Neurotic Mother (according to School)

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2002 - 2:39am
CVRTBB's picture
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Venting... Sorry so long! I have waited a week before posting this because I was so upset. My 6 year old (severely PA son, who is smell and touch sensitive) is currently attending kindergarten in a Christian School at our church. Last Wednesday night I allowed my children to go to the kids club at church but stopped and bought safe cookies first and reiterated to my 4 that they are only to eat what I brought and to my 2 pa that if they served anything that they knew had peanuts to tell them they were going to go to their Mommy and leave (with or without permission). When we got there we found that they had decided to split the older and younger and the teacher that had been in there went with the older kids, so now my (younger) kids had a different teacher. I gave her a crash course in peanut allergies at the door and emphasized the seriousness of him being near, smelling, touching, eating, even being in the same room as peanut containing items. She said she understood and that they were not serving a peanut treat and that if there was a problem she would send them to me. (He had his fanny pack with him and his older brother to watch out for them so I figured he'd be fine.) About 5 minutes after I sat down in the auditorium my 2 PA children came in sobbing. They said the Teacher had just handed out peanut candy. They were so sad it just tore me up. My Pastor's wife turned around and asked me what was wrong. I told her they were passing out peanut candy and the kids could not be near it (we had had discussions about it before and I thought that she understood... dumb me!) Anyway, she said, "they have star crunch and they don't have peanuts." I said, "yes they do, have you read the label?" She just huffily turned around. Well... within minutes a big huge hive popped out on my son's arm and he started complaining of a tummy ache and that his throat was hurting. Scared me half to death! I gave him a benedryl and he seemed a little better after awhile. Come to find out the teacher had handed out mini Snickers Bars as a prize and a boy had opened it up right beside Timmy!!!!! He got worse after he got home. I gave him another benedryl for the awful itching and a breathing treatment and kept an eye on him all night. (An adult man had just died the weekend before in his sleep from anaphalactic shock and they were not aware he had allergies or what caused it... he told his wife he didn't feel well and went to bed. When she came in later to go to bed he was dead. S0... my vigilance has been up ever since). He was feeling better by morning so I sent him to school but was still a little worried. I stopped by at lunch time to check on him and my Pastor's wife told me that I was being neurotic and causing my son to be neurotic, that he had not itched all day until I came. (He had a huge silver dollar sized hive below his elbow, one on his back and one on his foot.) She told me furthermore she and the teachers felt that it was not even hives but bug bites. I tried to explain (again) the seriousness of the allergy and she just tossed everything I said off. She said that they had given all the other kids peanut butter crackers at snack time once and he had not reacted. When she saw me go red in the face she quickly said... but we did put him at a seperate table way away from all the other kids. I WAS FURIOUS! How dare they play Russian Roulette with my sons life!!!?! She said that they would compromise at the Kid's Club and not give the kids anything with obvious peanuts. I said basically that that was not good enough because they don't seem to know what has peanuts and what does not. She got really angry and said, "Well you don't expect me to read the labels do you?" I said yes and she said no way was she going to read labels. I asked if I could bring the treats and snacks and pay for them myself so that my children could attend and I would know that they were safe. She said, no, we cannot let you do that. So I said, "fine, then my children will not be back- this is a life or death issue and you don't seem to care." Anyway... she told me they all thought I was neurotic and that if I just left him alone he'd be fine! UGH!! I almost pulled him out of school... still might. I just don't know what to do. We live in a very small 3 bdrm mobile home with 6 of us (4 children). I don't feel like its enough room to homeschool and the public school is definately out because they have pbj on the menu daily. We are looking into buying a bigger place... should know something more next week.

Any suggestions?? What should I do? I printed up some material but my dh says that her mind is already made up and she probably wouldn't even read it.

Thanks for letting me vent and sorry so long!
Valerie

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2002 - 4:16am
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I am so, so sorry to hear your story, in fact I got both goose bumps and tears reading it. Very, very sad to say but these people don`t give a ***** about your children`s lives. Personally, I think if anything happens to your kids after all your attempts to explain this to them, I think these people should be jailed for murder.
As far as what to do, that is a tough one. I don`t see how you can leave your kids there. I don` think they are safe. I am surprised the public school serves pb every day. Ours only serves it once a month because of the PA issue. On that day I pick my daughter up right before lunch and keep her with me the rest of the day. Do all the public schools in your area have the same menu? If not, maybe you could get your kids into a different public school on a permit. I did that with mine because our local school was very bad academically. Or what about another private school? I just can`t imagine another private school would be as bad. I know private school is expensive with four kids. How do you feel about having the two non-PA kids in free public school, and the two PA in a good private school? Just some thoughts. It is really a tough situation.

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2002 - 8:21am
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Joined: 11/23/2001 - 09:00

We are very against the public schools in our entire state... they are almost the lowest state academically in the US. It's horrible to go anyplace around here if they don't have a cash register that tells you what change to give out... Math and Reading scores are horrible! My second grader was in almost a 5th grade reading and math level at the end of first grade and both of my boys have made high honor roll all year. Also, the menu is for every school in the district and is published in the local newspaper weekly. I'm seriously considering homeschooling as soon as we get out of the mobile home we are presently living in (hopefully really soon).
Thanks for your help.
Valerie

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2002 - 8:33am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Wow! I cannot believe how uncompassionate people can be! If they read, the Bible says "If someone asks you to go one mile with them.....go two miles (willingly)!! I can see why the good Lord didn't give THAT woman a child with peanut allergy. It wouldn't stand a chance, if she doesn't have "time to read a label". Well, this is a tough one. Only you and your husband can find the answer for you. I would try 2 things.
1. Schedule an appointment to meet with someone other than the pastors wife. (Someone associated with the school, that also works with the childrens church program?) I would organize the documents you have printed off re: pa. Maybe you can print off a few stories of what other families have experienced when people (manufacturers) are not careful. (Nathan Walters, Joshuas story and the one about the multi-million dollar law suit just won by a family. The last 2 are off of the main discussion board I think. You should still be able to find the news stories on Nathan.) The worst thing you are going to hear is that they cannot work with you. I would take that as a sign. I'm not sure I would want my children to be "mentored" by people who treat others like that. Try to remind yourself that just because someone is in a position of authority in a church, does not mean they are living their life like Christ lived his. (Remember, He laid down his life for others.)
2. Have you met with your local school? We have dealt with 2 public schools. They both have been wonderful. They stopped serving peanut butter cookies, and treats. One school cut back to serving pbj sandwiches to only 3 o 4 times in a year. The other school serves an alternate lunch than pbj all together. They may be more willingly to work with you than what you are thinking.
You are facing what we all dread. Feel free to vent. Best Wishes with this one. Keep us posted.
Valerie- you were posting as I was...so forget my plan #2!!
[This message has been edited by twins' mom (edited February 06, 2002).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2002 - 10:08am
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Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

What a compassionate, concerned, "Christian" woman your pastor's wife is (of course I am being totally sarcastic). My gosh! We have similar problems about people considering me neurotic and overprotective but it's mostly family members. It is just sad that people are willing to jeopradize anyone (especially a child) over something as stupid as a star crunch or a flippin bag of peanuts on a plane. I am just amazed. I agree with people that it would be difficult to eliminate everything everyone is allergic to or sensitive to during school and other social situations but come on, regular allergies and anaphylaxis are very different things. I don't think people get this concept at all. Milk, wheat, water - those things might be difficult to eliminate on a daily basis at school or other places but we are talking about PEANUTS! Why is this so hard for some people to process in their peanut sized brains?????? Sorry to come across as so negative right now but this topic touches so close to home. Just this Sunday my mother in law served up some chocolate ice cream (for my PA kids) that was labelled as containing peanuts. She huffed and puffed and got all bent out of shape when we took it away before it reached the kids. Then, she very unwillingly submitted to scooping them out some vanilla ice cream that was "safe" (as though you can ever really be sure) with the SAME damn scoop as she used in the peanut containing chocolate ice cream (still covered in clumps of the peanut containing ice cream). When we said the girls could not have ice cream at all (which our kids were fine with), she went off on how ridiculous we are. She said, "like that little bitty bit on the spoon is going to hurt them." There was chocolate residue all over the scoop of vanilla ice cream; not a small amount. And, she is so intellectually challenged regarding this issue (and many others) that she doesn't understand even a small amount could do the same amount of damage as a heaping spoonful. Whewww! I feel better now. Thanks guys for lending an ear. : ) I was very depressed earlier this week when I read the topic about the college student who died from eating supposedly safe cookies in his dorm. I have always told myself that I will be able to stop worrying when my kids get older. I guess not. Joey
[This message has been edited by joeybeth (edited February 06, 2002).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2002 - 10:31am
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Joined: 08/06/2001 - 09:00

I am so profoundly sorry that this happened to you. The pastor's wife is a sociopath, and the teachers sound liked they are dangerously stupid. I like everyone else's posts here -- people on this site are incredibly supportive of one another and give sage advice. However, I'm a big, loud Texas girl who is a bit of a hothead. If you'd like me to call the pastor's wife and give her a tongue-lashing that she'll never forget, I'll be glad to do it. I'll pay for the long-distance charge for the privilege of setting this woman straight. Please let me know. Meanwhile, take care and let's all hope for a cure or vaccine for PA in the near future!

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2002 - 12:53pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Joeybeth-
When our kids were younger, we went through the same thing with my family and friends. It took my family members "seeing" the reaction they had triggered...before they "got it". It took 3 totally unnecessary reactions before the reality of pa sunk in for them. I am sorry you are having the stress you are. If there is a bright side, (and I am trying to find one for you) your children are watching and hearing you get them out of situations where they could be triggered. Maybe watching you handle ignorance today, will some day enable them to handle (with courage) the ignorant people they will face! I have several friends and family members that I love dearly, that I would NEVER trust with my children.
Valerie-Can you put the link on here to the story of the man who died from anaphylaxis in his sleep? I had not heard about that one. What was the allergen?
[This message has been edited by twins' mom (edited February 06, 2002).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2002 - 1:01pm
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Joeybeth, about your story about the ice cream. I had my own problem today--posted under Living With PA. The topic is "what would you have done?". I just got off the phone with my girlfriend who is a nurse and totally gets it. Her response was "Peanut allergies kill people." Granted I don`t want to say those exact words in front of my child, but I think the next time I come across someone who doesn`t get it, if I can do it without my daughter hearing that is what I will tell the other person who doesn`t want to cooperate. "Peanut allergies kill people" is very blunt and to the point. Maybe you should say that to you in-laws if you can do it without your kids hearing.

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2002 - 2:28am
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Joined: 11/23/2001 - 09:00

Twins Mom- They are not sure what the reaction was to in the man that died. He was a high ranking man at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and my friend's husband worked with him. She told me about it. There has been nothing in the local media about it unfortuneately.
Everyone,
Thank you so much for your thoughts... I was beginning to wonder if I wasn't just taking it too hard. I just bought Timmy one of the "Pen Pal Allergy Packs" to wear instead of the big bulky fanny pack so that I can be sure the shot is always on him. I'm on pins and needles waiting to see what the school is going to say. He is in kindergarten but is very responsible. I've found out that his fanny pack that the teacher is supposed to be responsible for has been left in the room during snack and lunch more than it has been taken. After pitching a fit (after all I did have a Dr's note stating that it be with him at ALL times) she put the responsibility on him to remember it. This way he won't have to remember it, it will be attached to his belt all day. Thanks for letting me vent [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Valerie

Posted on: Fri, 02/08/2002 - 11:12am
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Joined: 05/30/2001 - 09:00

There are many strong laws against that kind of behavior. Please view the Main Disscussion Board for this information. Rick Walters just posted a very important site this morning. Everyone on this board needs to know their children's and parental rights. Your public schools must be way out of compliance with the Federal Laws, considering what you have said. Since Nathans death, we have been working diligently on solutions. Those will become public, hopefully, by late March. I know Rick wants this sight to have the benefit of the knowledge we have gathered, we just can't yet. I have been cruising this entire site all day today and you people are so great, you have no idea! And I am very impressed with the organizational efforts that have gone into this, as well as a place to come so we know we are not alone. Far to many parents feel alone with their struggles.
Anyway, love to all of you, remain faithfully optomistic.
------------------

Posted on: Wed, 02/13/2002 - 8:53am
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Joined: 11/23/2001 - 09:00

My son had his Valentine Party at school today and I'm fit to be tied!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] I sent a baggy full of safe candy and a safe lunch with my son and requested that he eat ONLY what was sent from home. Well, the children each had a bag that they were distributing the valentine's cards and treats to. Another little boy in Timmy's class put a Reese's Cup in his bag. If the Mother had not known about his allergy I could forget about it a little easier but this is the same person who is also a teacher at the school and at the King's Kids program on Wednesday nights at Church and knows full well about it!!! Only one other parent has sent in PBJ sandwiches for lunch (one time) but this lady sends them often. Its almost like she wants to see him die! I'm sooooo livid! Yesterday she saw pictures that I had taken of each of the kids in the class to put on a Valentine for their parents as I was printing them and stood there and made fun of them saying they made the kids look like cartoon characters... I just blew it off as somebody who is obviously upset over not being able to have pb cookies one night a week- but when she starts messing with my kids life she's playing with fire!!!! I know I need to cool off... its sure nice to have a place to vent where people understand!
Valerie

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