more info on 504 attendees, help!

Posted on: Thu, 05/24/2007 - 5:13am
MattsMommy's picture
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Joined: 07/29/2002 - 09:00

Okay I promise I'm not looking for trouble here, but please tell me what you think of this.

Once we agreed to our 504 mtg to update the plan, I requested a list of attendees and their position. There was one new person on the team and she is listed as a teacher.

Matthew's current teacher is already on the team so I was puzzled as to why another teacher would be needed (btw, is not the teacher he'll have next year).

There was a performance at the school today and afterwards, I saw the school counselor who I've been emailing about the meeting (she's on the team and is organizing the time and date).

I asked her more specifically about this other teacher Mrs. J. She said "oh she's a 4th grade teacher in the building and actually, well, she has a daughter who is a sub in the building, Mrs.J can bring a different view to the table because her daughter is a diabetic and she raised her without sheltering her too much or going overboard and her daughter is now a college graduate and works here as a sub...so she can bring reassurrance to the parents."

I was taken aback at the "without sheltering her too much or going overboard" comment and took time to process that (still deciding how to take that). At the time I said "Oh so does she sit on all 504's because she wasn't part of our team last fall" and the counselor replied "oh Mrs. J has been on some before but she must have been out or something last fall."

It was just really weird I thought and if you recall our plan took weeks (close to 12) to complete and I doubt she was out for 12 weeks.

Are those comments a red flag to you all like they are to me? Again, I'm not trying to look for trouble it sure feels like there is an agenda in the making and well, this momma ain't happy!

Opinions from the experts wanted! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Maddy

Posted on: Thu, 05/24/2007 - 5:24am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Hmmmmm. Maybe you're being baited. ANd maybe this year's teacher is getting in one last jab at you by suggesting to the 504C that your committee needs "perspective" or something like that...
Well, I'd go to that meeting prepared, that's for sure. Is she an expert on food allergy as a result of raising a child with a different hidden disability? Is she an expert on the 504 process from a parental perspective? Or from a teacher's perspective? Or both? (And for all you or I know, maybe she [i]is[/i] based on her years of experience...)
But I'd go to that meeting well prepared to point out that she is hardly an expert on YOUR CHILD or on his DISABILITY. (And those are the criteria for being able to provide input, at least as far as OCR is concerned.) Social normalcy and general child development? Maybe-- and in that venue, she may well be able to provide useful input.
But don't let her gut accommodations by pointing out that your child will develop 'adaptive' behaviors on his own-- perhaps so, but the 504 committee needs to cross those bridges [i]as they come.[/i] Not beforehand.
I'd e-mail your 504C and ask if someone familiar with the appropriate grade's curriculum will be able to attend, and at the same time, ask in what official capacity this person is in attendance. It can't be because of her familiarity with yorur individual child. So why is she on his 504 committee now? Get this in writing.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 05/24/2007 - 5:53am
mistey's picture
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Joined: 01/18/2004 - 09:00

Yes, if someone who has nothing to do with YOUR child's education is at a 504 meeting, ask why they are present.
If this is truely the case, I would absolutely point out that they are in clear violation of maintaining your child's confidentuality.
I would have a FIT!!!

Posted on: Thu, 05/24/2007 - 6:09am
saknjmom's picture
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Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I would like to think that my own "comfort zone" and "normalcy" for my child is up to me and not another parent with a child who has a completely different disability.
Thanks, but no thanks on that one. I would be angry at the implied assumption that you are overprotective or maybe aren't letting your child live a "normal" life.
What is going overboard? UM, I would not be too pleased. As we see on pa.com, there are different situations with our allergic kids in the way of sensitivity and there are different comfort zones. I do not know much about diabetes, but feel that it is not apples to apples. I wouldn't even think it would be appropriate to have this lady here if her child had food allergies. Again, we all have different ideas about what is safe and what is not.
Just like at Chanda's school...she doesn't feel all necessary precautions are in place, but other parents with allergic kids are fine with the situation.
Same things with raising children in general. Some moms allow more freedom than others depending on the child, depending on the personality of the child's parents. I do not allow my son to ride his bike to school yet. Some of my friends do. Does that automatically make me overprotective, does that make me wrong? No, it is my call and out of my comfort zone right now.
So, I guess we're assuming the worst...maybe she'll be on board and an ally for you. It doesn't sound that way though since they say she can reassure the parents....
No advice, only would be prepared to state that her presence is irrelevant and why. I would ask how diabetes and food allergies are the same...

Posted on: Thu, 05/24/2007 - 6:44am
ajas_folks's picture
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Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

Ditto every single syllable Corvallis Mom wrote . . .
Sorry, slightly sarcastic here, but you hardly need your hand held or your poor little head patted . . . [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]
I feel a love-fest of "you-are-the-unreasonable-neurotic-mommy-there-there" coming on, KWIM?
Just wondering, have you requested to have this meeting (or previous meetings) taped &/or videotaped for records?
~Elizabeth

Posted on: Thu, 05/24/2007 - 6:59am
ajas_folks's picture
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Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

OH! I have been searching for this quote & finally found it again today -- it is from a NYTimes Magazine Article from 2001 (link to full article below, but you have to subscribe to see the whole article).
Here's the direct quote from the NY Times article:
[b]
"I tell my patients, if people point at you when you walk down the street and say,[i] 'Look at that neurotic parent,[/i]"' says Paul Ehrlich, a pediatric immunologist in New York City, "then and only then are you being careful enough." [/b]
Link to PA thread where we discussed this in 2001:
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/000234.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/000234.html[/url]
Link to NYTimes Mag article:
[url="http://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/10/magazine/10ALLERGY.html"]www.nytimes.com/2001/06/10/magazine/10ALLERGY.html[/url]
~Elizabeth [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 05/24/2007 - 7:02am
TwokidsNJ's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2005 - 09:00

I think if you don't want the person there, and they don't have an official role, that it's a violation of privacy.
I'd consider asking that they not come. Or if the person chimes in against you, just say, "excuse me, I"m not sure how this is relevant and what your role is. My child has a different disability than your child, disabilities are an INDIVIDUAL and PRIVATE matter, and require individual accomodations."

Posted on: Thu, 05/24/2007 - 8:51am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I think it is really weird and I would be annoyed. I can`t see where she belongs there. I would be annoyed enough if it were a teacher who has her own pa child (same disability), but so what if she has a diabetic child. How is that relevant to your child and his disability. I am not sure how I would handle it, but I know I would not want her there. I agree with the person above to do everything by email. If you are planning to inquire as to why she is there, I would do it by email. Maybe call OCR for "technical assitance" (not calling to make a complaint, just calling for information as to who belongs at a 504 meeting).

Posted on: Thu, 05/24/2007 - 9:10am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by MattsMommy:
[b]I asked her more specifically about this other teacher Mrs. J. She said "oh she's a 4th grade teacher in the building and actually, well, she has a daughter who is a sub in the building, Mrs.J can bring a different view to the table because her daughter is a diabetic and she raised her without sheltering her too much or going overboard and her daughter is now a college graduate and works here as a sub... [i]so she can bring reassurrance to the parents.[/i]"
Are those comments a red flag to you all like they are to me?[/b]
Yes! Oy. I agree with everyone else. . . what does her being the parent of a diabetic have anything to do with anything? Obviously they are shifting the focus from them making/following appropriate accommodations to [i]you[/i] needing 'reassurance'. How helpful she'll be there to provide you with 'reassurance'. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] I'd be tempted to tell them that when they start doing their job and keep your child safe [i]then[/i] you'll feel reassured.
No wonder your antenae are up. Ick.
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 24, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 05/25/2007 - 3:35am
MattsMommy's picture
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Joined: 07/29/2002 - 09:00

Well I'm happy to say the problem has been solved.
We decided to go together (dh and I) and speak to the princpal directly. We told him about the conversation and that at the very least, it appeared there was an ulterior motive for having this teacher on the team.
He apologized for what the counselor said, agreed that it sounded improper (actually rolled his eyes and said "I can't believe she'd say something like that"), and without us even asking, said he could replace that teacher with someone else.
He did say he has not heard any conversation about trying to "show" us how to not go overboard and he apologized again. lol
So without us asking, he agreed to put someone else on the 504 team. We were completely happy with that and thanked him.
I also sent an email to confirm that Mrs J. was no longer part of our team and he has already replied in agreement.
Thanks for all of your opinions and suggestions. Have a super holiday weekend!
Maddy

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