Not allowed to send letters to other parents

Posted on: Fri, 09/03/2004 - 5:18am
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

I'm still working at controlling my panic about my son going to Kindergarten next Tuesday. As part of my strategy,I wrote a letter to the parents of the kids in my son's class, sharing my experiences and asking for their help in keeping my son safe.

But the principal just called me and said that she is not allowed to send them out because of school regulations. (No "fliers" except official ones)

ARGH!!!

There is an official letter going out asking people not to bring peanut products into the classroom because an [unnamed] child is allergic, but I'm afraid it might put some of the parents off. (The whole "right to peanut butter" thing, ya know) Or it might be ignored as another "official" paper. I was hoping that a more personal note would help.

I'm thinking about working through the PTA on an allergy awareness campaign. Has anyone had any success on trying to make sure as many parents "get it" as possible?

Posted on: Fri, 09/03/2004 - 5:41am
mamagaona's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2000 - 09:00

My school nurse sends a letter out to the parents in my dd's class. It is part of the 504 plan for the nurse's resposibility.
Hope this helps.
Arlene

Posted on: Fri, 09/03/2004 - 5:47am
katiee's picture
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Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

You might want to consider asking the Principal if you can make a small presentation on parents night.
I'm not sure if you are in Canada or the US. You could also check in to the school board policy to see if what she has told you is accurate.
Good luck, keep us posted.
Katiee

Posted on: Fri, 09/03/2004 - 6:01am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Another idea is asking if you could write something to be printed in the monthly newsletter.
Although, I really like katiee's suggestion of checking whether that truly is in the school board policy.

Posted on: Fri, 09/03/2004 - 6:14am
Nutternomore's picture
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Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

Greenlady,
The articles I mentioned in my post in the Schools thread
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001492.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001492.html[/url]
may be of some assistance...

Posted on: Fri, 09/03/2004 - 6:27am
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

I did find the official policy directive and they are right. (Although I wonder how strictly it's enforced - I'm betting that birthday invitations and such are sent out regularly)
I can ask for an exception, but it has to be to the school board via the Superintendent. (A big deal, at least here in the U.S.) I already drafted the email requesting it, but I am going to let it cool off over the weekend before I send it. I am not entirely rational right now and I wonder if elevating it would be counterproductive. (I don't mind being "the crazy mom" but not if it ends up hurting my son).
The school nurse is sending out an "official" letter, so I will at least wait till I see that to decide whether to push the whole thing.
But a presentation at Parent's night is a great idea. Although I am a bit worried about asking permission ahead of time - who knows what policy directive would apply? Maybe I should just jump in and ask forgiveness after. :-)
Thank goodness for this forum - I think I'd explode otherwise. Thanks for your help!

Posted on: Fri, 09/03/2004 - 12:12pm
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Greenlady, I know that at our school we have information night where we go without the children and get acquainted with the school year ahead.
I always manage to raise my hand at question time and make my statement about PA.
What I have always done is this" HI I am Christophers mom and chris has sever nut allergies. I want to make sure you would know how to treat him and take accurate procedures if he had an attack in class". By doing this it always has everyones attention and leads to a huge allergy lesson.
Sneaky but has always been a great way for parents to hear me.
Good luck to you. CLaire

Posted on: Fri, 09/03/2004 - 12:57pm
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I have it in my dd's 504 plan that I can send a letter - signed by nurse and teacher or principal - home to all the parents. No one has ever given me a hard time about it. They've actually been great about accepting whatever I send out and attaching their names to it!
Maybe you need a 504 plan?
Good luck!
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

Posted on: Fri, 09/03/2004 - 11:30pm
Jodi2boys's picture
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Joined: 01/23/2003 - 09:00

My son just started Kindergarten this week. A letter was sent out to all the parents of his class from the school regarding my son's allergy.
But, I also wrote a personal letter to them explaining our situation (when he got diagnosed, his reactions, etc.). The school did approve this. I felt it would make it more real for the parents to get a letter coming from me.
Great responses from the parents! Good luck!
------------------
Mommy to:
Jake~ 5 yrs. old- PA
Sam~ 3 yrs. old- Not PA

Posted on: Sat, 09/04/2004 - 3:37am
BS312's picture
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Joined: 09/05/2001 - 09:00

Greenlady-
We had a similar experience two years ago. Our school went peanut-free the year DD started kindergarten. I wanted to send a letter from us to the other parents identifying DD, explaining our situation and her needs, etc. The principal disagreed and felt that all communication re. food allergies and the peanut-free policy should come from her and the school nurse. We did not send our letter.
The principal was absolutely right. She handled all of the hostility from angry parents (there were very few) and we did not have to get involved in any conflicts. We and more importantly DD did not have to deal with any complaints or negative comments. If parents are going to be out off by your child's needs, I think it is much easier if you do not have to deal with their anger and resentment. The level of compliance with our peanut-free policy is nearly 100% and we have had no problems at school.
The first day of kindergarten is hard. Good luck!

Posted on: Sat, 09/04/2004 - 12:30pm
e-mom's picture
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Joined: 04/23/2000 - 09:00

We actually had 2 letters go out to the parents of my son's kindergarten class last week.
The first one came directly from the teacher. (I don't have it with me at the moment, if I find it, I'll post what it says.)
The second one (listed below) came directly from the school nurse who is an RN as well as a Certified School Nurse. (Our school actually staffs 2 full-time school nurses).
Dear Parents,
This letter is to inform you that a student in your child's class has a severe food allergy to peanuts/nuts. In order to prevent a life-threatening allergic reaction, we are asking your assistance in providing this student with a safe classroom environment.
To reduce the chance of an allergic reaction we are requesting that you do not send any peanut or nut products to school with your child that will be eaten or shared in the classroom. This includes nuts, peanuts, trail mix, peanut granola products, peanut butter, etc.
Your attention to this health concern is appreciated. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.
I think that BS312 makes a great point in that letting your school handle the letter will also make them responsible for dealing with the parents who do not want to comply.
[This message has been edited by e-mom (edited September 04, 2004).]

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