Lunch Room Issue

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A friend/mom that I know from school occasionally fills in as a lunch aid and she is very aware about Brandon's peanut allergy and she is someone that shows a lot of care and concern about things that have happened during the school year. She has been extremely supportive and helpful with all the struggles we have had. One issue that I've brought up to the principal many times is the fact that the sub lunch aids aren't made aware of Brandon's allergy, the peanut free table, etc., which is why another PA parent and I take turns coming up to the school. This fear of mine was proven a couple weeks ago and today when my friend filled in. When she was there a couple weeks back, she came over to say she would be walking the kids back to class. I started explaining to her that only Brandon and his PA classmate walk back now (and so on and so forth). She had no idea what I was talking about because things had changed with our lunch room plan since she had last been in to sub. No one had bothered to fill her in. If I haven't been there, she would have been clueless.

Today she was filling in again and brought a 4 y.o. little boy she babysits with her. During fourth grade lunch, she let the little boy sit at the peanut free table and eat a PB&J because, again, no one bothered to let her know that the table was suppose to remain peanut free all day. She thought it was just p-nut free during first grade lunch. One of the boys at the table had an airborne reaction with hives, an itchy red throat with redness on the outside of the throat. My friend felt horrible, but it is a mistake I blame on the school for not communicating properly which, again, is why myself and the other mom feel the need to be there everyday. They refuse to take the proper accountability for things just like this. Anyone have an opinion on how to address this? I want to go in tomorrow and say, "see, this is exactly what I'm worried about", but I don't want my friend to get in trouble for something they failed to communicate. They probably won't call her back to be a sub and the principal doesn't like her much already, so I want to address this but not cause her grief. Any suggestions? The more I think about it, the more upset I get and the more it proves that they JUST DON'T GIVE A DARN!!! What is it going to take to have these people take things seriously? An anaphylactic reaction? For a child to die at school?

Thanks in advance! Tracy

On Feb 7, 2006

The peanut free table should be just that, peanut free! Whether its first lunch, last lunch or anytime throughout the day the cafe is used.

I would alert the principal and/or lunch room director or whoever is in charge to this issue. It needs to be told to all lunch aides, whether regular or sub, that this table is to remain peanut free at all times.

So many accidental reactions could be avoided with just a small amount of education/communication. I would point out what happened to that boy and make a firm statement like, "We don't want this to happen again. Or even worse, have a full blown anaphylactic reaction that would put a student's life in danger."

At our school, the two tables designated as peanut free have a sign on them, so there is no mistake which ones they are. There is a thread on these boards that has signs you could print out and suggest that they be used to alert everyone that those particular tables are designated peanut free at all times.

I hope the boy's reaction was mild and didn't get worse as the day went on.

On Feb 8, 2006

Tracy,

I think it's really important that any/every allergic reaction is documented with the school. You'll need to figure out a way to do that without undercutting this sub/aide.

What about just asking her to go on record? It[i] isn't [/i]her fault, and you can support her. Maybe you could go together to the principal and she can tell what happened? She can state what happened, then you can state why this is a concern for you.

I mean, gosh, so many things didn't happen as they should have.... once she noticed that this child was having an allergic reaction, what did she do? did the child go to the school nurse? accompanied by an adult? was that child's parent notified? was an 'incident report' written up?

I understand why you find this worrisome.

Gail

On Feb 8, 2006

I keep thinking about this situation...

Tracy, do you think your friend/aide would write a letter to the principal describing factually what occurred? Can you ask her to do that? The more I think about this, the more I come to realize that she really needs to step forward and clearly, thoroughly claim what happened.... and it would be best if she did so in writing. She's the only one who can document what she witnessed... and I would think she'd be angry at the school for placing her in the position that she was in.

On Feb 8, 2006

I agree with the other posters. By talking to the principal about her own experience, she could re-enforce the need to have all lunch aides informed and she could stress that she wouldn't want this to happen again.

On Feb 8, 2006

I think it is an excellent idea to ask my friend to put in writing what happened during lunch. I'm pretty sure she would be willing to do it. Maybe I'll write her a note asking her if she could do this for me, that way, I'm not putting her on the spot. I found out that the boy had hives and an itchy throat and was taken down to the clinic and his mom was called to come to school. His mom said he had never had an airborne reaction before, proving the point that the types reactions that can occur can change at any time. I'd love to talk to the mom of this PA boy. I don't think most parents realize some of the things that go on at that school and I'd love to fill her in. The more parents on our side the better. I found out today who the boy is; would I be crossing any lines contacting his mom? Their phone number is listed in the school directory.

Tracy

On Feb 8, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by bandbmom: [b]I found out that the boy had hives and an itchy throat and was taken down to the clinic and his mom was called to come to school. His mom said he had never had an airborne reaction before, proving the point that the types reactions that can occur can change at any time.[/b]

Did you learn that from your aide/friend? Maybe she, or whomever you learned this from, could give that mom your name/number?

On Feb 10, 2006

I'm sorry to hear about the cafeteria problems. I feel very lucky that our school has been very supportive of creating a safe environment for my daughter. Even in that environment, however, I think it's critical that my daughter feel comfortable being her own advocate. There is no way a child would sit near her and eat a peanut butter sandwich without her (and her friends, who are very protective of her) speaking up. Our kids have to be empowered to stand up for themselves. I wish I could always be there to protect her, but it can't be that way (and wouldn't be good for her anyway). She's in third grade now and understands that her allergy has to be "exempt from embarrassment or shyness." She must always speak up to protect herself.

I'm not suggesting this takes the place of supportive policies to protect our kids, but (for what it's worth), I think it's an important part of the equation.

On Feb 10, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] Did you learn that from your aide/friend? Maybe she, or whomever you learned this from, could give that mom your name/number?

[/b]

Gail, I think maybe one factor has been left out of this discussion: [i]confidentiality[/i]. It's screaming at me from the posts. Is it for you?

On Feb 10, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] Gail, I think maybe one factor has been left out of this discussion: [i]confidentiality[/i]. It's screaming at me from the posts. Is it for you?[/b]

Yes, the lunch aide/friend breached that child's confidentiality [i]if [/i]she shared private information about that child with bandbmom. It wasn't clear to me where bandbmom got the information. Could have been from a completely different person who learned about the child's reaction directly from the child's mom.

On Feb 10, 2006

Gail is right, I found out who the boy that had the reaction was from another parent at school, who also has a PA child. My friend the lunch aide did not give the name of the child; she just shared the story with me because she knows the difficulties we've had this year and that she felt bad that she was not informed about the pnut free table properly and that the boy had a reaction. The mom who told me who the boy was asked if I had heard about the reaction and I told her I had and wondered who the boy was. The boy was in her daughter's 4th grade class and this is how she knew. Hope that clears things up! Thanks Gail :-)

Tracy

On Feb 10, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] Yes, the lunch aide/friend breached that child's confidentiality [i]if [/i]she shared private information about that child with bandbmom. It wasn't clear to me where bandbmom got the information. Could have been from a completely different person who learned about the child's reaction directly from the child's mom.

[/b]

But did she acknowledge an incident?

If so, is it inappropriate for the lunch aide to enter into the discussion revolving around that child and what may or may not have occurred? I mean, for example, if someone sees the evening news and it is mentioned that "x person was taken to (the hospital I work at) and let's say family of other patients (or other patients) see that on the news and, by golly, a gurney comes up to the unit and concerned family of other patients come to me and ask: "Is that so and so (x person) ?" (or even if a gurney doesn't come up and someone just asks: "Will they be comming up here?")Courteously, I am only allowed to discuss that: "I cannot discuss another patient with you." (or something to that effect) [i]Period[/i]. End of story. Or, I can direct their concerns to those in the chain of command above me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

If something is so publicized that descriptions of "anonymous" somethings are easily identifiable to an individual person or incident, it's a huge no-no. KWIM?

I am also not allowed to discuss internal "incidents" either. Except to report them to the appropriate supervisory departments, personell, and agencies that monitor and remediate such happenstance. KWIM?

I mean, there was an injury at the school my cubs attend. [i]A note was sent home due to the hoopla and conjecture.[/i] I'm assuming that note was sent home with certain [i]permission and release[/i]. I didn't follow up any further, but if a parent did come into discuss it, even in light of a "news release", I'm guessing there would be certain limitations on the conversation. Or...........that further discussion would be: "Please refer to the note sent home, as that is as much as can be shared presently due to confidentiality limitations. Your concern is appreciated."

No advice, IMMV, institutions may differ, just trying to get my bearings, maybe it's just my situation, but before thinking, I asked my cub's kindergarten teacher the other day: "My son's hands have been red, cracked, and dry......I'm trying to figure out if it's the soap he's using in the classroom, or if it's because he's washing his hands frequently. Are any of the other children in his class having the same problem?"

Guess what? The conversation was redirected back to discussion around [i]my child[/i]. My child only. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img] *WHOOPS.*

And I appreciated that. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Don't know about other situations, just asking and trying to figure out what the limitations might be, if any on such conversations. I'd ask what does FERPA dictate?

[url="http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/students.html"]http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/students.html[/url]

but is FERPA applicable in this situation?

General Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. I do not guarantee the accuracy, currentness, or content of the link in this post.

On Feb 10, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by bandbmom: [b]Gail is right, I found out who the boy that had the reaction was from another parent at school, who also has a PA child. My friend the lunch aide did not give the name of the child; she just shared the story with me because she knows the difficulties we've had this year and that she felt bad that she was not informed about the pnut free table properly and that the boy had a reaction. The mom who told me who the boy was asked if I had heard about the reaction and I told her I had and wondered who the boy was. The boy was in her daughter's 4th grade class and this is how she knew. Hope that clears things up! [/b]

Can you identify the child now?

Is this "incident" part of "school"?

Is the aide subject to "confidentiality" admonitions? Do any confidentiality policies or laws exist regarding conduct of "aides" in schools? My son's aide lives in my neighoborhood. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Down the street, even. KWIM? Good or bad, I'd really like to think he's not the subject of conversation (and the aide works with him Monday thru Friday) in the neighborhood. Even tho, I'd have to say, the topics would probably be spotlighting some very nice qualities and the success he has had in school. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I mean, there's not much else to discuss.

I mean, even tho he's on the "gold" honor roll currently, [i]I signed a release that dictates specifically how *school administration* is allowed to release that information*. [/i]

To me, it's about principle and habit. (The "good" information).

On Feb 11, 2006

MB, yes I understand. Honoring confidentiality is one of those two-way streets~ If it had been *my* child who had the reaction, I surely wouldn't want the aide sharing information about the incident with other parents. Even without identifying my daughter's name. Even with golden good intentions.

I understand that bandbmom is trying to figure out how to network with the other moms at the school who have children with PA. How can she do that while honoring their confidentiality?

Would writing a general letter about [i]herself[/i] (my child is PA and I would like to connect with other moms at X school who also have children with LTFAs. [i]Call me [/i]if you're interested.) and asking the principal or school nurse to distribute her letter to children identified to the school as having LTFAs? That way the parents/children maintain their anonymity.

Do you see a problem with the school taking on the "delivery" role to these parents who have already identified their children as PA/LTFA to the school ?

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 11, 2006).]

On Feb 11, 2006

With MB bringing up the issue of confidentiality, it has made me realize that this isn't being enforced at our school, not even by the principal. I can think of a handful of times when he has shared info with me that he shouldn't have. So, if the principal isn't keeping info in confidence, I can't imagine that he's letting the lunch aides know that they shouldn't share any info. Before school started, the principal told myself and the other PA child's mom in DS's class that the teacher they have has a peanut allergy, which is part of the reason they chose to put the kids in her class. When we were discussing the pnut free table and he said that we needed to fill the table, he let us know that there were triplets going into 1st grade, two of which had PA and he was going to see if they would be willing to sit at the pnut free table. The next day, which at meet the teacher, we were again discussing the pnut free table when the mom of the triplets walked by and he said "oh there she is now" and asked her if her PA children would be sitting at the pnut free table (she said no, BTW, that is wasn't necessary - these kids don't even have epi's - isn't that frightening?).

When my DS had his reaction at school, many people knew about it including the PTO president, who came up to me to see if he was ok.

The only staff member that has spoken to me about confidentiality this year is the temporary asst. principal we had for about two months. He is now gone and it's too bad because he was really making a great effort to work with us and he actually understood what we were going through.

Anyhow, maybe my friend shouldn't have shared that info w/me, but I'm quite confident she wasn't told to keep information confidential. My main point of starting this thread is that the school is not giving the information out to the staff, especially the lunch aides, like they are suppose to. How can the aides watch and protect the kids at lunch w/LTFA's if they don't know about it? They are not informed. The head lunch aide is buddies w/the principal, so her attitude is bad just like his, especially towards us and she doesn't care for my friend. Instead of letting my friend know that a) the table remains pnut free all day and, b) info like this must be kept in confidence, instead they use her as a scapegoat and just as someone to blame instead of taking the responsibility for not giving her the proper instructions and information. Do you see what I mean? This is what the school keeps doing instead of fixing the issues. The second reaction DS had the teacher blamed Brandon for not telling her right away he was itchy. They were outside and I don't think he realized right away he was reacting. He told her when they came back inside. The first thing the teacher said to me when I picked up his things is "did Brandon tell you how long he waited to tell me he was itchy?". Not, is he okay or anything of that nature. When I asked Brandon why he didn't say anything he said he didn't know his cheeks were red and had hives on them. He's 6 and in first grade - give me a break.

So, I'm seeing it as instead of looking at how to better train and promote awareness about food allergies for the staff, they just place blame. Just as another example, one day they had a sub in Brandon's regular class and the sub passed out candy. DS's PA classmate ate the candy because the teacher told her there weren't any nuts in it (which was true because they were Smarties), but the teacher does not give out any candy because of the kids allergies. When I talked to the teacher about it, she said that she has a note in her lesson plan not to give out candy, which is great IF the sub sees it.

One last thing and then I have to run - personally, I don't mind if the word gets out about Brandon having a reaction. For me, it just lets the staff and parents know that this is for real and shows that the school is not really doing what they need to do to keep my child safe. IMO, it helps to raise awareness. I didn't mind that the PTO President knew about his reaction because she actually cared and showed compassion, which is more than I can say for the principal.

Tracy :-)

[This message has been edited by bandbmom (edited February 11, 2006).]

On Feb 11, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]MB, yes I understand. Honoring confidentiality is one of those two-way streets~ If it had been *my* child who had the reaction, I surely wouldn't want the aide sharing information about the incident with other parents. Even without identifying my daughter's name. Even with golden good intentions.[/b]

Yes. golden good intentions. Either way, I'd feel like someone who works with my child discussing them with individuals who are not on an [i]official need to know basis[/i] (even if it occurs within school programming..............[b]gossip[/b]. There is just too much potential there. KWIM? The persons, the place, the necessity. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Even all information regarding my patients isn't always something I need to know or even have access to.......

I understand that bandbmom is trying to figure out how to network with the other moms at the school who have children with PA. How can she do that while honoring their confidentiality?

Would writing a general letter about [i]herself[/i] (my child is PA and I would like to connect with other moms at X school who also have children with LTFAs. [i]Call me [/i]if you're interested.) and asking the principal or school nurse to distribute her letter to children identified to the school as having LTFAs? That way the parents/children maintain their anonymity.

Quote:

[b][quDo you see a problem with the school taking on the "delivery" role to these parents who have already identified their children as PA/LTFA to the school ?

[/b]

depends. ever set up a [i]blind date[/i]?

now, that said, I know our school community offers "special education" presentations for professional and non-professional persons alike. Some worth CEU's, even. They are given by [i]qualified[/i] presenters. They are [i]monitored[/i]. There is feedback and input. KWIM? It is done in a certain setting as well. I mean, should schools be setting up encounters between families that occur [i]outside[/i] of school programming? KWIM? Don't know. I mean, I can't even [i]recommend[/i] physicians where I work. Conflict of interest.

That said, my requests for something similiar has apparently fallen on deaf ears. Or those with a different perspective. (I understand the schools perspective, but I also gotta wonder if parents really want themselves or their children to be identified by a disability, KWIM?) I mean, contacted solely on that basis.

Even if they did put a feeler out there as a "third party", would you expect the school district to relay a response back, or just let things take it's course?

Would bandmom and the school be receptive to *her* setting up approved presenters within the school district to educate (and possibly as a consequence of attending [i]network[/i] with other families?)

Not without hope, tho, since I've been given lot's of information on various meeting and presentations (on topics related to specific concerns) for several different subjects. None of them being "food allergy" related. So, do you think an group designed similiarly for "food allergy" concerns might be in order. If people connect, so be it, but not really with the direct purpose of an "encounter". KWIM?

Back to the confidentiality thing. I was thinking. I always think of it as: "If I were to say something that wasn't a "give away" now, but might be depending on others future discussions, I personally consider it a "no-no". but that's just me. ie: If someone was to discuss an incident anonomously and possibly even with opinion and let's say a year down the road someone says: "Oh, my child had "X" happen to them last year." Then can you imagine if the person they were telling to says: "Oh, were you *that* person"? (particularly if it was in a bad light) Sort of retroactive, but do you get my drift? Probably why my institution takes the stand it does.

No advice.........

On Feb 11, 2006

Quote:

Orinally posted by banddmom: [b]Anyhow, maybe my friend shouldn't have shared that info w/me, but I'm quite confident she wasn't told to keep information confidential. [/b]

was it covered in her inservice? her training? her job description? I mean, what certification, training, and licensure do "aides" in schools requires?

Quote:

Originally posted by bandbmom: [b]With MB bringing up the issue of confidentiality, it has made me realize that this isn't being enforced at our school, not even by the principal. I can think of a handful of times when he has shared info with me that he shouldn't have. So, if the principal isn't keeping info in confidence, I can't imagine that he's letting the lunch aides know that they shouldn't share any info. Before school started, the principal told myself and the other PA child's mom in DS's class that the teacher they have has a peanut allergy, which is part of the reason they chose to put the kids in her class. When we were discussing the pnut free table and he said that we needed to fill the table, he let us know that there were triplets going into 1st grade, two of which had PA and he was going to see if they would be willing to sit at the pnut free table. The next day, which at meet the teacher, we were again discussing the pnut free table when the mom of the triplets walked by and he said "oh there she is now" and asked her if her PA children would be sitting at the pnut free table (she said no, BTW, that is wasn't necessary - these kids don't even have epi's - isn't that frightening?).

[/b]

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]

I understand that bandbmom is trying to figure out how to network with the other moms at the school who have children with PA. How can she do that while honoring their confidentiality?

[/b]

Just saw banddmom's new post.

I was comming back to address this comment of your's, GailW.

If one feels there is a necessity to contact parents outside of school with similiar needs because of dissatisfaction, is other parents necessarily the point of focus? It seems like there are several by banddmom's post. KWIM? Should she be finding her-self in this situation? Is there a bigger picture? Is everyone doing their job? On several levels? Don't know, I'm not part of the situation. Just wondering. Is there enough "Quality Improvement" going on? does anything indicate a need for it? Should she be contacting someone? Who should it be, if she should? Now, that said, and no advice, but who should be getting queries or concerns about "incidents" at school? Other parents, or people up the food chain? (no pun intended) Should there have been a written incident report(s)? Think about it. I mean, again, no advice, but if you look at the whole picture, the stop gaps, the backups, what might be built into the system, including addressing confidentiality violations, might issues such as these (incidents, confidentiality breeches, followup.......[i]Improvement[/i]....come to be addressed sooner than later?) I mean, now if the aide takes their concerns to possibly those who can do something about them, or if other parents do........do you think there are "things in the way" to preventing that?

no advice, just wondering.

On Feb 11, 2006

I mean, is it so "messy" by now, improvement might be hindered?

don't know, just asking.

On Feb 11, 2006

I'm thinking of networking with other parents as a more general thing. Years ago, I gave such a 'general letter' about myself to each of the school nurses in my district asking them to please pass it along to any families at their school with FAs. Many contacted me, some didn't. We held a few family events (potlucks) at a local park, and had a Halloween party just so the kids and parents could get to know one another. It was beneficial for parents to share differing perspectives, and for our kids to see that there were [i]lots [/i]of other kids "like them" in other schools in the same school district. Some friendships grew from those get-togethers.

On Feb 11, 2006

I'm pretty confident that my DS's school wouldn't be willing to distribute a letter to other LFTA parents. I'm sure they'd rather keep a lid on any problems or concerns we would have. In fact, when we talked about going to the school board to try to get them to impliment a district-wide policy on handling FA's, the email reply that I received from the principal in regards to that was "Misery loves company". When I posted this reply on another message board, someone that knew him personally ended up forwarding it to him and he quickly covered his behind saying that he didn't mean to send it to me and that it was meant to go to someone else (yeah, right).

I do wish there was someone that we could go to the district that could help walk us through resolving these types of issues. My friend who has the child w/PA in DS's class tried to go to the Director of Elementary Education because of all the problems we've had w/the principal. She told her of our plans to go to the school board and the director said "don't bother because they will just refer your concerns back over to me". She also said that having district wide policies wouldn't work anyhow because each principal can run their school individually. When she asked her about a 504, she said "no, you don't want to do that. It will just cause the principal to resent you and close the lines of communication". Do you know that the next day she contacted the principal and told him that the my friend called her? My friend received an email from the principal saying "I am aware of you and Mrs. G. contacting school district admin. about concerns you have here at C. elem. If you have any further concerns, please contact me directly". In order words, don't go over my head. Would you consider this a breech in confidentiality? I guess the next step might be going to the superindendent. Any suggestions?

All I have to say is that I'm sick and tired of this school. I wish so much I could pull him out of there, but who is to say it would be better anywhere else. If we could afford it, there is a Lutheran peanut free school a mile away from us. We checked it out and even as members of the church the tuition would be $2400/year plus you are required to attend church services 75% of the year. We just couldn't swing it, especially since we would have to put both our kids there. Plus, the principal admitted when we toured the school that they are about six months behind the public schools and that wouldn't be beneficial for Brandon because he's already struggling and behind a bit. My fear is that we will go through the entire 504 process and things still won't change. The only thing my DH keeps saying is that they will be legally liable if they don't comply. MB, you are right, things are a mess there.

Tracy

On Feb 11, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]I'm thinking of networking with other parents as a more general thing. Years ago, I gave such a 'general letter' about myself to each of the school nurses in my district asking them to please pass it along to any families at their school with FAs. Many contacted me, some didn't. We held a few family events (potlucks) at a local park, and had a Halloween party just so the kids and parents could get to know one another. It was beneficial for parents to share differing perspectives, and for our kids to see that there were [i]lots [/i]of other kids "like them" in other schools in the same school district. Some friendships grew from those get-togethers. [/b]

I rarely ever think about anything as "general". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I'm a detail freak.

I guess if I want something "general", I'd do it myself. I'll make it "general". I have a tendency to do things that way, [b]even[/b] when they are specific. Handle it myself.

That said, I'm not too concerned about what *other* parents are doing wrt their children with the same needs. I mean, if there's a concern related to it, that might affect my child, I'll follow up, but probably not with *that* parent or child. Just with the folk who can monitor or improve what affects *my child*. I go to the source. (Often, I have to remind myself to go up the chain of command, [i]step by step[/i]. Not jump the gun)

I'm not a good person to ask about "general" things. I've been told I have a tendency to withdraw and isolate myself. (It's usually when my wheels are turning. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )

That said, I went out on a limb once and got my toes wet. In my situation, it didn't prove a big deal of help, except to reinforce my belief that in many situations, if I want something done right, I'll do it myself. Or access those who have the authority to do so, or help me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Individual mileage may vary.

it's why I made a follow up call on volunteering for our "Wellness committee". I've even inquired on being on the "Wellness committee" for the Co-op, in addition to that for the district. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img] And oooo. You might have a sense of how much I prefer to be a loner. KWIM?

Now, I get the feeling your idea of "networking" in the original question was more of a "support/friendship" thing than a solution to the concerns mentioned in this thread. Am I right?

No advice, just my freakishly detail oriented self. I'm a loner.

On Feb 11, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by bandbmom: [b]I'm pretty confident that my DS's school wouldn't be willing to distribute a letter to other LFTA parents. [/b]

I know the feeling. I mean, I didn't think my district would. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] I mean, as cooperative as they've become, I had to ask myself: "Was it an obligation and [i]do they really want to? Is it in *their* best interests? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]"

On Feb 11, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by bandbmom: [b]I'm pretty confident that my DS's school wouldn't be willing to distribute a letter to other LFTA parents. I'm sure they'd rather keep a lid on any problems or concerns we would have. In fact, when we talked about going to the school board to try to get them to impliment a district-wide policy on handling FA's, the email reply that I received from the principal in regards to that was "Misery loves company". When I posted this reply on another message board, someone that knew him personally ended up forwarding it to him and he quickly covered his behind saying that he didn't mean to send it to me and that it was meant to go to someone else (yeah, right).

I do wish there was someone that we could go to the district that could help walk us through resolving these types of issues. My friend who has the child w/PA in DS's class tried to go to the Director of Elementary Education because of all the problems we've had w/the principal. She told her of our plans to go to the school board and the director said "don't bother because they will just refer your concerns back over to me". She also said that having district wide policies wouldn't work anyhow because each principal can run their school individually. When she asked her about a 504, she said "no, you don't want to do that. It will just cause the principal to resent you and close the lines of communication". Do you know that the next day she contacted the principal and told him that the my friend called her? My friend received an email from the principal saying "I am aware of you and Mrs. G. contacting school district admin. about concerns you have here at C. elem. If you have any further concerns, please contact me directly". In order words, don't go over my head. Would you consider this a breech in confidentiality? I guess the next step might be going to the superindendent. Any suggestions?

All I have to say is that I'm sick and tired of this school. I wish so much I could pull him out of there, but who is to say it would be better anywhere else. If we could afford it, there is a Lutheran peanut free school a mile away from us. We checked it out and even as members of the church the tuition would be $2400/year plus you are required to attend church services 75% of the year. We just couldn't swing it, especially since we would have to put both our kids there. Plus, the principal admitted when we toured the school that they are about six months behind the public schools and that wouldn't be beneficial for Brandon because he's already struggling and behind a bit. My fear is that we will go through the entire 504 process and things still won't change. The only thing my DH keeps saying is that they will be legally liable if they don't comply. MB, you are right, things are a mess there.

Tracy[/b]

I've got to run, I'll come back to this later. It's speaking volumes to me. I appreciate your candor and willingness to participate in a discussion that might not be the "original topic", but possibly something that was festering underneath.

On Feb 11, 2006

Maybe I look at connecting with other moms (in our district) who have children w/ PA differently.

I think of it much the same as I think of being here. I put out issues and get feedback... offer my opinion. Just as I wouldn't expect someone [i]here[/i] do do anything regarding *my* child, I wouldn't expect another PA mom to act on my behalf.

"Generally speaking", I find sharing my school experiences with other PA moms in my district (and they sharing their experiences with me) helpful in formulating what the issues are so that *I* can improve what affects *my child*.

On Feb 12, 2006

I agree Gail. I think it's good to hear what other parents have experienced and have them become a support system. Their opinions or comfort levels may differ, but sometimes it helps you see what you could do better or different to help keep your child safe. I had thought about making up a flyer or copying the flyer from our local support group to distribute at school, but I'm sure they wouldn't go for it.

Tracy

On Feb 12, 2006

"When she asked her about a 504, she said 'no, you don't want to do that. It will just cause the principal to resent you and close the lines of communication'. "

Bandbmom, it sounds like you have nothing to lose and maybe something to gain by insisiting on a 504.

Cathy

On Feb 12, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]Maybe I look at connecting with other moms (in our district) who have children w/ PA differently.

I think of it much the same as I think of being here. I put out issues and get feedback... offer my opinion. Just as I wouldn't expect someone [i]here[/i] do do anything regarding *my* child, I wouldn't expect another PA mom to act on my behalf.[/b]

completely understand. I wouldn't either. [i]I wouldn't want them to.[/i]

[b]"Generally speaking", I find sharing my school experiences with other PA moms in my district (and they sharing their experiences with me) helpful in formulating what the issues are so that *I* can improve what affects *my child*. [/b]

I look at what the obligation is. Then I require it. No dancing. Clean, neat, surgical.

But that said, maybe you are speaking of collaberating with other parents in order to determine obligation. I've rarely had difficulty determining that (detail oriented, obsessive, big picture, freakishly questioning type of person), and honestly, people aren't knocking my door down asking for help either.

I figure if someone wants to collaberate, they'd probably find their way to a site like this, other than that, I haven't found too many people eager to "rock the boat" in the general school population with similiar needs. Even *I* like my [i]anonymity[/i] at school, considering some of the attitudes, including those of other food allergy parents, special education parents, and just parents in general that I've encountered (although not frequent, even once is enough). I shouldn't have to "go public" in order to get accommodation for my child. KWIM?

Or even to facilitate it. I don't need: "x amount of people do it this way, so you better" on my side. If I educate my school, it's going to be: "This is your obligation. A requirement. You can do it happily, or you can be required to do it. Either way, [i]you must do it.[/i]"

Maybe *that* will help "the next guy". KWIM?

It's on a "need to know" basis. That said, it's my understanding even the other children in his class are well aware of his allergy. KWIM?

Tangent: But hey, [i]honestly[/i], I'm a bit of a recluse. Hermitlike. I'm very isolated. I'm not a good one to ask. That said, I encourage my children to "step out". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] They don't have to be like me. Or their father. [i]I even "step out" in order be encouraging to them to do so [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]. [/i] I want them to make those choices themselves. Be who they want to be.

No advice.

On Feb 12, 2006

They say there's strength in numbers. Personally, I've never had to find out. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Feb 12, 2006

and in that way, I don't consider myself unique. Just maniacly perseverant. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

[i]certifiable[/i], I mean.

On Feb 12, 2006

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/002205.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/002205.html[/url]

and I want to be clear, I [i]believe[/i] and it is my impression this dicussion is referring to "at school" and not "pa dot com". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Feb 12, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]"Generally speaking", I find sharing my school experiences with other PA moms in my district (and they sharing their experiences with me) helpful in formulating what the issues are so that *I* can improve what affects *my child*. [/b]

I felt this belonged here. It's the kind of "networking" I'm envisioning for my school.

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/002137.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/002137.html[/url]

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