Ontario school taking away essential hygiene products!

Posted on: Wed, 03/07/2001 - 7:47am
morgansmom's picture
Joined: 04/29/2000 - 09:00

pI was informed by our principal today that the school board has cut funding for paper towels in the schools. For anyone that knows my school plan, it's kind of essential that everyone in the school is washing their hands after eating, and now the kids won't have paper towels? I'm upset!! ...and I'm getting tired of all these cut backs in our Canadian schools!!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] /p
pWhat do you think? Do you think that kids will still wash their hands if there are no paper towels to dry their hands? hhhmmm, I'm just trying to figure out whether I should make a fuss about this and call the school board?/p
p[This message has been edited by morgansmom (edited March 08, 2001).]/p

Posted on: Thu, 03/08/2001 - 2:06am
Beth's picture
Joined: 03/06/1999 - 09:00

Wow! I would sure raise a stink about that! How about the public health issue? Have these people ever heard of diseases being spread from not washing after using the bathroom? Drying hands is a factor in good hygiene...you can't just go dripping around. I would hope there is some other area they can cut back and keep buying paper towels for the kids. Good luck! If not, maybe each family could donate until they get this thing figured out.

Posted on: Thu, 03/08/2001 - 2:10am
Mom to Cayley's picture
Joined: 03/05/2001 - 09:00

morgansmom - please let us know what you find out when you call! This is disgusting! What are they going to use to replace the paper towels? Hand dryers I would hope? Nothing? Sheesh, I can't believe with the school taxes we pay, paper towels are even an issue! Thanks for the heads up!

Posted on: Thu, 03/08/2001 - 5:23am
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

You might want to contact your local Board of Health. There might be a regulation that the schools have to provide these types of essentials. Good luck.

Posted on: Thu, 03/08/2001 - 8:52am
morgansmom's picture
Joined: 04/29/2000 - 09:00

Thanks for the responses! Sometimes it's good to run it by other people to sort through it!
I've got a call in to the Superintendent of the school, although his secretary said that he'd been in the office in 1/2 hour at 10:00 this morning, I didn't hear from him today! Maybe tomorrow.
Further information: there are hand dryers in the main boys and girls washrooms. Phew! ...at least they'll wash and dry after going to the washroom. However, the washrooms in the gymnasium do not have hand dryers and thus will not have paper towels either.
All the kids in the school are sent down to use the washroom and wash hands before lunch. Then the kids eat their lunch and then wash again after eating. My daugher is allergic to peanuts, milk and eggs. The problem is, the kids have been washing after eating in their classrooms. That's where the paper towel kicks in. Also, paper towels have been used to clean up food spills temporarily before the janitors arrive! All classrooms have paper towel dispensers and sinks. The key to getting this whole washing after lunch thing in place was allowing each classroom to design their own hand washing plan. It was working well! Now with out paper towel, I fear that it's going to be an issue again, going down to the bathrooms twice at lunch and/or the request to other parents to help by bringing in paper towel will be looked at as another inconvenience that they have to do for the girl with allergies!
I just can't believe something as menial as paper towels would not be provided by a facility.
Good idea to check with the public health department, I'll do that tomorrow too! ...wondering though if I'll get anywhere because there are hand dryers in the main bathrooms. hhhmmm! Interesting!

Posted on: Thu, 03/08/2001 - 1:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Morgansmom, of course I'm shocked that this is even a possibility but then with the Nazi that is running the Province of Ontario Government, you just never know.
However, I do think a telephone call to the superintendent (which you have already placed) and Public Health is a good start.
I would also contact your local M.P.P.
The paper towels are something that I think are essential in helping to ensure Morgan's safety at school. I would also write a letter or e-mail the Minister of Education, Janet Ecker.
Now, if they were removing the paper towels and have the hand driers and had NO food allergic children on the premises, that is a totally different story. I'm not even comfortable with the hand driers - little kids are often frightened by them and don't always want to stand around long enough for their hands to be properly dried.
Definitely because this is an food allergy related "issue", I would pursue this as high up in the food chain as you can. Definitely contact Janet Ecker. Also, you would have to send a letter (he does not respond to e-mail) to the a/hole who is running this province and ultimately responsible for such stupidity. Another M.P.P. to contact is Gerard Kennedy. I'm fairly clear that his riding is still in Toronto. However, he is the Liberal Education Critic. Because of his past experience with The Toronto Daily Food Bank, he still has the "common" touch, he isn't that far removed from his constituents yet. He will respond to e-mails.
I know that at the beginning of this school year we were asked to send in a box of kleenex with our child. Fine. I often do that just off-hand if I've bought an 8 pack anyway. But I do know that it would probably rub people the wrong way if they were also asked to send in a package of paper towels.
Personally, I would be pleased to send in the paper towels. But I do know that a lot of people, including myself, get terribly overwhelmed, especially at the beginning of each school year with how much money they want for this item and that item. I understand it only gets worse as your child gets older.
Morgansmom, please let us know how this works out.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 03/08/2001 - 1:56pm
Mom to Cayley's picture
Joined: 03/05/2001 - 09:00

I can just see it now - the next fundraising event at Canadian schools...
We're selling Chocolate Covered Almonds to raise money to buy Paper Towels so the nut-allergic children in our school will remain safe!

Posted on: Fri, 03/09/2001 - 8:39am
morgansmom's picture
Joined: 04/29/2000 - 09:00

Thanks for the support as always guys! Cayley's mom you cracked me up with the fundraiser scenario, and I just love the expression, shesh! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
The "super" called me back today! After the story was explained to him about the kids washing their hands after meals in the classrooms, he said, "oh this isn't even an issue, your principal will have to apply for an exemption". He reassured me that the paper towels would remain in our school because of the allergy issue.
His explanation of the whole situation was that hand dryers were being placed in the bathrooms and paper towels taken out of the classrooms because of the amount of paper towels that were being used to clean up arts and crafts spills etc... He said that it was now the responsibility of the school to take care of providing something to clean up arts and crafts spills and no longer the responsibility of the maintenance department budget. ...but assurred me that an exception would be made for our school!
I was very pleased with his response to me, he was very nice etc... I'm not sure where that leaves other schools for paper towels etc..., I'm not sure I would even be happy being a mom of an non PA child without access to paper towels but I did fix our problem.
I was very worried that as you said Cindy, the school would ask parents to start sending in paper towels and it would be one more thing we are asking the school community to do to help the "allergic child". Yikes!
Anyways, so far I am pleased with how this has turned out for us, of course I'll have to follow it and ensure that it happens. I wonder if other schools are dealing with any of this either? Surely there are other allergic children in this school board.

Posted on: Fri, 03/09/2001 - 12:19pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Morgansmom, I'm pleased that this did work out with the superintendent. Morgan's school has to apply for an exemption. I still find it ridiculous to begin with. I would, of course be satisfied that you got the result that you NEED for Morgan. However, as you can see from how I posted above, I'd still be contacting people higher up to let them know how p-o-ed I was. That is just me, and I was very pleased that no one even commented on what I had to say about the Premier of our province! I know it was inappropriate to add politics to this but I am terribly enangered about what this man has done to our province and our school system.
Mr. Harris, in full body armour for the last six months and with 24 hour police protection I'm sure has as many paper towels as he would like at his disposal and no food allergies!
Look at the situation where there was a "special needs" child that he wanted to have taken from his/her parents and made a ward of the province. The man is a Nazi.
However, Morgansmom, I am SO pleased that the superintendent was pleasant and was able to deal with this as he should have done.
This is kinda separate but it is a thought that passed through my head when I was grocery shopping earlier in the week. I had promised Jesse that I would check the Chips Ahoy cookie bars that are new to see if they were "safe". They aren't, they're "may contain". Then I realized that it must be frustrating for non-PA parents who have to send a "peanut free" lunch and two snacks into school when they look at these labels and know that their child could eat it safely or loves eating it. I could begin to see where non-PA parents' resentment could come from. I know that I feel terribly frustrated when every label I look at says "may contain". This is why I especially thought if children were required to bring in paper towels as well, it might be enough to send the non-PA parents that are feeling inconvenienced by the whole matter to begin with, to go over the edge.
Me, I would gladly send in paper towels if Jesse was in Morgan's school and they weren't going to supply them. But, I'm another PA parent.
Also, you made a good point that I still think needs to be addressed. You said you weren't sure if you would feel comfortable with this even if Morgan didn't have her allergies. I actually think you may find that this becomes something that will infuriate parents and have them contacting the superintendent for their non-PA children.
As I said above, a lot of young children are frightened by the hand driers and also don't stand long enough to get their hands dry.
I'm sorry to have babbled on so long, it just struck me as really wrong and also something terribly idiotic. The kind of thinking that could only be done in this province by one person! I swear!
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 03/09/2001 - 9:47pm
morgansmom's picture
Joined: 04/29/2000 - 09:00

You are quite right Cindy, this is beyond ridiculous!
Budget cuts in our schools have gone crazy and I think it's time that parents are more aware of what is going on. You know, when the teachers are striking, I find two things, parents are irrate and mad at the teachers because their children are missing days in school and secondly, no one really knows why the teachers are striking or what the issues are.
It's time for parents in Ontario to be informed about what cuts are occurring in our classrooms.
For example, what happened to nurses in our schools? ...what happened to educational assistants in our schools, they are now rare? ...and yes, what's happening to our paper towels? ...and why is this happening, I want to see the budget, and I want to see how much they must chop from the budget and what their choices are!! Are we privy to this information? As tax payers I would sure hope so!! It's time to get nosy parents of Ontario, it's going beyond ridiculous!! ...and I want to know why?
Also as a side note, my sisters school board in Hamilton were on strike in Oct or Nov for about 2 months. The issues of why the teachers were striking were not even discussed to the general public. Immediately everyone thinks it's because of pay! After the strike was over, I found that one of the main issues why teachers were striking was because the boards were taking away many educational assistants in the classrooms and teachers are now just expected to care for children with a variety of different needs. ie severe physical disabilities etc... I know in our school, our kindergarten teacher is expected to take care of a little fellow with physical disabilities and when it comes to washroom time she hopes she can find the floating educational assitant (who has many responsibilities in the school) to toilet him, if she can't them she must do it! Our teachers have 20 - 30 kids in their classrooms, I'm all for integration but this is going a little beyond!
Even the extra responsibilities this teacher must take on for my daughter, she has to see that 20 kindergartners wash their hands thoroughly after every snack and meal throughout the day, supervise the meals with much more intense supervision etc... The teachers with students without allergies are enjoying their own coffee and marking papers when their children are having their snacks!
I'm not saying that one kid with allergies or one kid with disabilities of some kind is the problem, but the combination of all of these special requests in the classroom with NO educational assistants to help IS the problem.
Now, I'm not sure why the teachers union is not making their issues public when striking but I know as a mom making a special request for my daughter that I would be supporting them not working against them. Enough is enough! What happened to school nurses and educational assistants? Teachers are just continually asked to do more and more in the classroom and they're ready to snap! Are parents aware of what is happening in our classrooms??
Sorry to get way of track, I've just had enough and I want to see the budget and know the issues!!

Posted on: Fri, 03/09/2001 - 11:45pm
morgansmom's picture
Joined: 04/29/2000 - 09:00

Also, just wanted to add, I'm sorry I've ranted above and realize that I should have put all these other issues in the "Off Topic" category, so sorry, accept my apology and I have further to say on this topic I will place in in "Off Topic" category.


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