One Parent Still Doesn\'t Get It!

Posted on: Fri, 09/12/2003 - 2:24am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I posted my story under the "We are Under Attack" post about how we were having a similar problem in our school with parents being upset about not being able to send peanut products to school with their children. Our son's Back to School Night was last night and everything seemed to go smoothly. We had decided after speaking with the teacher that we would not be in the classroom because of the fear that it could become heated since there were quite a few angry parents. It seems (at least for now) that they may back down from their positions after the teacher explained the severity of this allergy. My guess is that most of them just didn't understand the allergy and now that they are aware, they are now compassionate about it. However, I was told this morning that there was one parent who wants us to meet her in the middle. It appears that her child "only" likes PB&J and wants to know if it is okay to send it in and then have her child wash his hands thoroughly afterwards. Part of me is saying "Fine, as long as he washes her hands and isn't anywhere near my son." Another part of me is saying, "Yeah right! A six year old is going to wash his hands thoroughly?" I'm amazed that this parent still is pushing to send PB&J to school even after hearing that this is a life or death situation. What do you guys think? Do you think it is unreasonable of me to say no to this so-called solution? I'm not asking for an outright ban in the class and I'm not sure the principal would agree to it (although she is supporting us). I was really hoping after last night's "education" on PA that everyone would just say that it isn't worth it to send PB&J's (and other peanut products) in.

[This message has been edited by B'sMom (edited September 25, 2003).]

Posted on: Fri, 09/12/2003 - 4:47am
teacher's picture
Joined: 11/02/2000 - 09:00

As I said to another member a few minutes ago, I think it's inappropriate that the school isn't handling this on their own and fielding all the negativity on their own. You should be kept out of it. Your child has a right to be there just like their child does. Your child has special needs (of a sort), and legally must be accomodated. Too many parents don't understand like. "Only liking peanut butter" is not a special need!
I would say DO NOT BACK down for this one child, because if the school gets wind of your thinking that that's okay, then the next thing you know, you'll have everybody and his dog arriving with PB&J and "promising" to wash up. Is that the kind of school you are comfortable with?
Stand your ground! And insist that the school bring itself up to YOUR level and not the other way around!
Good luck!!!!!

Posted on: Fri, 09/12/2003 - 5:23am
cynde's picture
Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

Stand your ground (let the administration take the heat). Her child can learn to eat other things, no healthy child will starve themselves, and her child can eat PB&J for the other 18 hours of the day.

Posted on: Fri, 09/12/2003 - 8:08am
solarflare's picture
Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

Unless her child has some sensory issue related to some special needs condition, I'd continue to say no, and maybe offer to buy her a sample of sunbutter or a jar of acceptable soy butter to try.
Cheryl, mom to Jason (6 PA/TA/other FAs and EAs),Joey (4 NKA) and Allison (11/02 dairy sensitive)

Posted on: Fri, 09/12/2003 - 8:27am
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

isn't it a shame that some people can't look past their own circumstances to see that there is a whole big world out there full of oopportunities for them to be helpful? good Lord! i hate to think i'd ever refuse to cooperate HAPPILY with a family who had a seriously food allergic child. you would think i'd stop being amazed that there are people out there like that...but i'm still amazed every time. what kind of parent honestly thinks their child can only eat one food every day for lunch forever??? ridiculous.

Posted on: Fri, 09/12/2003 - 12:32pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Teacher & Cynde are right - hold your ground - once you lose your footing, it's next to impossible to get back to where you were in the first place.
Solarflare made a great suggestion about the soy & sunbutter alternatives.
One thing to keep in mind - a child with freshly eaten PB breath, breathing in your childs eyes can result in the exact same reaction as your child touching a PB surface and rubbing their eyes - I'm talking from experience (one I don't want to ever repeat)
Each school day mornings are signficantly stressful with me wondering how many kids standing in the line beside my DD heading into school have had PB for breakfast, not only not washed their hands, but most probably didn't brush their teeth and tongue afterwards, and even if they did - is that enough to stop my child from reacting from the PB being expelled from their breath into my childs eyes when they are up close and talking to her..... the worries never end....

Posted on: Fri, 09/12/2003 - 1:15pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thank you everyone for your replies. Since I first posted this message I have since received more information about this parent who wants to still bring in PB&J sandwiches. Apparently, this family is vegan (the teacher didn't give me this information initially) and the child's pediatrician told them he needs to eat peanut butter for protein. I, of course, just about went off the deep end when I heard this. Are they trying to tell me that peanut butter is the only source of protein out there? My understanding of vegans is that they will not eat eggs and won't even drink milk. If I'm wrong about this, please correct me. So, my question is since this is the case, what other sources of protein are out there that vegans eat? Any ideas?
[This message has been edited by B'sMom (edited September 25, 2003).]

Posted on: Fri, 09/12/2003 - 1:36pm
domesticgodess's picture
Joined: 08/26/2003 - 09:00

i am hot! this doctor had enough time to say (loosly)that this child just Had to eat peanuts??PLEEEAAASE!and i might add that it is not your responsibility to get a list of other proteins if these parents are real vagans they alredy know all the alternitives.
sounds as though they have nothing to do with their time but power struggle with you.
oooh woe is my child,she/he can't have p/b&j.
as we all know p/a has and will kill not eating meat won't!so there for you have upper hand period and do not back down!
i have had many run ins with parents and am only expressing my opinion,not to offend(hope i didn't but that whole subject gets me mad!!!)good luck and stand your ground!!

Posted on: Fri, 09/12/2003 - 2:13pm
tgab's picture
Joined: 06/24/2000 - 09:00

If your child is not allergic to tree nuts, I would suggest almond butter, cashew butter etc. Most of them are may contain though. Also there is Sunbutter and Soynut butter. The other child could eat soy products like soymilk, tofu, etc. There are also beans, whole grains, and vegan meat alternatives. If this family is vegan, I'm sure they already have many sources of protein besides peanuts that they eat.

Posted on: Fri, 09/12/2003 - 2:32pm
ElizabethsMom's picture
Joined: 04/17/1999 - 09:00

Chances are these parents are in a real quandry. It sounds as if they want to follow the rules but just can't figure out how to do it.
First, I would wait to see if the school resolves it. If they can't then...Only attempt this if you think you can do it in a friendly, relaxed manner...
How about having lunch with the Mom of this child? We are more likely to be persuaded by 1)people we like 2)people we believe are like us and 3)people who seem to have our best interests at heart.
Call her up and ask if you two can get together at your house for lunch. Be sure to ask her for a list of things she can eat (demonstrates empathy and a willingness to compromise and accomodate different diets and lifestyles). Talk about how difficult it is to maintain a diet that is out-of-the mainstream (after all this is a big thing you both have in common). Ask her 'how she does it' (opens the door for you two to discuss the challenges you both face). Ask how she decided to become vegan. Then, only after you've talked about her and the challenges she faces and built a good rapport bring up your experience. Talk about how you discovered your child has PA. Tell her how it terrifies you. Ask what you can do to help her out.
Anytime our school talks about PA we insist on being there just because it might get heated. People are afraid of the 'unknown' and we've found that missing these meetings will cause some folks to imagine our family as big green monsters with horns where our ears should be. We usually start the meetings out by talking about the our experience, how we were a huge peanut butter family prior to DD's diagnosis (in fact I bought Reese's by the case - can you imagine?) and how, if they ever find a cure, I will personally bake PB cookies for every parent of every child DD has ever attended school with and that we are really glad that there are so many friendly faces in this room because there are absolute horror stories out there and we are soooo lucky to share a community with you.
You have a lot in common with these parents. Granted, their diet is by choice, but can you imagine the enormous list of "do not eat" food their child must take along to play dates? I bet they use a lot of the same strategies we all use...

Posted on: Fri, 09/12/2003 - 2:56pm
KarenH's picture
Joined: 09/21/2002 - 09:00

Personally, I think it should be up to the school, not the parent, to be working this out. It's not up to the parent to figure out what the vegan parent can feed her child, or even have to offer suggestions. THE SCHOOL should be the ones handling this. There are accomodations that are made for all kinds of disabilities, and simply not eating pb for 2 1/2 hours a day is NOT a big deal.
You know, one kindergarten I worked in had a rule for snacks-fruit, veggies, cheese and crackers ONLY. The kids would bring in their snack, we'd cut them up and arrange them on a plate, and everyone would share. It was much healthier too, with none of that pre packaged junk stuff. They can eat the pb when they go home for lunch. :P


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