OK.....I\'M REALLY FREEKING RIGHT NOW

Posted on: Tue, 09/24/2002 - 8:33am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

i just got off the phone with the superintendent from the school.....

They will continue to serve peanut butter and Jelly sands as a lunch option. It is up to me whether I keep my son at school or at home. This is three days a week. He is finally doing well in school.............do I keep him home or send him?????????? I may add he has had a hard time in school prior to this academically. He is 7. HELP!!!

Posted on: Tue, 09/24/2002 - 8:47am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

What about these 504 plans? Is this legal?? I only have a 3 yo, so sorry if I don't get it. It just sounds very unsafe. One thing to allow it if parents pack it, another entirely to serve it outright. Is there a peanut free table, and how sensetive is your child? Is he airborne sensetive? I am so sorry for your trouble, and it is a shame if your sone has trouble with school and things are finally on track there. becca

Posted on: Tue, 09/24/2002 - 8:52am
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Joined: 05/14/2002 - 09:00

I don't really have any advice, I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am that you have to go through this. I really can't believe that the school would think that it is ok to sever PB&J w/ so many children now w/ nut allergies...this is just crazy. I really wonder if you could maybe make this a bit more public. Do you have a local newspaper that you could talk to about this?

Posted on: Tue, 09/24/2002 - 11:21am
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OK.
So far 2 weeks from now, we will meet to discuss an IDEA. I can request a 504 if the IDEA board feels a peanut allergy (a subtopic---believe it or not) affects my child's ability to learn. NO $#!^? Let's see------------If i can't breathe, I can't learn. YAWN. no new news here. In the mean time, they will continue with business as usual. It is up to me to decide to send him to school. I think the newspaper idea is a great one. There are also news shows that handle consumer complaints per se, but, I don't know how to say this..........................I am so worn out and I feel beat down lately regarding this issue. The principal suggested "homeschooling", and I'm beginning to feel it may be a less arduous option for both my son and us.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited September 24, 2002).]
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited September 24, 2002).]

Posted on: Wed, 09/25/2002 - 1:29pm
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Joined: 09/21/2002 - 09:00

Momma Bear, I don't know you, but I believe that what the school is doing is ridiculous. This is a safety issue. If your child required tube feeding, medications, etc. they would be required to comply. How is this any different? Your child requires a peanut free area. It's not a request, it's a life threatening issue. period. I'm sure you're exhausted, but really-I believe that the school is showing that they really are not interested in your child's needs simply by suggesting that you homeschool. Personally, I would fight, and I would go all the way. I can relate with how tired you are, but don't give up! Your child deserves the best education (whether that is at home or school), so it's up to you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Good luck!

Posted on: Wed, 09/25/2002 - 2:08pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I agree w/all the above posts, I would absolutly fight it all the way. My son will start school next yr, so I haven't yet encountered this and hopefully I won't (We'll see how they respond when I go in Jan.) But I too, thought at first, you know I'll just home school, until I read all the old posts here in reference to IEP's and Section 504, if you haven't read them, you MUST! Theres alot of information to absorb, but believe me, do this, and then go talk to the administrators and let them know you KNOW what you are talking about. I believe they try to "bully" parents around to save themselves work, but if you go in there and they know that you've done your research, I believe they'd be more cooperative, atleast have a pnut free area in the lunch room and class rooms. I would absolutely require them to give me this at the very least. I'm a very passive person and let things go over just to keep from confrontations, but I have learned w/PA you can't, my son can't stand up for himself, and he already misses out on alot of things b/c of his pa and school will not be one of them. I too, would go to the paper and my districts school board member, the school board member in your district is there for YOU, they will help you if your school is not responsive in the needs of your child. I know I haven't been through this yet, but I wanted to tell you how much information and "confindence" I recv'd from reading the older post concerning these issues and your rights.
HTH
Lana

Posted on: Thu, 09/26/2002 - 1:52am
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Don`t have time for a long post as I am supposed to be working right now, just wanted to say that on the home page for this site, there is a link to CBS News presentation last Friday about peanut allergy. Read it---it is very short. It clearly states that peanut allergy by law is a disability, and the school is REQUIRED TO ACCOMODATE IT. Also, last year an employee at our school (my daughter is also 7) asked me to homeschool my daughter. This was because our school required all employees to be trained in Epipen for the three pa kids in the school. This employee didn`t want the responsibility, so he told me out on the playyard I should homeschool my child. This is illegal. The school is required to accomodate pa and cannot ask a parent with a disability to homeschool their child. I think you should call the Office of Civil Rights for the Dept of Education in your state. They should know about the law on pa and public school, and will probably back you. If you happen to be in California, I can find you the name and phone number. Don`t have time to write more, maybe later. Good luck.
[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited September 26, 2002).]

Posted on: Thu, 09/26/2002 - 3:18am
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Joined: 04/10/2002 - 09:00

I would definitely go with the 504 if I were you. School is so important for kids, far beyond the academics! My pa son is in 1st grade and luckily our school does not serve pb, so as long as he sits away from the packers at lunch he is fine. I don't have anything written with the school (beyond an emergency medical plan) but I would pursue whatever options were available to keep him in school (and safe) if they did start to serve pb. And whatever effort it takes now will be so worth it for your child and would probably be a lot less effort in the long run than homeschooling! Good luck!

Posted on: Thu, 09/26/2002 - 10:09pm
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Many thanks for your replies.
I've been up again since 3 am. I think it must be a panic attack. I keep waking up with images of things I have discussed concerning my son's peanut allergy recently with the school. I was up earlier this week with terrible stomach upset doing the same thing. I am trying to catch up on this site, reading important information from people experiencing the same things. This type of information is priceless. We talked to a lawyer two days ago. A lawyer specializing in school law. Less than five minutes into the conversation, we were thinking "use simple words, avoid compound sentences". This guy was so uniformed. I'm not expecting everyone to be an expert in food allergies and anaphylaxis, but at least in your field. If you are a lawyer, you should at least realize when someone has violated the law. If you are a school lawyer, you should at least understand when a child meets the criteria for a 504 or IEP plan. I'm not a lawyer but I understand that. A doctor may not specialize in surgery, but they should recognize when someone needs basic first aid steps to control bleeding. All I'm asking for is to stop the bleeding. Hold pressure for a while? But I guess that is going to have to be my job for now, since no one at the school (or in the legal field) has the family jewels to take action. (am i going to get edited? I apologize in advance, but my stomach is churning, and i don't know if I should wake my son up for school or not. Is this supposed to be part of raising a child???? Of the school experience?? I also apologize for something else...........I am not going to use my son's name here or get into to many details concerning this since very big lawyers in this area are scrutinizing this issue for the school. I'm sure they could find this web site and identify me if I used specific details. They don't need much more of an upper hand now, do they? I know an official for the school stated they were looking into it and consulting attorneys. I know the lawyer we consulted was going to look on the web himself. I know he was talking us out of legal action. I'm not looking for monitary compensation, but legal action seems to be the only recourse to get results from the school district. I don't know how much more time we can spare.
for listening,
our grateful thanks.

Posted on: Thu, 09/26/2002 - 10:57pm
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

How about calling FAAN? Might they have a list of legal advisers they use and could give you a more educated referral to a lawyer who knows of these matter? Is there a civil rights organization for disabled individuals in your community. I think it is critical to engage the help of a rational, level-headed legal representative, who knows your rights on this matter.
I do not mean to be patronizing in saying this, but know how your head can spin when fired up with the juices of anxiety, anger, and protectiveness for one's child. You want a positive outcome all around, so he will be happy and comfortable, once properly accomodated in the system, you know?
I have empathy for you, and your anxiety. Even little things have just had me shaking with this allergy at times. The constant resistence and ignorance of others is just just such a tremendous strain over time. I truly hope this works out favorable for you. becca

Posted on: Fri, 09/27/2002 - 12:20am
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Joined: 04/18/2001 - 09:00

My son is peanut allergic and high functioning autistic. I went through hell with his school last year on all fronts (as I'm sure you can imagine.)
You had mentioned keeping your son home, and I just wanted to let you know that while I think you should fight for your son, I also think home schooling is an EXCELLENT option IF you can do it. I cut back my work hours to part-time and am now home schooling (gramma watches the two during the morning). It is SO much better for both of us. He still has an ISP with his school if I want to utilize their services (I don't), but they had no intent to remove PB&J from the menu and wanted to put him in an "inclusive special ed" room because of his distractibility (well, duh, he's autistic, but I didn't want him with the emotionally disturbed kids learning bad behaviors, either).
They had a "peanut free" table, which is wiped down separately, but for some reason, they never bothered to place him there despite my constant pleas for them to do so.
My son is in the 2nd grade (a year early), and we ordered a home school curriculum which takes us about 3 hours a day to complete, sometimes more, sometimes less depending on his attitude towards the work on any given day. The thing that makes this choice worth it for me is no longer losing sleep over my worries about him at school. Whether or not he's getting the attention he needs, whether or not he's going to be exposed to peanuts, whether or not some other kids parent is going to bring in some snack with peanuts in it that my son will either not know about or not be able to have.
I am doing what I can to make my son feel "normal." I'm lucky, in that in my neighborhood, there are some 40+ kids. Almost 1/3 of them are homeschooled (and it's those kids whose behavior and attitudes are significantly better!). He is not outcasted by this choice. His self-esteem has risen in a few short weeks, he's happier, I'M happier and I'm done arguing and fighting with the school.
On another note, I just found out the other day that my daughter (not yet 2) is also allergic to peanuts (she was in the hospital with an infection in her lymph nodes and they gave her peanut butter and crackers and she got a horrible, swollen rash all over her face!). And now that I know how well home schooling works and how fun it is (and whoah, what a bonding experience!), I don't think she's ever going to step foot in a public school!
We're all much happier now that we flipped the proverbial bird to the public school system. Got a great, non-religious curriculum and he's doing WONDERFUL with it. I don't regret my choice and I think I'm fighting for my son now in a much more positive way and no longer losing sleep over it.
Email me anytime if you want to chat.
~Melanie

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