted on: Sat, 04/29/2006 - 4:14am
TeddyAlly's picture
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Joined: 11/29/2005 - 09:00

I am so with you on fair being what is safe for all kids in the class. That is what I have been trying to make others against nut-free classroom to realize. Most understand after you explain it as fair being safe for everyone. Thank you! Great post!
------------------
Helen
Mom to Alyssa (PA, age 5)
Mom to Theodore (age 3)

Posted on: Sat, 04/29/2006 - 6:06am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

You have hit the nail on the head... this is (IMO) the hardest thing for other people to truly comprehend about our lifestyle. The FEAR.
It is not right to place a child in an environment where they (rightly) have a crushing sense of fear for their basic safety. Children with life threatening food allergies are quite familiar with this emotion-- they must battle it to do many things that others take for granted, such as traveling or attending birthday parties and even the local movie theater.
School needs to feel safe. Period.
That is what is "fair."
Thanks, Lori.

Posted on: Sat, 04/29/2006 - 11:26am
ajas_folks's picture
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Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

One source for video, FYI:
[url="http://www.shoppbs.org/sm-pbs-how-difficult-can-this-be-fat-city-vhs--pi-1406890.html"]http://www.shoppbs.org/sm-pbs-how-difficult-can-this-be-fat-city-vhs--pi-1406890.html[/url]
~Elizabeth

Posted on: Sat, 04/29/2006 - 11:34am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Another source: [url="http://www.ldonline.org/ld_store/lavoie_fatcity.html"]http://www.ldonline.org/ld_store/lavoie_fatcity.html[/url]
Thank you Lori.

Posted on: Sat, 04/29/2006 - 4:14am
TeddyAlly's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/29/2005 - 09:00

I am so with you on fair being what is safe for all kids in the class. That is what I have been trying to make others against nut-free classroom to realize. Most understand after you explain it as fair being safe for everyone. Thank you! Great post!
------------------
Helen
Mom to Alyssa (PA, age 5)
Mom to Theodore (age 3)

Posted on: Sat, 04/29/2006 - 6:06am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

You have hit the nail on the head... this is (IMO) the hardest thing for other people to truly comprehend about our lifestyle. The FEAR.
It is not right to place a child in an environment where they (rightly) have a crushing sense of fear for their basic safety. Children with life threatening food allergies are quite familiar with this emotion-- they must battle it to do many things that others take for granted, such as traveling or attending birthday parties and even the local movie theater.
School needs to feel safe. Period.
That is what is "fair."
Thanks, Lori.

Posted on: Sat, 04/29/2006 - 11:26am
ajas_folks's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

One source for video, FYI:
[url="http://www.shoppbs.org/sm-pbs-how-difficult-can-this-be-fat-city-vhs--pi-1406890.html"]http://www.shoppbs.org/sm-pbs-how-difficult-can-this-be-fat-city-vhs--pi-1406890.html[/url]
~Elizabeth

Posted on: Sat, 04/29/2006 - 11:34am
Gail W's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Another source: [url="http://www.ldonline.org/ld_store/lavoie_fatcity.html"]http://www.ldonline.org/ld_store/lavoie_fatcity.html[/url]
Thank you Lori.

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