Meeting with Superintendent

Posted on: Tue, 05/11/2004 - 1:48am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

The SI has asked for us to meet with him tomorrow to discuss the district's new policy concerning PA students. I don't know if the policy has already been written or if he wants to "bounce" some ideas off us before it is implemented.

We have already provided him with general info. concerning PA, specific information concerning Drew's reactions, and also the suggestion of using SunButter instead of pb (he specifically stated that we will discuss this idea - I'm crossing my fingers!!).

Is there anything else we should do to prepare for this meeting? Does your school have a district wide policy and then a specific 504 plan for your child? The assistant SI told us earlier this year that Drew didn't qualify for a 504 plan, so I want the district wide policy to be VERY thorough.

Posted on: Tue, 05/11/2004 - 2:52am
Kay B's picture
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Joined: 12/30/2002 - 09:00

Good luck with your meeting, Drewsmom... but one thing caught my eye, about him not qualifying for a 504. I don't believe that's up to the school to decide -- food anaphylaxis *is* a federally protected disability.
The reason I mention it is because our school strongly discouraged us from getting a 504, and to get along-go along and keep the relationship "positive" we didn't press it. When things got ugly after a life-threatening reaction in school, we didn't have any legal protection for our daughter. We filed a federal complaint, but since there was no 504 -- there was no violation of it. (Of course, they knew this all along.) The only action the gov. could take was to tell them to do a 504... something we had been trying to get all along.
Without a 504 the school could basically do as they pleased and we had no recourse.

Posted on: Tue, 05/11/2004 - 7:26am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Kay B - Thanks for your comments. I guess we will need to discuss 504 plans tomorrow as well. Honestly, I don't know how to address 504 plans. The school says he doesn't qualify, we say that he does....now what? They agree that PA is considered a "hidden disability" and he would qualify for protection under 504, BUT since they are not preventing him from obtaining an education, then he doesn't qualify. I don't understand it - and I don't think they fully understand it. Maybe with DH there tomorrow, he can draw me a picture and get through my blondeness! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/11/2004 - 8:26am
cathlina's picture
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Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

The purpose of a 504 is to provide an equal education by accommodating disabilites...it's that plain & simple and it is the law!
You can't have an equal education if you can't participate in the classroom, on field trips, in the lunchroom due to PA exposure.
Any school that will not give you a 504 for a peanut allergy is in violation of federal law.
In the U.S., call your regional federal civil rights office for the Department of Education and get some help.
Also, calling your State Dept. of Education and asking for a 504 specialist or disability specialist is also helpful.

Posted on: Thu, 05/13/2004 - 9:10am
CarrieK's picture
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Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

Drew's Mom,
I was wondering if you were located in Texas?
We are experiencing a similiar set of circumstances with our local ISD. We had our initial meeting last week and were told that our daughter "probably" didn't qualify because her severe food allergy to peanuts and tree nuts did not interfere with her learning. Also, they said that the 504 was primarily for workplaces and that the school is an educational insitituion.
We know that they are not fully informed, but they were agreeable to so many of our concerns for our daughter as she starts kindergarten (we had an in-depth IHP), that we are a little confused as to how to proceed. We don't want to set up a "hostile" atmosphere, but we know that our daughter qualifies for the 504 protection.
How did it go for you?

Posted on: Thu, 05/13/2004 - 9:52am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by cathlina:
[b]The purpose of a 504 is to provide an equal education by accommodating disabilites...it's that plain & simple and it is the law!
[/b]
Equal or appropriate? Don't know myself. Currently working on an IEP with our school and then the 504 or IHP.

Posted on: Fri, 05/14/2004 - 6:32am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

CarrieK - We are in Missouri, but it sounds like we are facing the same uphill battle. Their opinion vs. Our opinion - now what?
We felt like the meeting wasn't exactly going the way we had hoped, so we didn't address the 504 plan with the SI - we feel like we may have better success discussing it with next year's principal.
Our meeting went okay. It was more information gathering than anything else (which is a good start, but we are ready for him to act upon the information now). He made it clear that he is hesitant to commit to anything at this point because of liability issues. "If I say that I will do something, then there is a liability that goes along with that if the action fails to be carried out." I agree with his statement, however, lack of action does not remove liability - not that I'm waiting to pounce upon the school, but don't use that as an excuse to not act.
The highlight of the meeting...he did say that he was open to the idea (without "promising") to use SunButter in place of pb if in fact it is offered as a govt. commodity next Fall. As of Monday, it wasn't yet on "the list" of commodities, but hopefully it will be by August. If that comes true, then we feel like the risk of exposure would be greatly reduced....however, there haven't been any promises made.

Posted on: Fri, 05/14/2004 - 7:47am
Kay B's picture
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Joined: 12/30/2002 - 09:00

Drew's mom,
Do try to follow up with a few phone calls to the governmental services as mentioned earlier in the thread... I can't emphasize how important it is to get 504 protection for your child. What the principal is talking about is exactly what I am talking about -- with a 504 the school will have a *legal obligation in writing* to protect your child. _That's_ the liability he's worried about... and it's your source of power in the relationship. Right now they hold all the cards without a 504 -- remember, they can't violate it if they don't have it, no matter what they do. Please, please, insist on one for your child. Wrightslaw.com has great information on getting started with 504's if I remember the url properly.
Kay

Posted on: Fri, 05/14/2004 - 9:33am
NutlessMOM's picture
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Joined: 09/17/2003 - 09:00

This was exactly the thread that I was looking for! I had a meeting with the coordinator for the County to get a 504 for both of my PA children. The director said that they both qualified although the principle and the school nurse does NOT believe that they qualify. The school nurse told me that she did not want anything in writing because the school would then be liable and the school being liable is exactly what I am wanting them to be. The director told me that with the 504 would make the school liable for the actions and the lack of the actions for making my children safe. I have been fighting this for 5 years (oldest PA child in the 4th grade and youngest PA child is in the 2nd grade).
Has anyone ever applied for a 504 and then be turned down by the federal government? Is the determination based on the director's and the doctor's recommendation? I have a lot of papers to read tonight and I actually want to get my letters done tonight for the doctors. I have quite a bit of documentation.
[This message has been edited by NutlessMOM (edited May 15, 2004).]
[This message has been edited by NutlessMOM (edited May 15, 2004).]

Posted on: Sat, 05/15/2004 - 2:04am
Kay B's picture
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Joined: 12/30/2002 - 09:00

Nutlessmom,
After my daughter's in-school life threatening reaction and their refusal to do much in the way of safety precautions for her, I filed a complaint with the US Department of education,Office for Civil Rights. At the end of the investigation, the caseworker said the only thing they could "get" the school on was refusing to do a 504 for us, *because* we didn't have a 504 giving us protection in the first place. If we had insisted on a 504 and found out that the school was obligated by law to respond to our written request for one, they would have been held legally liable for providing a safe environment for her.
The school, of course, offered to do a 504 plan a week after we had withdrawn her from school to homeschool, emotionally ground down and fearing quite reasonably for her safety. So their A was C.
Kay

Posted on: Sat, 05/15/2004 - 2:10am
Kay B's picture
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Joined: 12/30/2002 - 09:00

I forgot to add: Know your rights. Use them. They're there for a reason -- schools are eager to evade responsibility, and your child's life may depend on them taking it seriously.
Kay

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