Making PBJ sandwiches in class!!!!

Posted on: Mon, 10/11/2004 - 11:51pm
Greenlady's picture
Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

For anyone who is considering whether to formally request a peanut free classroom - DO IT!

I didn't, because my son hasn't been extremely sensitive. In other words, he reacts to ingestion, but not (so far) to just being in the room with peanut products.
I provide him with his own snacks, and they have the epipen, so I just figured I could work with my son's teacher.

Well, she informed me last week that they were making PBJ sandwiches in her class next week, but she would be sure and set my son and another classmate who is also PA at a separate table.

What the @%$%$#@!!!? A room full of kindergarteners trying to making their own sandwiches? There would be peanut butter everywhere! "Oh, don't worry, we'll wash the tables and the kids will wash their hands." She. Just. Doesn't. Get. It. What about their clothes? the floor? the faucet? and anything else they touch while they wait to wash their hands? Not to mention the smell?

I told her I would bring soy butter instead and she reluctantly agreed. But my son is freaked out even by that (it just looks too much like the real thing), so I suggested cream cheese and jelly instead. Here is her email back:

"We are making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches next week because of
reading/ language arts lessons that we will be doing all week. We will
be reading a book called peanut butter and jelly. We will be working on
sequencing of the story. I have several lessons in which the
students sequence how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches. I
am willing to change it to the soy peanut butter but using anything
else takes away from the story, song, and sequencing that we will be
doing all week. If J. has a problem with even using soy peanut
butter, Ms. W. is willing to take him at the end of the day so that
he doesn;thave to be around the peanut butter."

Now I realize that it is hard to shift lesson plans, but I just can't believe her insentivity. Argh, can't even think straight now, just had to share.

Posted on: Tue, 10/12/2004 - 12:30am
LaurensMom's picture
Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

Unbelievable! She is quite unsensitive. Is this a private or public school?
Things like this just flame me. When DD was in kindergarten, her teacher wanted to give out cookies her husband, the chef, made. He even told her that she shouldn't let "that nut allergic girl" have the cookies as they wouldn't be safe.
(Mind you, between weeks 2 and 12 of the school year, Lauren missed 5 weeks of one week...out one week...all due to respiratory problems which she didn't have before! (well...not like these))
Anyway, when I told her, almost too diplomatically, I didn't feel comfortable with the cookies , she told me, "My husband did this out of the goodness of his heart". My blood pressure shot up and I wasn't quick enough with a reply...but it should have been..."His heart tells him to send innocent five year olds to the hospital!!"
He knew enough to tell his wife, he should have been smart enough not to send them in!!
Why is Jeff Foxworth's bit "Here's Your Sign" coming to mind right now.
When I took this one level higher to the school assistant director, I was given, "I just don't know how far we want to take this peanut-free-school thing".
Here's your sign too!

Posted on: Tue, 10/12/2004 - 12:48am
ACBaay's picture
Joined: 03/19/2002 - 09:00

What a nightmare! 5 year olds making peanut butter sandwiches. Maybe after the lesson, they could call hazmat!
Using her thought process, she could continue the flow of the curriculum and teach the 5 year olds what happens when the peanut butter causes an anaphylactic reaction. "Here's your sign!"
I would push for eliminating the obvious peanut butter from the classroom. Involve the principal. Your child and the other child with peanut allergy need at least a relatively safe zone, and she doesn't seem to understand.
Good luck,
[This message has been edited by ACBaay (edited October 12, 2004).]

Posted on: Tue, 10/12/2004 - 1:34am
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

This is outrageous!!! The lesson plan itself is totally insensitive, IMHO. I can't imagine your little five year old having to even focus on school work that is all about pb & jelly. How about anthrax and jelly?!?! [img][/img] To actually have a lesson plan where the kids make pb & j - when there are [b]two[/b] pa children in the class is just unbelievable. (I would feel the same way if it were just one.)
This woman [b]so[/b] doesn't get it.
Here is what I would do: immediately hand deliver a letter to the principal stating that your child needs a 504 plan. He is being excluded from an educational lesson due to his disability.
Do you think your ds's doctor would back you up with writing a letter stating that this is not a safe environment for your ds? If so, get him/her involved immediately!
I will check back in later and see what others suggest and what is happening. I truly feel the lesson plan itself should be changed.
Best of luck!!!

Posted on: Tue, 10/12/2004 - 1:38am
crazydaisy's picture
Joined: 11/14/2003 - 09:00

The Teacher can use construction paper(cut outs) to make the sandwich.
[b]We will be working on
sequencing of the story. I have several lessons in which the
students sequence how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches.[/b]
The real product does not have to be used to teach the lesson.
The Daisy Thanks You

Posted on: Tue, 10/12/2004 - 4:03am
deegann's picture
Joined: 07/27/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by deegann (edited February 09, 2005).]

Posted on: Tue, 10/12/2004 - 4:32am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

I hesitated comming into this thread selfishly since I am currently juggling PA issues and schools with both of my own cubs. I'm so sorry to hear this.

Posted on: Tue, 10/12/2004 - 6:15am
Scrippsie's picture
Joined: 11/20/2003 - 09:00

My $.02...
When I was in second grade, my class had a week where we learned about peanuts. Yes, I felt uncomfortable watching videos and singing songs about peanuts. My mother was livid but my teacher wouldn't change the lesson plan. Fortunately, none of the activities involved real peanuts. But I'm not scarred from being taught a unit on peanuts when I was 7. Once I got over the initial discomfort, the history lesson was actually quite interesting. As insensitive as it seems, this situation within the microcosm of your son's classroom reflects what he will face in the world throughout his life. Peanuts are all over the place, most people love them, and he's going to need to learn to live in a world with peanuts.
I know that sounds really horrible to all the moms and dads with young PA children. I know the argument is that it's school, kids need a safe environment to learn, they're young and don't understand/can't deal. Let me just say right now that [i] I don't think it's okay to have peanuts in the classroom[/i]. But I think it's doing a disservice to PA kids to shelter them from the existence of peanuts. It's really easy to be PA and cynical, to hate peanuts with a passion and refuse to listen to any talk about peanuts. But the sooner you can accept that you're different and move on, the sooner you can focus on keeping yourself safe. Sure, it hurts at a young age to not be the same as everyone else, but I feel like the younger you can get over that, the more prepared you will be to deal with your condition as you get older. Because, in my opinion, it's not about running and hiding from peanuts, it's about knowing how to calmly and reasonably handle yourself in a situation where you could be exposed to peanuts.
Basically what I'm trying to say is that I think it's okay for the [i]idea[/i] of peanuts to be in the classroom, not for actual peanuts to be there. I think the paper pb sandwiches is a great idea; they could also paint pictures, and the PA kids could cut out/paint pictures of whatever sandwich they like. I would think that would make a young child feel special, not left out.
I also definitely think this would be a good opportunity for food allergy education. I'll bet some of the little monsters I went to elementary school with wouldn't have teased me if they knew my allergy was so serious I could die from a reaction! Not saying you should try to scare the kids here, just suggesting that this would be an appropriate moment to teach the kids about serious food allergies and encourage them to look out for their classmates. This teacher sounds difficult so getting the principal involved is probably a good idea.
I'm really just speaking from personal experience here, obviously every situation is different and I don't know what's best for every PA child just because I'm PA myself. Just something to think about, maybe. [img][/img]
Wow, that turned into a novel, sorry....
[This message has been edited by Scrippsie (edited October 12, 2004).] [to fix italics...twice!]
[This message has been edited by Scrippsie (edited October 12, 2004).]

Posted on: Tue, 10/12/2004 - 8:37am
Christabelle's picture
Joined: 10/03/2004 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by California Mom:
Here is what I would do: immediately hand deliver a letter to the principal stating that your child needs a 504 plan. He is being excluded from an educational lesson due to his disability.
I second this. Sounds like a good story for the newspaper too. I'm only half-joking about that. The best thing to do is expose this person's infuriating insensitivy to many, many people. Is she such a simpleton that she cannot come up with an alternative lesson plan?
Really, people and their deep-seated attachment to their peanuts, even at the expense of tots' lives... it angers me at the same time that it amazes me.
Here's the other scary thing: if she would do something THIS extreme over a lesson and will not hear of changing her plan - what other crazy, unsafe things might she do? There is a whole long school year to go, after all.
I would tell her it's unacceptable, advise her that you will be taking up the matter with whomever necessary and explain that because of her actions she is necessitating the invocation of the 504 plan. Period!
[This message has been edited by Christabelle (edited October 12, 2004).]

Posted on: Tue, 10/12/2004 - 9:57am
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

I agree with Scrippsie.
I also agree that since there are 2 PA kids, education about PA should be included as a component of the lesson.

Posted on: Tue, 10/12/2004 - 10:27am
travelplus's picture
Joined: 04/18/2004 - 09:00

Huh? I mean couldn't the teacher think of something else than PBJ sandwiches? I mean look these kids eat so much PBJ why do you want to make something redundant. Think of something creative and suggest it to the teahcer. What's wrong with carving a watermellon and adding fruit to it? This is a great idea and the kids would help select the fruit and the adults could cut it. Or how about making applesauce? There are millons of things besides making a PBJ sandwich. Just sit for five minutes and brainstorm. Read the list and select the one that seems suitable for you. At least the two students would not be left out. I thought part of an education is including everyone. If you have to leave two people out then why bother doing the project? Any ideas?



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