PA Son May Not Be Able to Attend School for 1st Week in Ontario, Canada - Peanut Allergy Information

PA Son May Not Be Able to Attend School for 1st Week in Ontario, Canada

Author:
Publish date:

I never thought I would see this day. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] With school board policy throughout the province of Ontario guaranteeing PA children the *right* to a "peanut free" classroom, my son may not be attending school for the first week for the first time in FIVE YEARS.

I am absolutely beside myself. In working with two different school board districts simply on behalf of my PA son, I have never seen this. In helping countless other PA parents in Ontario get their children safely into "peanut free" classrooms in Ontario, I have never seen this. In speaking with many other Ontario PA parents I have never heard of this.

And yet, in the same school board district that my son attended for both Grade 1 and 2, he will likely not attend school for the first week.

Why?

A principal that did not read school board policy like any other principal has read it before and had very different ideas about what a "peanut free" classroom meant (peanut products could be eaten in the classroom, my son had to be removed).

And a superintendent who is tired of dealing with the PA issue, since he considers students as customers and there are not enough PA customers in this particular school board district.

Even with the intervention to-day of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Jesse has to remain at school until the details can be worked out between the principal and the superintendent and then presented to me. Then, I have to see if I even feel comfortable with what they present me.

I have a written school plan which adheres to school board policy throughout the province of Ontario. The principal to-day nixed every single point in my written school plan.

Would this have happened had I not been Nomad Woman? Damn straight. All he had to do was become the principal of the school my children were attending.

I am absolutely beside myself. I understand that in America this routinely happens and students may even miss months of school until things are figured out.

But this is the FIRST time I have ever heard of anything like this happening in Ontario, Canada.

My daughter starts Grade 1 on Tuesday. I spoke with her tonight and she doesn't want to go to school without her brother (makes sense since it's a new school).

You can know school board policy inside out. You can have a comprehensive written school plan that adheres to school board policy. All you have to do is run across one principal who is unwilling to deal with PA. And one that tells you that your PA child will OUTGROW their PA (even after you have explained the three anaphylactic reactions and how that has been blown out the window).

I am so worn out from the last three days of dealing with the principal and vice principal and even superintendent that I can't even cry.

So, lo and behold, even one of the resident *experts* on school board policies throughout Canada finds that it only takes one apple to spoil the whole bunch and your PA child is at home.

I'm ready to blow this pop stand and head to somewhere where there are more PA *customers* at the schools! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]

For everyone reading who do have children starting school on Tuesday, my best wishes for a good start to the school year and a great Labour Day week-end! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Thanks for listening. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Aug 29, 2003

Hi Cindy,

I don't understand. Has this principal never read the school guidelines from Anaphalaxis Canada? What's up with him... have you talked to Jesse's teacher? Maybe he/she is more knowledgeable and helpful. Anyway, maybe it's just Belleville, as most school boards in Ontario (ie: Toronto DIstrict School Board) have good guidelines regarding allergies. Keep us updated and hope you can knock some sense into him (or maybe just try another school if he is totally unreasonable to save yourself the grief)

[This message has been edited by erik (edited August 29, 2003).]

On Aug 29, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream: [b]I never thought I would see this day. [/b]

Not only have I seen it, [i]I've lived it[/i]. (Hard to believe when you read the text of ADA as I reside in the US and am referencing a *US specific thing* and realize your child has a *disability* ---albeit hidden--- and covered under Federal Law.)

On Aug 29, 2003

Hi Cindy Wow, sorry to hear about this situation -- it sounds awful. As you say, we just don't expect this sort of treatment in Ontario. I hope it is resolved quickly and Jesse ends up with a safe classroom. Sarah

On Aug 29, 2003

me tooo!!!!i am there with onario school boards and my child missed 2 months of school in my district(thames valley)there is not one(or so iam told)peanut free in my whole city(london)because as you put it "not enough customers"but i do know that there is alot of real estate to be had!!!what would they do if suddenly there were to many customers??lol,lol,lol!!!!to go along with the wholep/a my son needed a nebulizer that no one wanted to deal with.well my whole point is ,is my child has a right to an education and i have the right to demand that it is in a safe healthy enviroment.if you think about it these teachers princeples supers.ect....are the same people who would be the first to call the authorities if you were neglecting your child by not providing a safe enviroment at home would they not??when this was happening to us that is just what i did!!i called c.a.s on them!!!it may have been radical but i was at my wits end exausted and fed up.i am not trying to tell you what to do merely telling you what i did!!in the meantime i would really like to join forces with all ontarians and nip this in the bud!as school starts in 3 days i will have only 1 child home and some free time let me know what i can do from my end!

On Aug 29, 2003

Thank-you everyone for your responses. I kinda thought that I wouldn't get any because I've always been so vocal about PA children's *rights* in the province of Ontario and I thought people might have thought I was up on a high horse or something and deserved (although my son shouldn't) a come-uppance of sorts. Do you know what I mean?

I just know that I have researched school board policies throughout Canada re anaphylaxis and posted them on the board and had other PA parents help me, and I, in turn, helped other PA parents get their children safely into school. I am desperately trying to get in touch with one PA.com member to go over everything because I consider her *the* expert in Ontario re our school board policy.

erik, school board policies across Ontario re anaphylaxis are all basically the same. They may differ in wording only slightly. But I've received copies from all over the province and there is really not much difference to them at all. The school board policy I have here in Hastings Prince Edward district is basically the same I had in Simcoe County. But, it might be the time to get the he** out of Dodge anyway, as I said, where there are more PA *customers* in the schools!

I am also going to spend the week-end going through the 74 page Anaphylaxis Handbook for Schools which arachide posted the link for.

What I did learn to-day in speaking with one PA parent (another PA.com member) is that this type of approach (removing the PA child from the classroom and allowing peanut products in the classroom) was something that was done in the late 1980's and early 1990's when PA was becoming an *issue* for the schools.

This man was just extremely adamant and not willing to budge one inch. And, as I said, the superintendent is not being helpful either. It may be something that has to go even higher up in the school board district food chain, I don't know.

erik, the difficulty with me having Jesse (and Ember) go to another school is that I don't drive. I cannot have the school board bus Jesse to another school simply because I don't feel comfortable with the school. I have to be able to get him physically there myself. Now, apparently, there is another school that may be within walking distance, I would have to check.

In the Ministry of Education Act there are two things that you can ask for if your child is physically disabled and their disability affects their learning ability academically, an IEP or an IRPC. I was told point blank to-day by the principal that he would not even give me the paperwork to initiate that process because Jesse's hidden disability does not affect his ability to learn. I did say that if he was in a classroom where there was residue that he could react to, that would affect his academic learning should he have a reaction. Apparently, if I attempt to initiate an IEP or an IRPC, it would be a precedent for a hidden disability.

I have to say that the person I spoke with at The Ontario Human Rights Commission to-day was simply wonderful. He is hoping that the superintendent and the principal will get their act together next week. If not, then I start the process of a formal complaint.

Momma Bear, I completely understand where you're coming from. That is why I have always been so horrified at what my American friends have to do to simply get their children through the doors of their schools.

I believe through the years here I've tried to really figure out how things are different in America and hopefully be as compassionate as possible when we live in a country for one that seems to "get it" much better (no slight intended towards Americans - I mean manufacturers, etc.).

If I was American, I would still be posting about this as I see several other members have threads running to-day about their children not being allowed to go to school because of their allergy. But this is blatantly against school board policy in the province of Ontario.

If I was in another province, say, British Columbia, which has no policy whatsoever province wide, I could see a person from that province posting about this.

But, as I said, I have NEVER in five years of dealing not only with my own son, but helping other PA parents in Ontario and also just being in contact with other PA parents in Ontario ever heard of such a thing. I am absolutely aghast.

hannah mom, thank-you for your kind words.

We had a really long hard day after the meeting on the phone (including a phone call to the Housing Tribunal re our recent move - a legal matter and something that is extremely upsetting to me because I was devastated by this move in the first place) and we simply planned a fun night with the kids at home, which we did have.

I'll spend the week-end doing the necessary research I have to do which is basically refreshing my memory and getting in contact with a couple of Ontario PA parents.

But I haven't broken the news to Jesse yet. When I was presented with the thing about him eating outside of his classroom for the whole year while peanut products were allowed into this principal's idea of a "peanut free" classroom, I did ask Jesse how he felt about eating outside of his classroom. He said that he had never had to do that unless he was being disciplined for misbehaviour.

If this had happened from JK on, perhaps it wouldn't be as upsetting to me. But Jesse has been able to partake in school events and eat in his classroom for FOUR YEARS. In my opinion, this isn't the age to be making major changes like that (ostracizing him) when he never has been because of his allergy (I understand that there are other PA children that are and I honestly don't know how you parents deal with it or your child does). But to start this type of b/s in his FIFTH YEAR of school is simply incomprehensible to me.

If you look at the School Plan for Ontario Canada that I have posted here under Schools, the principal nixed EVERY single point in the plan.

I ran the breakfast program at the previous school. It was a "peanut free" breakfast program. By *rights*, I can request a "peanut free" breakfast program at this school because Jesse has the *right* to partake in the breakfast program as well. However, I'm at a school where all of a sudden Jesse's *rights* under school board policy throughout Ontario have been thrown out the window by ONE man and supported by another.

I had to visit Ottawa earlier this week with Ember for an eye specialist's appointment. We have to return at least three more times for her alone. I also found out this week that Jesse has been referred to a pediatric urologist in Ottawa even though Toronto is a closer trip for me.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't just start checking out the housing situation in Ottawa. We didn't have time for touring and stuff, but I have to say it was a beautiful city, much cleaner than Toronto (sorry, erik, and hey, sorry, Cindy since I lived there 'til I was 39) and perhaps there are more PA *customers* in the schools there.

I really appreciate the response everyone. I truly do. My heart is broken for my son. I know that he will take it in stride (he has always been really cool about *bad* PA news) but as I told the person from The Ontario Human Rights Commission to-day, I just wanted to be like every other Mom this coming Tuesday sending her kids off to school (now, I know for us PA Moms it isn't quite that simple, but you know what I mean). But I won't be. I'll have my guy home with me and perhaps my daughter as well.

Thanks for the support. I appreciate it more than you can imagine, especially as I look out the computer room window and see a local Toyota Dealership's bright signage [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

domesticgodess, welcome! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] There is another member here that lives in London. I am not clear if her PA child has a "peanut free" classroom or not. I'm pretty sure that he does. I can contact her for you if you would like and see if she could help you out. I can't believe what you're going through.

I can't believe you called CAS on the school but you are right, they would do the same to us! LOL! My soul!

My best suggestion to you would be to call The Ontario Human Rights Commission and speak with the representative. They will ask you a bunch of questions and then they'll tell you whether they can call the school and school board superintendent (as they did in my case to-day) and see if they can resolve it that way without you having to file a formal complaint. Let's face it, no school board wants an Ontario Human Rights Commission complaint against them. I would do that. If you would like further information about that, please feel free to contact me at [email]cin44ca@yahoo.ca[/email]

Also, Katiee has posted in the Take Action part of the board about an Act that we have been hoping would be passed that would protect Anaphylactic Children in Ontario. You may like to read that thread and see the different people that you can contact with your concerns - just say you have a PA child and would like to see this legislation passed. Although it's probably unlikely that it will be passed with a provincial election on the horizon, it's worth the time and effort regardless simply to have our voices heard.

Okay, and now I have finally heard of a similar case in Ontario. I simply cannot believe it! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Edited to respond to domesticgodess who was responding while I was posting to my first three responses. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

[This message has been edited by Alternative to Mainstream (edited August 30, 2003).]

On Aug 29, 2003

you are probably sleeping lucky you!i would love a friend in london my son would too!

On Aug 30, 2003

Hi Cindy

Sorry you are having so much trouble. In your situation, this is what I would do:

1 - Call the media TODAY. Get a news report on the local TV news that your child is missing school because of this.

2 - Continue to deal with the Human Rights Commission

3 - Go way over the Superintendent to the Director of your school board. I actually usually start there and don't bother with the Superintendent.

4 - I believe you have a lawyer from some of your other posts. Ask him about the possibility of suing the School Board for the emotional distress this is causing you and your son. Tell the principal, superintendent and director that you will be checking whether you have a right to sue or not.

5 - Call your local MPP (we are about to face an election here, you know)

6 - Call the Ministry of Education 1-800-387-5514. Since they won't be in until Tuesday send them an email as well. (you can find contact info on the Ministry of Education website). The Deputy Premier is the Minister. (like I said, we are about to have an election......)

7 - try contacting the Ontario Parent Council [url="http://www.ontarioparentcouncil.org/"]http://www.ontarioparentcouncil.org/[/url] They are supposed to assist parents.

If I think of anything else I will let you know.

Take care

deb

On Aug 30, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream: [b]

Momma Bear, I completely understand where you're coming from. That is why I have always been so horrified at what my American friends have to do to simply get their children through the doors of their schools.

I believe through the years here I've tried to really figure out how things are different in America and hopefully be as compassionate as possible when we live in a country for one that seems to "get it" much better (no slight intended towards Americans - I mean manufacturers, etc.).

If I was American, I would still be posting about this as I see several other members have threads running to-day about their children not being allowed to go to school because of their allergy. But this is blatantly against school board policy in the province of Ontario.

If I was in another province, say, British Columbia, which has no policy whatsoever province wide, I could see a person from that province posting about this.

But, as I said, I have NEVER in five years of dealing not only with my own son, but helping other PA parents in Ontario and also just being in contact with other PA parents in Ontario ever heard of such a thing. I am absolutely aghast.

[/b]

I, too, was "aghast". Jaw wiping up the floor, even. (When I initially experienced some very [i]similiar[/i] circumstances with my own child. (By now, many here on the boards might get a feel for how close to heart I hold similiarities.) Despite the fact that "Maybe it's just me". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Why was I "aghast" (WRT to my personal situation)? Because although you point out certain enumerated *rights* a child may have in a certain province related to PA. *Here in the US* there exists [b]Federal Law[/b] that is not just specific to one state (province?), but the entire nation regarding *disabilities*. Although I understand certain conditions must exist for the law to be applicable, as I understand it, it has the potential to be applicable in [i]every[/i] state.

No, I [i]don't[/i] believe we (the US) are behind the times. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] It's just that human nature might be.

Again, I absolutely understand the frustration you are experiencing at this particular time. I went through a school year of it, and at two different schools. One private, religious, non-federally funded (as far as I know), the other my local public school.

Physically, Mentally, Moral/Ethically *I* *****Personaly, Uniquely, and completely on an Individual Basis****** just couldn't comprehend or withstand it. The rest is history.

Really, Truly, and Honestly hoping the situation works out for you in the way you desire. I, too, have and am considering [i]moving[/i] to a different town if only for the ability of my children to attend a different school district (due to PA/Nuts/Asthma/etc). My oldest is currently homeschooled.

I just don't know if physically, emotionally, financially, we (my family) can withstand it. (Our current situation is *not so bad*)

MommaBear

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form.

On Aug 30, 2003

Hi Cindy,

I agree with DebO. Go higher in the food chain.. if the superintendant won't help, go to his boss. And with an election forecast for soon, call your local MPP and call your local newspaper.. they can do a story on this and that will put pressure on the school.

So this principal wants to allow students to eat peanut butter sandwiches in the classroom? Maybe it's time to get a letter from an allergist that states why this is dangerous and to state that the odds are that Jesse won't outgrow this allergy. Yes, DebO had a lot of good suggestions.

On Aug 30, 2003

Oh my gosh, Cindy! I've been too busy to be here much this past week - and I'm so suprised about this situation. Not a great start a this school at all. Have you found out about the other one within walking distance? I'd be looking into that, knowing that I'd be dealing with the principal/v.p. who won't budge, for the rest of the year.

Deb O. had some great suggestions. Contacting the ministry and your local MPP is where I would start - and if nothing was done I'd contact the media ( though this is a bit of a catch-22 - if they do a story and Jesse eventually gets into the school - how will he be seen/treated by staff, students and parents. Maybe it won't be a problem, but if parents feel they will be incovenienced by a *change* at the school - might not be a great situation).

We have a bull-headed principal as well. Stuck in the 70's or 80's and doesn't like confrontation. DS has a safe lunchroom ( though he is in Grade 4 now and continues to eat in the Grade 1 peanut-free room - because he doesn't feel safe in the larger lunch room) and classroom. There is one more PA student in his class - so his mom and I tend to work with the teacher more than the principal. We just found out that 5 more children with food allergies are entering the school ( to add to the existing 12 or so) - so we are hoping to get the ball rolling on a few different issues. I feel horrible for you and Jesse and Ember. Hope you get this resolved soon and that Jesse doesn't miss school next week. I've never been to Ottawa - but I've heard good things! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Take care.

[This message has been edited by mae (edited August 30, 2003).]

On Aug 30, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by mae: [b] Deb O. had some great suggestions. Contacting the ministry and your local MPP is where I would start - and if nothing was done I'd contact the media ( though this is a bit of a catch-22 - if they do a story and Jesse eventually gets into the school - how will he be seen/treated by staff, students and parents. Maybe it won't be a problem, but if parents feel they will be incovenienced by a *change* at the school - might not be a great situation).

[/b]

Media and perceptions aside, and in light of what you state has transpired between you and certain individuals within the system..... Hypothetically, if your proposed plan (ie: you stated "I have a written school plan which adheres to school board policy throughout the province of Ontario."), the one you state was nixed from the get go (ie: you stated "The principal to-day nixed every single point in my written school plan."), was implemented and accepted today.......... [i]would you feel comfortable sending your child to that school and under the supervision of those persons?[/i] In light of what has transpired?

On Aug 30, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] would you feel comfortable sending your child to that school and under the supervision of those persons? In light of what has transpired? [/b]

That's a good point. I guess it would depend on the teacher, as the teacher would play a significant role. But if the principal doesn't care, I would likely check out the school within walking distance for now... but I'd still contact the MPP as the election is soon and he/she may be more receptive than usual.

But knowing the principal's feelings, I would not have much confidence in that school at all as even if he accepted a school plan, he would most likely be an unenthusiastic follower. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

On Aug 30, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by erik: [b] But knowing the principal's feelings, I would not have much confidence in that school at all as even if he accepted a school plan, he would most likely be an unenthusiastic follower. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

[/b]

Howdy hey! (American for "[i]ya hey[/i].")

would you also say that where and how a parent chooses to direct their time and energy in such instances as this, for example, is [i]transitional[/i] to the event, given the limited nature of resources such as time and energy?

MotherBear [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

On Aug 30, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] would you also say that where and how a parent chooses to direct their time and energy in such instances as this, for example, is [i]transitional[/i] to the event, given the limited nature of resources such as time and energy? [/b]

Yes.. I agree there is only a limited amount of time and energy available, and some of us may not have enough for this situation. With a principal this uneducated on the issue, it will take a lot so if the nearby school is a better option, I'd choose it.

On Aug 30, 2003

Just curious.

Is there anyone in the healthcare professions in the school system you refer to that can [i]advocate[/i] for you and your child's behalf? Someone who carries that authority? A [i]liason[/i] of sorts?

On Aug 30, 2003

I am not certain, but I believe the local school board should have some type of medical professional on staff in their district office, or perhaps the local medical officer of health for the district? .. maybe contacting the board of education and asking about this would be a good idea too.

On Aug 30, 2003

Cindy, I can't believe this. What cave did they drag your ignorant principal out of. I just don't know what to say except that I hope things get resolved quickly. Keep us posted.

On Aug 30, 2003

Thank-you everyone for your wonderful responses.

I have called the M.P.P.'s office and left a message for him to call me obviously on Tuesday.

I think what is really irritating to me is that I called the school on Wednesday morning. I called Monday morning before I left town for two days. The principal and vice principal were not in at the time I called Monday morning.

I had asked DH to call on Monday or Tuesday while my daughter and I were out of town but he did not make the call. When I confronted him with this and how it probably made things a *bit* harder on me having to make the first call on Wednesday, he said, Cindy, they probably would have chewed me up and spit me out while I was explaining the situation if you are having such a hard time with them. Why, I don't know because of the two of us, my DH knows his stuff nearly as well as I do and he can remain calm and diplomatic with people whereas I end up with long spaces of dead space in the conversation when something idiotic is said to me.

So, I started the process of calling on Wednesday and was only able to speak with the vice principal who is new to the school.

Both kids need their hair cut whether they're going to school Tuesday or not so I'm out to do that now and I'm going to take a walk to see how far away the other school is east of me. I checked on the map and it does look like it would be quite the walking distance but you really have to walk it to know for sure. Then, of course, I'd have to start the whole thing with that school as well.

This is one time that I am really kicking myself in the a** that I don't know how to drive because I would prefer that both children actually be attending the school that I posted about their policy on the board here.

The other thing that really ticks me off (can you tell that I'm just one angry woman right now?) is that in trying to find new rental accommodations over the summer, or starting back in June actually, we found that the rents have sky rocketed in Belleville for no apparent reason. There has been no work come into this small city that would justify rent increases of over $300.00 a month.

The house that I ended up renting to me is an absolute nightmare but it is a house with four bedrooms and a great backyard. The kids seem most interested in having their own bedrooms and of course we got to keep our dog. It doesn't really matter if the door to the bathroom is between my fridge and stove in the kitchen. It is an older home like the last one that we lived in, but with a lot of strange stuff that I have never seen before like the gas furnace in the dining room and the hot water heater in the kitchen.

Of course, then to find out that our old home is up for rent when it was supposed to be occupied by the daughter of the landlord has left me with an exploded head. I didn't want to move from that home as everyone here knows. I wanted my children to stay in the same school.

I do understand that even if you stay in the same school, PA can continue to be problematic. But to have to re-educate a school every year quite frankly is getting tiresome and extremely stressful.

My DH does have at least one year of college to complete here and then I really think that I will move out of Belleville and to someplace that is more PA accommodating.

Momma Bear and erik, you raised a very interesting question - even if I do, in fact, get Jesse's written school plan implemented with this principal at this school, how comfortable am I going to feel sending him there? To be quite honest you got me thinking hard enough that I am making the walk to the other school to-day.

Other points that totally shocked me about the school. There is no supervision of the children while they eat lunch. There is no supervision on the playground. There is a school population of 500 (up from the 300 at the school last year).

Parent Council at this school approved the eating of food on the playground. So, in effect, Jesse could be out on the playground with another child eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup beside him.

I have never heard of anything like it. We have been in four schools now (nothing that I am proud of) and none of the schools allowed food on the playground. Why this school?

The principal also said that there are a lot of parents in his school community that bake rather than buy store bought cookies because it's cheaper (although he didn't blatantly come out and say low income = pb). Now this comment I couldn't figure out because in my experience, I've actually found that in the short run it's more costly to bake then to buy - when you first have to go out and get the bag of flour, eggs, milk, butter, other ingredients. I am sure in the long run once you have all of your cookie staples it *may* be cheaper.

He did show me a picture of his four children and said that he was speaking to me as a parent. But I said, none of your children are PA. His children, do, however, attend a peanut free Catholic school in another town.

I am not clear what cave they dragged him out of but I know it must have been a cave that was made after my birth or quite close to it because this man was young. If he is older than me, I am quite surprised.

I thought I had had the Year from He** last year, both at Jesse's school and also just period. Then, in May month we found out we had to move. To end up moving into a house simply because it's a house that we could afford to avoid a crappy apartment (not that all apartments are crappy and nothing against anyone who lives in one, I just don't care for them) was stressful enough.

Now to find out that in the same school board district that my son has been able to attend school for the past two years in a relatively safe environment, it's not happening this year is just something that would send probably any parent that doesn't deal with PA and even those that do to the local psych ward.

Deb O., thank-you so much for all of the resources you provided me with. I'll work on all of those tonight after the kids go to bed or settle at least.

I did find out one thing that was interesting yesterday. Last year, there was an E.A. that checked the snacks/lunches when it was discovered that they had not been being checked three months into the school year. Then, her time was needed somewhere else and I trained another parent volunteer. I remember posting here that I felt extremely uncomfortable about it and other members agreed that they would not feel comfortable with another parent poking around in their child's food or substituting food. Apparently what was done last year, not only by me, but by the parent volunteer that continued to check for the rest of the school year is in violation of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (I'm not sure if that's the correct title). What we were doing was basically illegal.

The principal said that he had no staff to check the food that was coming into the classroom. It was not a requirement of the teacher although teachers have done this in the past. He did not have anyone else that could do it. I offered to do it myself (although it leaves a sick feeling in my stomach) and he said that in order for me to do this he would have to send out a letter to every parent in Jesse's class asking them if it was okay if a parent volunteer checked the lunches. Can you imagine?

What they are going to rely on, since there is no lunch supervision is that another 8 year old will tell on a child that is eating a peanut product. Now I know Jesse would be able to spot a peanut product and tell, but can you imagine if he becomes the class tattletale? And why should he have to be?

I have placed calls to two PA.com members and PA parents (obviously) in Ontario and left messages to discuss school board policy specifically with them because in Jesse's written school plan it does say that SOMEONE is supposed to check the snacks/lunches.

I think I have come across a man running a large school that is cash strapped and he is simply unwilling to make the accommodations that he is supposed to make for my son. The thing that bothers me about this whole *hidden* disability thing is that if it were a child whose disability was obvious, there is no way in he** they could put up such resistance. And yet a child whose disability is obvious is not likely to drop dead in the classroom because of residue.

I really want to thank everyone that replied.

domesticgodess, I will contact the other member in London for you.

Oh, as far as advocacy. I called Anaphylaxis Canada on Friday and they were closed. I will call them on Tuesday and see if they have anyone that can advocate for me in this area.

I'm not sure about medical personnel in the actual school board but I do know that I could call Public Health (they were the ones who sent the literature out to the Breakfast Club Co-ordinators last year re PA that I posted about here).

And another thing that bugs me is that it is not like I left this 'til the last minute. It may seem as though I did but no one was in the school (administration wise) until this previous Monday.

When I asked the principal on Thursday if phone calls would be (as has been done in previous years to let the parents know it is a "peanut free" classroom) he wouldn't answer me. He actually would not answer.

I spoke with Jesse's principal from last year and she said that she made the phone calls as a courtesy (we met on the Thursday of the week last year) and that she continued to do so over the Labour Day week-end. But it was a courtesy, not a requirement.

I'm off to wander Belleville and get my children's hair cut so they don't look like ragamuffins (only Mom does! LOL!).

Many thanks everyone. My heartfelt thanks.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Aug 30, 2003

Deb O., also, yes, I will contact my lawyer. I already have an e-mail off to him about suing my former landlord for emotional distress and moving costs and am going back to Tribunal re that.

I'm also sorry that I didn't get the chance to meet you in Ottawa earlier this week. I don't know if you saw or not, but Ember and I will be there at least three more times and Jesse and I once at least, probably twice, so hopefully we can meet when I return to your fair city one of those times. In the mean-time, could you start checking your paper to see if there is any affordable decent housing? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Only kidding. I can do that on-line.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Aug 30, 2003

I just remembered (I am sure I am blocking a lot of the meeting out of my mind so I won't curl up in my bed and forget about feeding my family) that yesterday in the meeting both the vice principal and principal asked me what my expectations of the schools would be when Jesse entered high school.

I told them that I wasn't really thinking about that now, I was trying to get him into Grade 3 and I would deal with high school when the time came.

There was a point in asking me the question but DUH!

There was something else, but it has blipped out of my head. I am quite tired. I *should* be lying down but I believe there are people to be fed and because I was in such a state about this house when we moved in two weeks ago, I still have a lot of unpacking to do.

Also, Momma Bear and erik, you had discussed time and energy, etc. I am quite willing to spend as much time and energy as I possibly can to get Jesse into school in relative safety. The thing with this year was that my daughter is entering Grade 1 and I have the opportunity to look for work outside of the home while both kids are in school. Now, I wasn't going to jump up and do that on Tuesday necessarily, I really should be painting the upstairs of my house since it is painted some horrid gray, but again, it's a situation whereby I can't be like every other Mom on Tuesday.

I have spoken with Jesse about him not going to school on Tuesday and perhaps for the whole week. He is okay with it. I asked him if he was angry and he said no. I asked him if he knew that what was happening wasn't right and that I was doing everything I could and he said that he knew it wasn't right but he was okay about staying home (now, in posting that, I'm wondering if that means he's actually scared and not saying anything [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ).

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Aug 30, 2003

Remembered.

The vice principal said something about *ownership* of the allergy which is terminology that makes my head explode even though I understand we're talking about a nearly 8 year old and not a 2 year old. I told her that Jesse had been reading food labels since he was 4 years old. (Right now, my bifocals need changed and I actually got Jesse to read a label for me in the grocery store within the last couple of hours on a cookie I have to post about although I think erik did and I just can't find the thread).

I said that *normally* at this age, I would begin to involve Jesse in actually meeting with the school to go over his written school plan but that the feel I got from the phone calls on Wednesday and Thursday suggested to me that it would be better off if he stayed home. I do know that he was with me at the meeting last year but he didn't participate in it.

I do know that I spoke with Jesse about the "may contain" clause which I decided to leave in (as if any of his written school plan matters to-day, this moment [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] ) and he wanted the clause to remain in as well. He just had an anaphylactic reaction in December month and I think it's okay for him to be being cautious even though he would never eat anyone else's food.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Aug 30, 2003

Cindy, I can not believe what is happening to you.

What is the name of your School Board?

I must say that my daughter's school (and School Board) has proven to be nothing less than positive regarding her peanut allergy.

I went to my daughter's school August 21 and gave them pamphlets, video and trainers that I received from DEY and the principal was very happy to show it at the staff meeting this past week.

I'll reply more later I gotta go now I have a sick 4 year old.

On Aug 30, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by Codyman: [b]Cindy, I can not believe what is happening to you.

What is the name of your School Board? [/b]

Yes.. never heard of a principal like this... hopefully if u go up a few levels you can get someone more helpful as DebO suggested.

On Aug 30, 2003

Cindy, My PA daughter says that it isn't nice what the school is doing, she also asked "what if something (meaning peanut product) drips on a desk and he has a reaction when he is in the classroom?"

I would go to the Director of Education, since you said it was the same school board -- not school your son attended last year!! I would also send e-mails as Deb O suggested and send them daily -- even if it is the same e-mail, keep sending them until you get a response.

I don't understand why there is no supervision on the playground or why the "parent council" approved eating on the playground -- this is NOT a decision for parent council but rather an administration decision. Parent council's have strict guidelines for what they can and can not make "decisions" or rather "suggestions" on.

I'll ask some of my teacher friends to see what they have to say and see if they have any suggestions.

On Aug 31, 2003

Codyman, we're in Hastings Prince Edward school board district. We have had the same written school plan and basically the same school board policy (school board policies are not generic or uniform in Ontario but basically the same with only slight wording changes) in both Hastings Prince Edward and Simcoe County in Ontario.

I spoke with the other member yesterday who I consider *the* school board policy expert in Ontario (IMHO). Her school board policy is in another part of Ontario.

She confirmed that the principal was going against school board policy (she has physically seen a copy of mine from Simcoe County and the Hastings Prince Edward County one is basically the same, except, as I say, for slight wording changes).

Her advice to me was to be on the phone all day tomorrow to different people and follow the advice that Deb O. gave me as well and keep coming at them until it was resolved. She was even willing to come from a very far location in this province to speak with my son's school on my behalf! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

No, not tomorrow, Tuesday.

So, I'm basically sitting here, except for being able to e-mail people, until Tuesday when my son *should* be in school.

I continue to be ticked right off, but mostly right now I am emotionally exhausted.

The only hope I do hold is that Jesse's teacher, despite the administration in the school, "may" be okay. I've always preferred working closely with his teachers and have found that usually works without the administration being involved (JK, SK, Grade 1) but I do remember his JK/SK teacher getting in trouble for something re PA from the principal and she had to keep her distance from me because she would be in trouble with her boss. It was a really sad situation that I can't even remember the cause of because the woman was wonderful and caring and she knew what was happening was wrong but didn't want to lose her job on the other hand.

To-day, I'm throwing my hands up in the air and resting despite what *should* be done around here (it seems to be that the other adult in the house is having a relaxing week-end and I'm the only one working full-time on this so what the heck?). I also find it ironic that out of three people in my house, it's the 44 year old that goes to school on Tuesday and not the 8 year old and the 5 year old.

I have been thinking about whether Ember *should* go to school on Tuesday but she doesn't want to go without her brother and I can understand that because it is a new school for her. Now, if he was going to be out of school for months, obviously, I'd have to think differently but if it is for one day, two days, or the week of four days, I think she'll be okay out. It is heartbreaking though. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Aug 31, 2003

Oh, Codyman, no one was in the schools here until April 25th. I would have given anything to get this ball rolling earlier, especially when I know that some schools do send out letters in June month (that is, if you're not changing schools). Jesse's last school is trying to find the It Only Takes One Bite video to send to the new school. Sitting beside me at the meeting on Friday was his computer keyboard and mouse that the previous school had sent to the new one (he got this after another member here posted about her child having a reaction to residue on a keyboard).

Oh, and there are children eating daily in the library of this school.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Aug 31, 2003

Cindy- you mentioned that there is no supervision while the kids eat lunch or while they are on the playground. This shocks me! Especially with 500 children attending. I wonder who takes care of all the skinned knees and other injuries that occur on the playground ( at DS's school - same population- we treated up to 15 kids during they *play time* outside). What would happen if a child was choking, I wonder?

Do they eat in the classrooms? I attended a few workshops last year when I worked in our school's lunch program and was suprised to find out that some schools - even with supervisors, have the children eat lunch in the halls - sitting on the floor.

DS's school also allows food on the playground - something I want to see changed, but his principal is unwilling to budge. Luckily, DS plays soccer out on the field most days and few kids take snacks out there - not that they couldn't. I've often seen Reese's PB cup wrappers and granola bar wrappers in the garbage cans, but as DS gets older, he has become more aware, and avoids anyone eating a snack outside. Keep us posted, Cindy! Hope you get things worked out.

On Aug 31, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by mae: [b]Cindy- you mentioned that there is no supervision while the kids eat lunch or while they are on the playground. This shocks me! Especially with 500 children attending. I wonder who takes care of all the skinned knees and other injuries that occur on the playground ( at DS's school - same population- we treated up to 15 kids during they *play time* outside). What would happen if a child was choking, I wonder?

Do they eat in the classrooms? I attended a few workshops last year when I worked in our school's lunch program and was suprised to find out that some schools - even with supervisors, have the children eat lunch in the halls - sitting on the floor.

[/b]

*Personally Speaking??*

[i]I'll take a liability driven society anyday.[/i]

On Aug 31, 2003

Hi Cindy,

With that principal you have, I see many problems. Hopefully your teacher will be more sensible and will be willign to work with you.

But considering there is no supervision in the school yard (who ever heard of this??) and kids can eat peanut butter cups in the school yard, I think there is a big problem.

Even if his superiors manage to make the principal ban eating in the schoolyard, who will enforce this. I can just imagine the principal walking around the schoolyard and seeing students eating pb cups, and thinking "who cares?"... and ignoring it... I can see him saying "who cares" if parents send M&Ms with their child's lunch.

You can fight like crazy if you want, but in order to preserve your sanity and to prevent getting an ulcer, the other school within walking distance sounds like a better bet to me.

Let us know how your meetings go this week. Maybe it's time to move to a bigger city such as Ottawa or Kingston where they are more in sync with the times. Good luck! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 31, 2003

I was quite shocked that there was eating on the playground only because Jesse has attended two schools in Stayner (we didn't move but they built a new school) and this would have been his third school in Belleville. So, four schools so far (not this one) and I have never seen eating allowed on the playground. The reason that was in place (or that I was always given) was that there were children anaphylactic to bees. Also, think about the custodian having to clean up all that garbage/litter every day.

I have never heard of eating on the playground. And in Jesse's written school plan, it does say that there is to be no eating on the playground.

Of course, this is with the understanding that of course children in the older grades especially are probably going to sneak food into the playground regardless.

When I spoke with the other member yesterday, she said that her child's school does allow eating on the playground. Now, her child's school plan was the same as mine so I'm not sure if she has been able to have that difficulty taken care of.

The whole situation, even if Jesse is given the "peanut free" classroom sounds problematic to me. 500 children eating on the playground = increased risk to me. Children eating in the library = increased risk to me (I mean, my son).

All I can see and it's not even nice to say, and touch wood and all, but even after I get the written school plan in place, if I even can, I suspect Jesse will have a reaction at this school. That's something I could throw in their faces liability wise, but I'm not sure these people even care about liability. I do. And I would not hesitate.

erik, I had thought when I was Stuck in Stayner that I had difficulties with the school because it was a small community. I remember another member from here contacting me and saying no, that's not true. And you know what? Stayner had a population 1/10th of the size of Belleville and yet by the time we left the principal was running a "reduce the risk" school and had seen her number of PA students increase from 1 (Jesse) to at least 5.

I really don't think the size of the community has anything to do with them "getting it" but it did take me a long time to understand this.

I think what has happened is I've run across an a**hole and that's it. And a**holes are everywhere. Even a move to Kingston or Ottawa doesn't mean I wouldn't come across an a**hole principal pulling the same kind of crap.

However, I think there may be some merit to the strength in numbers thing - i.e., more PA children, the school is more "accommodating" (I hate that word when it comes to my child).

The other school is a half hour walk.

I still have a lot of things whirling around in my head but I'm trying to figure out if there is any way in he** that I can get my kids bused to the one school that had a policy that was school specific.

I'd like to thank everyone for their caring and concern. I'm off to bed. I am quite simply worn out and know that I will be ready to go again Tuesday morning but it was very upsetting tonight even in the grocery store to see everyone else doing back-to-school shopping when I wasn't.

Thank-you everyone. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Sep 1, 2003

i am having a hard time getting an email to you!i sent it to the address you left but it keeps getting returned send it again only this time to [email]kathleen.s@sympatico.ca[/email] okay!!

On Sep 1, 2003

Just sitting here, hands kinda tied because nothing can be done until tomorrow and I'm really upset and angry. This has NEVER happened before. I didn't even pressure myself to do back-to-school shopping yesterday when the stores were open. Why bother?

I figure I'll be on the phone tomorrow all day but also have both kids home with me so I can go out and run errands.

And I keep thinking about whether or not I want Jesse to go to this school period. With children eating on the playground unsupervised and children eating in the library I just see increased risk.

Now, I know that this is what routinely happens to children in America. And my heart goes out to each and every parent in America.

But here? Now?

I was wondering if I presented my son as a huge liability to the superintendent whether or not he would agree to bus-ing the children to another school. But there is no precedent for this.

I remember when I came on this board and saw how many people actually did homeschool their children. Jesse was already in SK and in relative safety so I couldn't really comprehend why. Then, I read about the horrors that Americans go through to get their children safely through the doors and then what their children have to endure once through the doors. I began to understand.

But here, in Ontario, I never would have thought that a PA parent would choose to homeschool simply because of their child's allergy. It's against school board policies throughout this Province for our PA children not to be accepted through that door and guaranteed a relatively safe environment.

I have Jesse's written school plan, the one that the principal nixed every point on. The other member I spoke with on the week-end suggested that we go through the school plan again and each time he nixes a point, ask him for what his ideas are instead. She said that sometimes they do come up with alternatives that do meet our requirements and just ones that we haven't thought of. There are other ideas out there that may be acceptable. She said to just keep badgering away at him until he was able to give me a reasonable solution to each part of the school plan or give in to mine.

I need reinforcements here in Belleville tomorrow! Despite how vocal I am here on the board, I am not in *real* life! LOL! I do say what needs to get said, but not with much bravado.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Sep 1, 2003

Cindy, I only just saw this thread, now. I cannot believe what you are going through [b]now[/b]. I really don't even know where to begin. All I can really tell you is that I care so much about you and your family. It breaks my heart to know what you are up against. Hugs to you, Jesse, and Ember. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] Miriam

On Sep 1, 2003

California Mom, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

While all households are starting to get ready tonight for school tomorrow, I'm kinda sitting here now in shock, in total disbelief that my son is not going to school tomorrow. And wondering what I will be faced with when I start making phone calls tomorrow. And truth be told, even if I emotionally feel like making them (but of course you make them regardless).

All I wanted to do tomorrow is be like every other Mom, although a PA Mom so a bit scared, but get her children dressed in their new back to school clothes with their new knapsacks and lunch boxes and pack lunches in the morning and send the kids to school.

Then, I was going to come home and think about what colour to paint this horrid gray upstairs (I can see it out of the corner of my eye as I sit here and type and it is driving me bonkers). Might even have meant a walk over to the paint store and some peace to select colours. But no.

And so yes, that is okay, because we do what we have to do for our PA children to get safely into school. I would fight to the death for both of my children.

I'll never forget that walk home when I had the interview with Jesse's teacher for JK and she said that he would be sitting beside another child eating pb (this was before he had had an anaphylactic reaction to residue, which didn't occur until last December month). I left the school in shock and horror. (This was also pre-PA.com so I didn't know the difficulties my American friends have).

I thought, okay, Jesse doesn't legally have to go to school until Grade 1 here in Ontario. I'll keep my social, outgoing little guy home. But NO. No kept screaming in my head.

In the twenty minute walk home and now not clear if I stopped and had a coffee as well, I figured out there MUST be something. Yes, in fact there was, school board policy re anaphylaxis in the schools!

With great ease I called the school board, received a copy of their school board policy and my PA son was in school in a "peanut free" classroom. Now, it has not always been easy, but I certainly never experienced the Year from He** until last year, but he has ALWAYS walked through the door of the school on the first day of school. ALWAYS.

Grade 3 is an important year here in Ontario. They do province wide testing that is quite intensive.

And to top it off, for both kids, it's a new school so it would be kinda nice if they were starting their new school on the first day of school.

I'll keep everyone posted and I appreciate all of the caring and concern.

Charles Bronson died. My Dad loved Charles Bronson. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

I'll keep everyone posted tomorrow as the day wears on and the phone rings away.....

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Sep 1, 2003

Hi Cindy:

As you know, I'm thinking of you and hoping for a productive day tomorrow.

Just wanted to clarify that our school use to eat on the playground before we arrived on the scene. ...but I was adamant that it could no longer continue once my daughter arrived. So, it was stopped immediately! I'm like you, there is no way my child can be safe with eating permitted on the playground, library, gymnasium and hallway. ...and there is no logical reason for this to occur. We live in an obese society, ...children just don't have to be eating everywhere!

You're not asking for too much! Stick to your guns!! I'll check in tomorrow to see how it went!

On Sep 1, 2003

PeanutTrace, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I really appreciate your comments about the playground. To me, even though Jesse will be 8 in December month, it just doesn't make sense to me to send him to a school where 498 other children could be eating peanut products right beside him unsupervised. I just have visions of not only the food, the kids, but residue (if one can visualize residue) all over the playground equipment.

I understand that Jesse is getting older and has to begin to take *ownership* of his allergy. I really believe that he has done a pretty good job of it to begin with.

I think being PA is quite enough for a kid. Now, of course, there are a lot of things that are a heckuva lot worse.

But going on a *normal* shopping excursion in the grocery store and passing product by product that you can't buy, for Lord's sake he just tried his first jelly bean, gum drop and ju jube this year at the age of 7, is enough. Being threatened on the school yard, as he was last year by other children in his classroom is enough.

I have the feeling that the superintendent will avoid calling me tomorrow. He had told the OHRC representative that he would get back to me within a couple of days. So, of course, that means me playing telephone tag with him. But my first school board district call will not be to him in the morning so that's okay as well.

I remember last year when I had the meeting with the principal. It was her first year at the school and I really got the feeling from her that she felt I was *telling* her how she had to run her school. In speaking with Jesse's teacher later that same day, I should have known that she would be the useless twit that she was all year because she mentioned cashew butter and some other stupidity.

But the principal, even though I felt as though she felt I was telling her what to do still didn't say NO to me about anything in Jesse's written school plan. She just looked at how the school could accommodate each and every point. One thing was picnic tables in the school yard and how they would have to be cleaned.

This feels like a diary thread to me of emotions. Right now, as I'm getting the kids ready for bed (always he** at our house), I'm feeling angry again. Angry that they aren't lying clothes out for school tomorrow and even angry that I don't have to get up early in the morning.

I'm glad Jesse took it in stride. He's a cool guy [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

PeanutTrace, thank-you again. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Sep 1, 2003

Time to go to bed but can't figure out where to start tomorrow. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] I've already been told by the OHRC representative that the superintendent will call me. I think I'll call his boss, as Deb O. suggested first. I have a call into the M.P.P.'s office so see if they call me back or if I have to call them back. Oh, and call the Ministry of Education.

I just feel tired again and confused [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] and extremely upset. Extremely upset.

I know I'll get up in the morning, have my two coffees and some filthy cigarettes and start dealing with it all, but tonight it just feels confusing, overwhelming and tiring again.

It's not like the a**hole principal is going to call me tomorrow and say, hey, where are Jesse and Ember? But his children will be off to their "peanut free" school (but in a really crappy town [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img] )

Thanks for continuing to listen. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Sep 1, 2003

Ohhhhhh Cindy. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] I'm so sorry.

My son has a hidden disability too-he gifted/learning disabled. While it's nothing like PA in that he won't die from it, I can understand the anger, the protective feelings. It floors me when people act like they don't believe that he is LD, and expect more of him then he can do. Or they insist that remedial instruction is the ONLY way, and refuse to adapt anything. People are so pig headed.

I agree with Deb O. Call the media. Call your MP. The Minister of Education, (Christy Clark?), get a letter from your doctor stating how eating on the playground, the library, and in the classroom are just downright dangerous. I would also consult with a lawyer.

I can only imagine how angry you are, and how heartbroken you are for Jesse. But you know, once Peg posted something on here that really spoke to ME in my fight for my son. It was something about not being emotional about it when you are dealing with those pigheaded people, just stating the facts loud and clear, and not backing down. My husband is always the one to get a bit irrational and start yelling, but the problem is that if he does that in our dealings with schools, our son is the one who will eventually be dumped on by the teacher. So, we are doing our best to be very firm and no nonsense, but not get emotional.

A mother is a force to be reckoned with when her child's life is in danger. This principal likely thinks that the PA children in his kid's school are a bother, and that to put the other parents in HIS school through the steps of not sending in peanut products is too much to ask. He should not be speaking to you as a parent. THAT is not his job. He needs to be speaking to you as a principal. Continue up the ladder. Document everything.

I have been at over 100 schools as an EA. I have NEVER ONCE seen kids eat on a playground, or in a library. Ever. It is far too risky to have children choke on something. Especially with no supervision-I would be upset-and I am a parent of a NON PA child. Not to mention the garbage factor, yuk.

Keep your chin up, Cindy. You can handle this. You're a strong, resourceful woman. And if it means you'll choose the other school, there's no harm in that. But before I did, I would check out their policy with PA first (you never know, the principals could be friends).

My son isn't going to school tomorrow either. Why? Well, I work at a school 40 min away. DH is going to school too-an hour away. I couldn't find before-school-care for tomorrow. I asked for the day off to take my son, who is terrified, considering the last two horrible years he had, and now it's a new school. My boss said no. Instead he wants me to bring my child WITH ME TO WORK. Isn't that ridiculous? Especially when a sub could be called, and I'd willingly go without pay? Fortunately we get out early, and I can take my son to HIS school for the afternoon. But geez, that's stupid.

Hang in there. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] We're all rooting for ya Cin [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Sep 1, 2003

Karen H., thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I really appreciated every word of your post.

While my DH remains the calmer of the two of us when we're sitting at home discussing PA, and would probably remain calm at the school as well, I was quite calm at the school on Friday. I didn't get angry. I didn't cry. I clearly stated my case as someone who knows their stuff (but not in an over confident way) and when the principal said something stupid (which was often), there was just dead space in the conversation.

I didn't go into other semantics with him, like how Jesse wouldn't be suited to the split Grade 2/3 class but better in the Grade 3 class alone.

When he spoke of his lack of resources (it sounds as though he has none, which I believe is a crock), I didn't question how one custodian could clean up a school yard where children have been eating every day.

When he said that his school yard was also a "public access" school yard because a local soccer team plays there, I didn't point out that at Jesse's previous school, it also was, with a local baseball team and how that was not problematic.

The man very simply nixed every part of Jesse's school plan and really felt that he knew more about PA than I did. I am not an overly confident woman in any dealings with people although I may sound like I am here, but I am confident in the knowledge I have about PA period and with my son in particular.

I can't sleep now. It's 2:26 a.m. I have asked DH to get me up when he's getting ready to go to school so I can get my coffee in me and write up my list of phone calls to make before the kids get up.

Here's the latest thought I had - what if the superintendent of the school board and the vice principal were deluged with e-mails from PA parents from not only Ontario but across America who want to help me? Is that something that could work in my favour? If anyone thinks so, please let me know and I'll be more than happy to provide their e-mail addresses! Seriously.

I'd like to say at this time, which I have in the past, that I appreciate each and every person who posted in this thread and every member of PA.com who has supported me through these trials and tribulations (some that should not have been at all - like this situation).

I called my Mom to-day wanting to talk about the situation. I thought it would be kinda okay if Grandma called her local media and told them how her Grandson wasn't attending school tomorrow. She had her nephew's wife there and wasn't able to talk on the phone.

I spoke with one PA parent in Ontario this week-end who helped me greatly (aside from everyone in this thread). I had spoken with another one Friday and have just left a message for her to call me tomorrow if she gets a chance after getting her three children into school.

What I'm trying to say is that I have received the most support and understanding about this situation here at PA.com and from members that I have become friends with off-the-board. Not family, not friends that don't deal with PA, but from PA.com members. It is a wonderful thing. And I thank heaven for PA.com. It is in times like this that I see the true spirit of the board and recognize why I continue to come here (and not only when I'm having difficulties).

Thank-you to each and every one of you. Now, off to drink some more water (although why a middle aged woman who has had two children and has a bathroom downstairs rather than upstairs near the bedroom would drink more water is rather beyond me [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] )

Karen, also, I'm sorry your son isn't going to school tomorrow. Isn't that the most ridiculous of situations especially when it is a new school for him? That's why my daughter is going tomorrow, she doesn't want to go to a new school without her brother although the way they behave with one another at home you would think she'd leave him at home no problem.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Sep 2, 2003

Just ditto"ing" MommaBear's comments on the supervision issue. That is soooo totally scary to me and makes me wonder if this happens elsewhere in school. Liability issues galore... I would be concerned over so many things stated above, but most importantly, the principal's support on the PA issue, because he/she is the backbone of the management plan. Is this principal's head in the sand or what over protecting a PA child in school?

It's amazing how one person's ignorance can smother so many people's attitudes, feelings, and concerns, especially when working together is the easiest, compassionate, and lawful thing to do.

On Sep 2, 2003

ryan's mom, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Yes, it would have made sense for the principal to go the other way (and that doesn't necessarily mean meeting me on all of the points in Jesse's written school plan) than to do what he is doing. However.

I have called the Ontario Ministry of Education at 1-800-387-5514. Since I fall under the Ottawa branch, I had to call 613-225-9210. The person I was to speak with there, got his voice mail and left a message.

I called the school board and found out the name of the superintendent's box and lo and behold got a voice mail there as well and left a message.

I called Anaphylaxis Canada in Toronto and a very nice young gentleman named Scott took down all of my information but he has to give it to the Director to call me back. So another message left.

I called my M.P.P. back and although his office was supposed to be open at 9:00 a.m., I had to leave another message there.

I got the phone number for my local newspaper just in case.

Does anyone know what television affiliate services my area? I called CFTO in Toronto and it's not them and I know I'm not in Moses (or former Moses) land so I'm not sure what channel in Toronto the affiliate would be from now - either Global or CBC?

I have called my landlord re a plumber so I can do laundry in my house.

I am expecting a person from the water company to call me because my water smells and tastes mouldy.

So, basically, I'm sitting here waiting for the phone to ring (well, not this moment while I am typing on dial-up).

Will continue to post throughout the day.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Sep 2, 2003

More hugs}}}. I will check in later to see what is happening. I will be happy to send e-mails whenever you feel that is the right thing to do. Maybe it would be better to see what you can accomplish today with all the "higher ups" you're contacting, before we hit them full force.

Best of luck. As my mother would say: "you need this like a hole in the head".

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] Miriam

On Sep 2, 2003

Hi Cindy,

I'm not sure which television affiliate services the Belleville area. The only channels I can think of out there are Channel 12 in Peterborough and Channel 11 in Kingston (I think they are both CBC affiliates). Maybe the local Belleville newspaper is a good option too, as they are probably interested in carrying local interest stories.

On Sep 2, 2003

So, by 10:30 this morning the only person I had heard back from was another PA parent in Ontario. She doesn't think the e-mail thing is the way to go because it would probably enanger the principal even more.

What she did do was check the Ministry of Education website and find out about the IEP/IPRC process that I was denied by the principal on Friday. He refused to give me the paperwork saying that Jesse did not meet the requirements. The superintendent told me the same thing.

However, Jesse does meet the requirements although me applying for an IEP/IPRC for a hidden disability may be a precedent (which I'm okay with).

I have to request the process in writing and will do so.

At 11:30 I began to re-make phone calls that I had already made and left messages for people. I was really hesitant about whether or not I was calling the superintendent or the school itself.

I called The Ministry of Education and got the voice mail of the person that I had left a message for earlier. He called me back almost immediately indicating that he was in a meeting but that he would call me back by about 2:00 p.m. to-day.

I called Anaphylaxis Canada only to find that the person I have left the message for may not be in the office to-day at all.

I called the boss of the superintendent (a Director) and got his voice mail again and left another message.

I then called the superintendent and got his voice mail. I left a message asking him if he could get back to me to-day with what was going on and saying in my most sugary syrupy voice that we had worked really well together for the past two years and I was not clear why things weren't going so well this year.

I received a message back from him saying that he was trying to reach the principal of the school and that he would get back to me to-day.

I called both the vice principal and principal of the school and was told by the secretary that they were both in meetings. I left a message for either/or to call me back.

And so I continue to sit.....

erik, if I don't have this resolved by the end of the school day (around 4:00 p.m. in my mind), I will call the newspaper. I actually think I personally would do better with the newspaper because I can't imagine being on camera.

And I have the big person in the house just leaving to make his second trip to the college to-day. In second year, he has to do a job placement thing and I have suggested that he try to find the job placement in Ottawa. Here's hoping.....

Continuing thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Sep 2, 2003

Oh my.. and it seems this year is a disaster for the back-to-school bunch. I was away for a few weeks and I come back to a bunch of threads with problems! Yuck!

On Sep 2, 2003

Cindy, I am crossing my fingers for you. I'm sorry I haven't offered any concrete help, but it sure sounds like you are doing everything humanly possible to correct this horrible situation. More hugs}}}, Miriam

On Sep 2, 2003

Cindy I have to post quick and haven't read everything cause I have to run soon...but something you said really made me sit up.

The principal stated something about lack of resources. Was this pertaining to them not being able to guarentee Jesse's safety because of it?

DH is studying to be a social worker. Check out the Children's Act, the United Nations Rights of Children, and the Human Rights act. This principal canNOT use lack of resources as an excuse to not provide Jesse an appropriate education. I believe that an appropriate education also means keeping him SAFE. It simply is illegal. If a child had epilepsy, and the seizures were life threatening, the school would be forced to provide proper supervision. I don't see the difference with a severely PA child.

Now I gotta go get my son [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Sep 2, 2003

Hi Cindy

I have been thinking about you all day and can't wait for an update (sorry I was too busy to check the site earlier).

First, I really hope we can get together next time you come to Ottawa - I can help Katiee drive you around! There does seem to be a lot of awareness here, although our housing market has been pretty hot recently since the federal government is hiring and rent is probably higher than in Belleville....I would expect a townhouse to be in the $800 to $1000 range monthly, although there are tons of nice apartments which are cheapar and you may find a private home for a better price too. (just a thought)

I am pretty sure that our local station, which is very community oriented would cover the story if you want to contact TV - it is CJOH at cjoh.com.

Anyway, I have been thinking over another idea..

Right now the problem you are having is with the principal. The teacher may be wonderful, and the other parents may be supportive too - you don't know. If Jesse does not go to school tomorrow, why not ask to meet with the teacher after school? My approach would be that since he has to miss school since it is not safe for him, if you meet with her she can maybe give you some material for him to work on at home. While talking with her you can find out how hard things really will be. Even if the principal is no help, if the teacher is good you may not have a problem. She may be able to tell you if half the kids had in the class had peanut butter today, for example, so you will know what you are up against (or not).

Have you considered negotiating your plan at all? For example, in my school peanut products are not allowed in the classroom. The children eat lunch in the classroom. Children with peanut products (sandwiches, granola bars, cookies or whatever) have to exit the room and eat their lunch in the hallway. They are then required to wash their hands and face prior to returning to the classroom. My daughter tells me that only one girl ever brought peanut butter last year and it was not very often, but the teacher was rigorous about keeping it out of the classroom.

I also always suggest that I come in to talk to the children about allergies (I have posted about this before). I can give you my "script" if you want - it is sort of a question and answer session on allergies and we end by watching Alexander the Elephant. Any classes with a child with food allergies in it comes to the session (last year I had 2 extra classes besides the ones containing my own children).

I provide the school with my emergency procedure form with the children's pictures. I also give them a list of safe snacks to distribute to the classes.

Maybe if you approach the teacher she may also have some ideas about how to handle things. In the end the teacher is the critical person to make sure your process is followed.

Anyway, I have been thinking of you guys all day and hope you are making some progress.

take care

deb

[This message has been edited by DebO (edited September 02, 2003).]

On Sep 2, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by KarenH: [b]DH is studying to be a social worker. Check out the Children's Act, the United Nations Rights of Children, and the Human Rights act. This principal canNOT use lack of resources as an excuse to not provide Jesse an appropriate education. I believe that an appropriate education also means keeping him SAFE. It simply is illegal. If a child had epilepsy, and the seizures were life threatening, the school would be forced to provide proper supervision. I don't see the difference with a severely PA child.

[/b]

You got me thinking. I have some hypothetical questions.

[i]Exactly what would "proper supervision" be in such a "life threatening" case?[/i] Is a child's health expected to be somewhat [i]stable[/i] prior to attending school? ie: would a child with seizure disorder be expected to have a health record that is reflective of someone who has a seizure disorder that is somewhat controlled through certain measures? (Thinking "advocacy" and "safety" here.)

Also: If indeed a child is to attend school and has a healthcare concerns that fall outside "normal limits" (can I use that term?)------------- If the school is to accept responsibility for that child, would the care necessary, [i]or even possibly necessary[/i](preparedness) [b] have to fall within the SCOPE OF PRACTICE of the school[/b]? Or at least would the school have to hire someone to act as an agent of the school who can provide that SCOPE OF PRACTICE? Possibly in some cases through the process of [i]delagation[/i] where legally acceptable and legally allowed?

In addition, if the school was to hire someone, (thinking of funding/excuses) would it be more morally/ethically correct to spend money in a fashion that would benefit the system as a whole as well as the individual in question?

Anyone?

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form.

On Sep 2, 2003

Cindy, It would be good for this to be in the newspapers -- would have alot of people open their eyes. Good Luck!! Thinking of you!!

On Sep 2, 2003

Just waiting to hear how it went for you today is killing me!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] I can't imagine how it must be for you, waiting for all those calls to be returned.

Hang tough!

On Sep 2, 2003

I'm sorry if I missed something here - I'm so rushed I did skim some parts but, are you saying you are requesting a peanut free classroom (as opposed to peanut free school) and the principal won't even discuss it? Asks about high school? (If he thinks the child is ready for high school is he doing algebra too???) [i]Sorry Cindy, I can't keep all my sarcasm buried - but it's directed at the principal, OK?[/i]

This is [b]exactly[/b] what I've been afraid of with the TDSB Guidelines. They sound great - but they are to open to interpretation.

If you decide to go with publicity do you have any CITY-TV affiliate? This is just the type of story they like (Laura DiBatista does the health stories - well worth contacting)

Good luck what ever you decide to do, and I hope it is all resolved quickly.

You have definitely received some great help in this thread.

Also, wanted to comment on what you said in your second post:

[b]Thank-you everyone for your responses. I kinda thought that I wouldn't get any because I've always been so vocal about PA children's *rights* in the province of Ontario and I thought people might have thought I was up on a high horse or something and deserved (although my son shouldn't) a come-uppance of sorts. Do you know what I mean?[/b]

Yes, you have been very vocal, but you've also been very vocal in the fact that you will help anyone (in and outside Ontario) that you possibly can. You aren't on a high horse. Maybe a work horse though. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Best of luck to you and Jesse. hugs}}

On Sep 2, 2003

Wow!

I can't offer anything except support, but I'll give you buckets of that.

I am disturbed that someone like the principal at your child's school can attain that position with the attitude that has been displayed.

FIGHT IT! I have to admit I skimmed some of this, but you are on the right track by contacting as many people as you can. I have been fortunate enough to have a willing and receptive school, but i would not let down for an instant if I felt those responsible were not doing everything properly.

I have to caution - Do not burn any bridges. From what I have read, this is a very emotional situation (understandably). Unfortunately you will have to deal with this principal for a while. Deal with him with a smile, but take this to a higher level with a vengeance.

Find support with other parents in the school. I just got off a call with another parent, and we discussed some concerns of a parent of an epileptic. There are parents of children with other life-threatening illnesses that can and will sympathize with you and will stand behind you in your demand for a solution.

"Special needs" What a load of CRAP. ALL kids have the same needs. To be loved, accepted and CARED for. Care includes having a safe environment. Find other "Special Needs" parents and work toward a common goal: Making the school a better place for ALL children.

Bah, I'm starting to vent now.

Keep your chin up, don't back down. You know where to come when you think no-one else is listening.

Cheers, David W.

On Sep 3, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by DilemmaDave: [b]

"Special needs" What a load of CRAP. ALL kids have the same needs. To be loved, accepted and CARED for. Care includes having a safe environment. Find other "Special Needs" parents and work toward a common goal: Making the school a better place for ALL children.

Bah, I'm starting to vent now.

[/b]

[i]Would you prefer I refer to my children as "Autistic"?[/i] Just hate the image the label conjures up. As *personally*, I have been quite surprised by some of the images people have held of myself prior to getting to know me better. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] So, I guess I won't use the label here. You don't mind, do you?

And no, I *personally* would not agree that all children have the same [b]"special needs".[/b] However, many child developmentalists would agree that, yes, all children do have the same [b]"basic needs".[/b] Safety being one of them. Sometimes, I have, in my own children, seen many of these [b]"basic needs"[/b] being somewhat intensified due to some [b]"special needs".[/b]

MommaBear [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

On Sep 3, 2003

Well said, Momma Bear.

Cindy, I keep checking in to see what is happening. My hopes and prayers are with you and Jesse.

More hugs}}}, Miriam

On Sep 3, 2003

Cindy - I've had hardly any time to post these days - but I have been thinking of you. Hang in there! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Sep 3, 2003

Well, Jesse and Ember are going to school tomorrow (Thursday). They could have gone to school to-day but I fell ill (that's another story I'll get into).

The Ministry of Education representative did call me back a few times yesterday afternoon but it was after I had things resolved (or the best I could with the principal and superintendent). I have to call him back.

Anaphylaxis Canada did call me back as well and left messages about the Canadian School Boards Handbook re Anaphylaxis and I have to call that young woman back.

My M.P.P. called and gave me two names on the school board (via message) to call. I have yet to call them back and thank them.

After my last report here, I think I had decided that I had better call the superintendent and the school. I left messages for the superintendent, principal, and vice principal.

I also didn't hear back from the superintendent's boss yesterday at all.

My first conversation was with the superintendent. I told him clearly that I didn't like it any better than he did that we were having to deal with the PA *issue* again this year, that I would just as soon be like every other Mom and sending her kids off to school.

He said that he had checked my school board policy in Simcoe County and felt that it was more comprehensive than the one here in Hastings Prince Edward. I was fairly sure that the policies were pretty much the same, except for slight wording changes but now I'll have to request copies, which I didn't do yesterday so I can go through it again (I know I have one somewhere here but it may have been packed from four moves ago). I still beg to differ that the policy is not as comprehensive as Simcoe County's.

Having said that, this is the same man, who when I asked him about thinking about an asthma policy in the schools he told me he did not want to "policy people to death". So, if the school board policy here isn't as comprehensive it never will be as long as he's the superintendent because he doesn't want to "policy people to death".

He said that he had spoken with the principal and that the principal wanted to hear from me (funny, I had left a message for him).

I just told the superintendent that I really felt this situation was a liability waiting to happen. I told him that I would be requesting an IPRC/IEP and he said that it would be a precedent for an IPRC/IEP based on PA. Fine, I'll try regardless.

I called the principal. In his condescending little tone, he raised several questions that didn't have anything to do with Jesse's written school plan. I'm not asking for a "peanut free" ("peanut safe", "reduce the risk") school. I'm asking him if he could look at Jesse's written school plan and try to adhere to it. He said, but what about the 470 other students that eat and use the playground? What about residue from them? Stuff like that. Stuff that I find really difficult to answer, but I figure I live in the *real* world (or my idea of it anyway [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) and because I don't have a "peanut free" school for Jesse I always know that there is the potential for him to react to someone/something not in his classroom.

Am I totally okay with that? Of course not. But it's my reality. And I did see that last year, yes, Jesse can have an anaphylactic reaction to residue at school.

Those are the chances that I take and have been willing to take for the previous four years.

Then, if you can believe this, the man actually asked me why I moved into this area! (everyone here knows how I didn't want to move this time and how much I hate my new space). I said that we had moved last September month to a home that was across the street from the school, across the street from the hospital, that we had hoped to stay there until the kids finished school and that it was something beyond my control (i.e., a landlord acting in Bad Faith and going back to Tribunal) that led to this move. But what does that have to do with the price of tea in China or how I ended up in his school?

He is still not budging on someone checking the lunches physically like has been done for the previous four years. Apparently, when the superintendent spoke with The Ministry of Education, he actually caught trouble for us having done that for the past two years in this school board district. My response was - are you allowed to check a child's knapsack if you suspect there is a gun in it? Yes. Are you allowed to check a child's knapsack if illegal drugs are in it? Yes.

What compromise they did make was that the teacher would sort of doing a drive by look (I'm being sarcastic [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] ) to check to make sure the foods were okay. Any child with a peanut product will be removed from the classroom and a note sent home.

For Thursday and Friday (it was supposed to be to-day and tomorrow), Jesse is going to eat lunch with the principal. I actually *spun* it in such a way that it sounded like a really cool thing for Jesse to be doing, that the principal really wanted to meet him and get to know him and Jesse said he would like to do the same.

Food on the playground still remains an issue but he did say that he was willing to work with me on this one (I bet my bottom dollar, of which I'm almost there, that food will still be on that playground at the end of the school year). But he did say that he would work with me on it.

My mind has gone blank about anything else that happened during the conversations with the superintendent and principal. Oh, the principal wanted the sample letters I had to go home to parents. I actually went with the standard school board one this year, it was really good (oh, except that he argued with me about the line they have in there about coconut - I said that that line was not correct, I had seen it in the letter that was sent home when Jesse entered this school board district in Grade 1, and this man adamantly told me to-day that yes, coconut and coconut oils were a problem for PA children and couldn't go in the peanut free classroom - Jesse pipes up and says that he eats coconut this, coconut that all of the time, not in a smarty pants way, but simply pointing out the facts). He was so adamant (remember he does think that he is an allergist) that I believe that line will probably remain in the letter.

Ember's Grade 1 classroom is peanut free and I signed the same letter to-day (with the coconut line).

At any rate, he would not send the letters out until I had registered the children at the school. It was pretty clear to him that I really didn't have a choice that was close (that I'm an Idiot Woman who does not drive, as well as being a Nomad Woman [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] ).

As soon as the phone call with him finished, I was hit with a migraine. I took some meds and tried to lie on the sofa (DH was home) but I couldn't cope so I went to bed. I got up and had take-out dinner but that was pretty well me for the night. In the mean-time, I was *supposed* to be going to the grocery store to get school food (even if it was just for Wednesday, to-day) and finding everything for the kids to take to school. The other adult in the house, knowing that I am ill, sits and watches TV.

I set the alarm for 5:00 a.m. to-day. I thought, okay, the grocery store is 24 hours, go there, no big deal. But when I got up at 4:30 a.m., I still had the migraine full blown.

To me, I felt as though I was basically a single parent who could not get my kids to school for their first day (I had two days last year when I had really bad migraines, but the school was right across the street - I also felt like a single parent on those days).

I had stressed and not slept over the week-end, both big migraine triggers. I also had other chaos here to deal with which is a trigger for me. Then, just simply the stress of this situation.

My body enangers me. I knew it was going to cave in on me but I was hoping it would wait until I got the kids in school. It didn't.

To-day, I went and registered both kids around 1:30 p.m. The principal met with me even though I was supposed to have met with him at 9:00 this morning (now I feel like irresponsible Mom too). The vibe I got from him to-day was okay.

Did I say that he still told me that he, personally, would feel a lot better if Jesse ate outside of his classroom?

He also kept going on about how he couldn't guarantee anything and about *ownership* of the allergy (not to-day, on the phone yesterday).

Left there and went to the grocery store and got their school food.

Oh, and he was really cool to-day, despite the time we were there, he took both kids to meet their teachers and see their classes, so that was kinda neat. Jesse's teacher does look younger than me (to me, that's a *good* thing) and I think I'm really hoping that I can develop a parent-teacher relationship and we don't have to have much administration involvement. That's what I was able to do in JK/SK and Grade 1.

So, we'll see how it goes tomorrow. But I have to tell you, I am absolutely exhausted again. I feel like sleeping for the whole day that the kids are in school tomorrow but I can't.

The school also looked really well kept (not my experience with the last two schools) and there were not children in the halls misbehaving and in the classes the children were sitting quietly, not running around crazily like at the previous two schools.

We'll see how tomorrow goes.

Thank-you to everyone for your caring and concern. I'm sorry I kinda disappeared and left everyone hanging but my body likes to do that to me when I overload. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Sep 3, 2003

Whoops, I seem to have made myself very unclear. Actually, when I look back on my post I look like an idiot for a paragraph.

When I said special needs was crap, what I had in my mind it was not the way it came out in my text. Hopefully I can clarify.

I had read earlier in the thread (actually it may have been another thread), how the label "special needs" attaches an immediate stigma. It was that aspect that got me upset.

I was also trying to say there should be nothing 'special' about being cared for and having a safe environment. Whatever the extra steps and precautions that need to be taken are, it is still a *basic* need to have children protected.

My short experience with our school has shown me that more "special needs" parents are involved than others. I was suggesting that rather than fighting a battle alone, join together and get support and assistance from others who are perhaps having an uphill battle. Rather than a single voice with a narrow agenda, multiple people working towards common goals may have more impact. Strength in numbers has helped me effect change in our system, not only for my child, but for others as well. I have the only PA children in the school, yet having others back my needs has strengthened my argument. Recognizing other "special needs" parents' concerns has added my voice to strengthening their arguments.

"Special needs" covers such a wide variety of issues. Allergies, learning disabled, learning accelerated, autism, epilepsy, ADD, speech, hearing, eyesight, physical....

Special needs means something to the person that is *aware* of what the special needs are. To an outsider, they have no way to know whether to speak loudly, speak slowly, not make sudden movements, ignore the twitch, etc. So what ends up happening? They ignore the person altogether. Just because they are "special needs". That is why it is crap. Labels of any kind are crap. Necessary perhaps? But still crap.

Not the best words that have ever come out of me, but I hope you get the idea.

Cheers, David W.

On Sep 3, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by DilemmaDave: [b]Not the best words that have ever come out of me, but I hope you get the idea.

[/b]

Got it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Understand and was just seeking clarification as I use the term "special needs" quite frequently for lack of a better term to address what may be an intractable subject, at least with regards to offering description from *my* point of view. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

I also want to clarify:

With regard to *my children* and *my children* only...........

I do not expect "special treatment" for "special needs". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I just don't want them to be forced into a mold they weren't cut out for either (Even if it is *popular*). Fine line here.

What I do expect WRT to *my children* is complicating factors to be addressed, just as one would address nearsightedness (for example) with the appropriate glasses possibly? Not implying there is any device to create the NT child (oh, help me ------- not saying I [i]want[/i] that either), LOL, but just offering some degree of comparison.

But again, this is only WRT *my children* and not advice in any manner or form.

On Sep 3, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream: [b] He said that he had checked my school board policy in Simcoe County and felt that it was more comprehensive than the one here in Hastings Prince Edward. I was fairly sure that the policies were pretty much the same, except for slight wording changes but now I'll have to request copies, which I didn't do yesterday so I can go through it again (I know I have one somewhere here but it may have been packed from four moves ago). I still beg to differ that the policy is not as comprehensive as Simcoe County's.

Having said that, this is the same man, who when I asked him about thinking about an asthma policy in the schools he told me he did not want to "policy people to death". So, if the school board policy here isn't as comprehensive it never will be as long as he's the superintendent because he doesn't want to "policy people to death".

He said that he had spoken with the principal and that the principal wanted to hear from me (funny, I had left a message for him).

I just told the superintendent that I really felt this situation was a liability waiting to happen. I told him that I would be requesting an IPRC/IEP and he said that it would be a precedent for an IPRC/IEP based on PA. Fine, I'll try regardless.

[/b]

With regards to *my personal situation only* in which circumstances were hauntingly similiar:

Wondering [i]why[/i] policy does not [i]agree[/i]? Particularly when such occurs under what is basically similiar circumstances? Not sure if it (the circumstances) is (similiar), or if this applies in this situation.

See, in some of my experience with "Policy" , such (particularly in my line of work) is based in many occasions, on certain standards, discoveries, research, data, [i]facts[/i]---- all to the best of current knowledge. Usually discovered through what is essentially [b]Multidiciplinary[/b] approach and sometimes through the combined knowledge of such.

And.............. if such knowledge is applicable, and circumstances similiar, and authority and background of such persons is appropriate to present such information ....... should the country, address, or originating territory of such information inhibit its validity or applicability in developing "Policy"?

Also: If such "knowledge" is out there, would it behoove persons to whom the information is directed to take notice? Ie: Would it be acceptable for professional bodies of sorts to be ignorant of such information? Or is it an obligation of sorts to seek out such information, particularly after discovering a need and after a duration of time in which this need becomes apparent in the population?

Also wondering:

Is conflict of "Policy" under similiar circumstances, conditions, etc...........

suspect or indicative of a need for agreement in order to reduce "liability"? Ie: should the right hand know what the left hand is doing? Better yet, should the right foot know what the left foot is doing in order "walk in step" and avoid the insertion of such into the mouth or other not so conspicuous orifices? I've been wondering for a while under similiar circumstances.

Anyone??

On Sep 4, 2003

Hey Cindy,

I still feel that you should go ahead with the OHRC complaint. This school, and by extension, the whole inept School Board, are not GETTING IT! They are making minute concessions to your requests but are still missing the point: residue = anaphylaxis. And by the way, the teachers always check lunches/snacks here at Wade's Ontario school.

The school yard issues need to be addressed, no food in the school yard period and proper supervision. At Wade's school the teachers are "required" to spend time performing yard duty, I beleive it is even in their contract.

As far as the IEP...you go girl! The fact is that Jesse has a non evident disability under the Act and they would have a difficult time proving undue hardship...what a joke! Don't let these people make you feel like you are demanding, tell them that they would do no less to protect their child.

Have you contacted Dave Levac's office? (MPP for Brant who put forward a private members bill "Anaphylactic Students Protection Act"). Also, considering it is election time here in Ontario, I suggest that we all contact the candidates in our respective ridings and ask them what they (their party) would be prepared to do to protect anaphylactic students in Ontario Schools, I've already done it here and I'm waiting for answers.

Take care,

Katiee

On Sep 4, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by katiee: [b]They are making minute concessions to your requests but are still missing the point: residue = anaphylaxis. [/b]

or "potential anaphylaxis"? Depending on how one manages the same?

Still wondering if "reasonable accomodation" necessarily = "safe environment"? relatively safe even?

Still wondering if (reasonableness aside), "safe" environment (or "relatively safe" environment) is achievable in certain situations.

On Sep 4, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] or "potential anaphylaxis"? Depending on how one manages the same?

Still wondering if "reasonable accomodation" necessarily = "safe environment"? relatively safe even?

Still wondering if (reasonableness aside), "safe" environment (or "relatively safe" environment) is achievable in certain situations.

[/b]

Mommabear, Im sitting here wondering the same thing myself. We have a great plan, a great aide (my neighbor), they made all the classes peanut free instead of just his, wash hands, removed peanut prod. from the breakfast program, etc. Only time its there is in lunch.

Everything is in place, and I should feel great. Instead Im still sitting here with a knot in my stomach all day, waiting for the phone because we all know, everyone is human, accidents happen and are not 100% preventable.

Really questioning right now if its worth it. You may be on the right track with homeschooling even if it wasnt by choice at first. I guess all the precautions in the world cant make you feel safe.

On Sep 4, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by momma2boys: [b] Mommabear, Im sitting here wondering the same thing myself. We have a great plan, a great aide (my neighbor), they made all the classes peanut free instead of just his, wash hands, removed peanut prod. from the breakfast program, etc. Only time its there is in lunch.

Everything is in place, and I should feel great. Instead Im still sitting here with a knot in my stomach all day, waiting for the phone because we all know, everyone is human, accidents happen and are not 100% preventable.

Really questioning right now if its worth it. You may be on the right track with homeschooling even if it wasnt by choice at first. I guess all the precautions in the world cant make you feel safe.[/b]

[i]twin.[/i]

Side note: I also understand the idea of relative risk, and the fact that when one steps outside the front door (or not) stuff happens. I just want to be able to make [i]informed decisions[/i] (informed consent?) in such Risk/Benefit evals.

Your comments were much appreciated and certainly hit home with me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Sep 5, 2003

Cindy, I hope everything worked out ok for your kids yesterday at their first day of school.

Mommabear, are you still working on getting your kids in school or sticking with homeschooling for now?

On Sep 5, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by momma2boys: [b]Mommabear, are you still working on getting your kids in school or sticking with homeschooling for now?[/b]

That nagging sense of injustice is ever-present. But, *Personally*, I have yet to find a system (public or private) that demonstrates the resources (encompasing term- knowledge, finances, PPP, SoC, Full-Time Nurse) to manage PA/NUTS.[i]Let alone Asthma, and some other considerations.[/i] So "injustice" is a relative term.

[b]This in Light of Knowing What I Know.[/b]

Of course, my access to public schools is limited by my address.

We have made a [b]command decision[/b] regarding our younger child. He has happened upon a brief, yet somewhat unique situation, (currently, but possibly not to be so unique in the near future, unfortunately).

No Asthma, possibly RAD, not diagnosed, has PA, some other needs, food allergies. But, he is in a class with the same 3 professionaly licensed teachers he had last year. A self contained classroom. [b]A classroom nearly half of the students having PA.[/b] Well, 4 out of 10. [i]Everything[/i] needed for the "school day" (2.5 hours) is in the classroom. Letters have been sent out. The Parents are Wonderful. All snacks are recommended to be from an approved list, and provided from parent to the parent's individual child. (Aside from containers of Milk). The school in question is the office for the District Nurse. It is 2 and 1/2 hours long. Certain changes have taken place since last year. (If due to the sheer number of PA students, I don't know, but can wonder.)I haven't listed them all, just a general pic.

Unfortunately, this is the Age 3-4 Early Childhood intervention program and not the [i]regular school[/i] my children would attend past kindergarten.

It would be the school where a staff member strongly suggested I "homeschool". It would also be the school where we had a rather disturbing time trying to develop a 504 that addressed our [b]older son's needs[/b] (PA/NUTS) being one of them. It was unsuccessful. He!!, it was [b]traumatizing[/b].

I also have concerns regarding kindergarten since I am not sure it will not be so "self-contained", and am not sure some of the changes I see in [i]this[/i] classroom will extend into kindergarten and the primary grades.

*Personally*? For us, my husband and I, knowing what we know, certain changes in the near future, possibly nothing short of a miracle will have to take place within the system for *us* to send *our children* into an outside "traditional" school setting. Possibly not so traditional by then.

*Personally*? And with regard to *my own individual, personal, and highly unique situation?? .............

The Standard of a [i]Full Time Nurses[/i] being *one* of them.

*Personally?*

I'll take a sense of injustice over the feeling of imminent-death hovering over my child any day.

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Just stating what we, my family, find *personally necessary* in our own *unique, highly individual, and personal situation*.

On Sep 5, 2003

I am surprised that the School Board doesn't have a policy on asthma and that he didn't want to policy people to death. Most school boards WANT policies in place so that each school is following the same procedure!!

Hope all went well with your children on the first day of school today!!

On Sep 5, 2003

Cindy, I hope and pray that things go well for Jesse, Ember, and [b]you[/b] with this new school. I especially hope that you will have a warm and caring relationship with Jesse's teacher. You all deserve that this year! I am so sorry to hear that you were struck down by such a vicious migraine at such a crucial time for your family.

Love, hugs}}}, and best wishes [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Miriam

On Sep 5, 2003

Cindy, what did your children think of their new school? Are there any classmates living close to you?

On Sep 13, 2003

Cindy - how are things going with the school now?

On Sep 15, 2003

Well, I have not been great. I have been BAD MOMMY at best. Jesse and Ember both attended school the first week on the Thursday and the Friday having missed the Tuesday and Wednesday.

Then, Jesse got a cold, which is not unusual for him at this time of year (or any time of year [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ). So, I got a call around lunch time on Monday, the first day that he would have been eating lunch in his classroom, to go and pick him up. He stayed home Tuesday as well.

He returned to school on Wednesday. Ember was there all week, so her first full week of school, five days, since she's in Grade 1.

She didn't understand that she was supposed to be taking her snack out onto the playground and eating it at recess so she had a lot of food left at the end of the day.

Then, I had provided the principal with two sample letters that he could use (he asked me to provide them) for the peanut free classroom. One was a member's here, which specifically said that coconut, poppy seeds or sesame seeds do not present a problem. Well, he had the school board district letter that says coconut can cause a severe reaction in PA individuals and that's the one he sent out. Fine. So why ask me for my input anyway?

Ember had two Oreo chocolate cream filled cookies last week in her lunch. Another child in her class told her that they weren't okay because they had coconut in them. I said Ember, you're going to have to learn to speak up for yourself, these are safe for the peanut free classroom.

A child eating at the playground equipment Friday morning, a breadstick, but just as easily could have been something pb and then playing on the equipment.

Children angry with me because I won't let them stay after school and play in the playground.

By the end of the week, the school yard is filled with litter.

Ember had a notice in her knapsack over the week-end giving us a Safe Snack list. Three of the snacks were, IMHO, NOT "safe". Called the company and they could not confirm for me as I knew they would not be able to. So have to find out where the teacher got the list. Did Jesse get the list as well and his class? And why aren't I being contacted to go over these things except that I have the principal who thinks he is an allergist as well.

Had a doctor prescribe an Epi-pen Jr. for Jesse. Pharmacist couldn't even talk him out of changing the 'script. Fine. I have one here for back-up I guess.

I am overwhelmed, scared to death and frustrated. The kids are not happy, although they do like their teachers and are trying to make friends. They are just not pleased that they have had to move again and I cannot blame them. Ember has her birthday this week-end and again no kids to invite to her birthday party. Just bloody lovely. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

I have not followed through on anything with the school for last week at all. Didn't check to see if the pizza for pizza day was "safe" because I've been told that even if it isn't, it's a school "tradition" and I can't interfere with school "tradition" (the superintendent even told me that).

Very depressed but trying to pick myself up to-day. Have called to request copies of the school board policy re anaphylaxis be sent to me. Left a note for each of the teachers requesting a meeting re each child. Left a note for the principal requesting a meeting. Called Loblaw's re those three things on the "safe" list. Called another PA parent for support.

If I was in the old house and this was happening I might be dealing with it better. I don't know. Right now, I have two men downstairs installing a new furnace in my dining room, having just exposed more of part of the dining room wall, an indented bit that is covered with ghastly paper, and the best part of the new furnace is that it won't heat the upstairs, just as the previous one didn't!

Too many things and finally I am getting beaten down, something I never thought I would see happen when it came to Jesse's allergy and how I dealt with it with the school. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Sep 15, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream: [b]

I am overwhelmed, scared to death and frustrated.

[/b]

been there, done that, refuse to buy the book. If it's any comfort at all, my family has found [i]solution[/i] *in our individual, personal and highly unique situation.* I absolutely can identify.

On Sep 15, 2003

Oh Cindy, my heart goes out to you.

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] Miriam

On Sep 15, 2003

Huge,huge, hugs,Cindy - will post later-- take care of yourself!

On Sep 15, 2003

Spirit must be lifting - just sent this e-mail to the principal with a copy to the superintendent. Now, I just have to wait for the sh** to hit the fan. Wait, it already has, hasn't it? What the heck?! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Dear Mr. T:

Hello! I would like to address a couple of concerns I have about written materials that have been sent home for the peanut free classes of Grade 1/2 and Grade 3.

On Friday, I received a Nut Free Snacks List from my daughter's class. It is an excellent, comprehensive list. However, there are three glaring errors on the list - President's Choice Fig Bars, President's Choice Raspberry Bars and President's Choice Apple Bars.

To make sure I was not mistaken, I did contact Loblaw's in Toronto to-day and was told that unless I was able to provide the specific bar code from the actual product, they could not guarantee that the product was "peanut free" as most of their products are made in facilities that also process peanuts/nuts.

To further confirm this, I visited the [url="http://www.nuconnexions.com"]www.nuconnexions.com[/url] website which is a website used regularly by food allergic parents/people to check on different manufacturers and their labeling practices. This is the information I pulled off that website re Loblaw's products, including President's Choice:-

Company: Loblaw Companies Ltd. - a Canadian grocery store chain with numerous affiliated chains (information last updated August, 2003).

Subsidiaries (If Any): Loblaws and other grocery store chains (e.g. Zehr's and No Frills) which carry "Too Good to be True", "President's Choice" and "No-Name" brands of numerous types of food products.

Food Allergy Safety Measures: Due to the fact that "Too Good to be True", "President's Choice" and "No-Name" products are made under contract by numerous companies (and these companies may change periodically), Loblaw Companies Ltd. cannot guarantee that allergy alerts are consistently placed on "at risk" product packaging. Enquiries about specific products can be made using the contact information.

Contact Information: Call President's Choice toll-free at 1-888-495-5111 or contact them with your question by e-mail by clicking here. They request that you submit a maximum of 20 products within one request, and that you refer to the UPC code numbers of the products in question.

Also, you had asked me to submit my letter re the "peanut free" classroom to you for you to look at and compare with the standard school board district letter. I submitted two letters, one which clearly states that for a peanut allergic individual (solely peanut allergic), coconut, poppy seeds and sesame seeds do NOT present a problem. However, the standard school board letter clearly says that coconut can cause a serious reaction in peanut allergic individuals. This is not true. It is an out and out falsehood. Jesse even spoke up respectfully and said that he eats coconut.

My daughter came home last week with two Oreo cookies with chocolate cream inside. Of any child, other than a PA child, she would know what is "safe" to eat as she is not allowed to eat any peanut products or "may contain" or "made in" products even though she is not PA. Another child in her classroom had told her that the cookies contained coconut and they were not okay for the peanut free classroom.

On the one hand, kudos to the child for thinking about the peanut allergic child in his classroom. On the other hand, this information stemmed from the incorrect letters that were sent home.

If Jesse's written school plan had been allowed to be implemented this year, as it has been for the previous four years, I would be the food monitor for the school, which is really no big deal, except that the Nut Free Snacks List that was sent home with my daughter would have been seen by me before it was sent out.

My basic question to you is how effective our education of the Park Dale school community is going to be if you allow dissemination of incorrect information to go out to the parents/children directly involved with the peanut free classrooms.

On a totally separate note, I learned to-day that Jesse's teacher has not yet been trained in the use of an Epi-pen and is hoping that I will train her when I meet with her next Monday. It was my understanding that this would have been done by now. In all schools that Jesse has attended, not only in Hastings Prince Edward, the custodial and administrative staff were also shown how to use the Epi-pen "just in case". In fact, at P.C.P.S. here in Belleville, the custodian there specifically told both Jesse's Father and I that he kept an eye out for Jesse.

I did leave a note for you to-day asking if we could please meet to follow-up to see how the transition is going with Jesse and the peanut free classroom. In speaking with his teacher after school to-day by phone, I understand that no blatant peanut products or peanut butter are being brought into the classroom. This does not cover "may contains" or "made ins".

I am also looking forward to discussing with you the different approaches you may now have with regard to eating on the playground and the resulting litter thereof. I was shocked this morning, Monday morning, to see how much litter was on the ground of the school yard.

Truth be told, I would just as soon drop my children off in the morning and pick them up after school every day like I did last week and not say a word, but as I told you in discussions before Jesse entered the school, all I can see is a liability waiting to happen unless we are able to work this out.

In the school board district letter re the peanut free classroom that you sent out, you had indicated that it had been "your experience" that PA individuals reacted to coconut. I'm sorry, Mr. T. The child may very well have been PA but he/she was also allergic to coconut to have had a reaction.

The Nut Free Snacks List could easily have been sent home, without error, had someone simply called me and asked me to check it. Pretty simple stuff and something I don't mind doing.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Thank-you for your time and consideration.

Cindy Spowart Cook

And then I sit back and wonder why I get crucified. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

Thank-you everyone for your continuing support. I do believe that that is what has gotten me back on track, for to-day at least and I really appreciate it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Sep 16, 2003

Quote:

originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream [b]In the school board district letter re the peanut free classroom that you sent out, you had indicated that it had been "your experience" that PA individuals reacted to coconut. [/b]

Hi Cindy,

I agree that this info is not valid. I don't even know anyone with a peanut allergy who can't eat coconut (I think coconut is a fruit anyway, and not a nut)... I eat Bounty coconut chocolate bars too.. no problems at all.

Besides being dangerous having kids in the school yard eating Reese peanut butter cups, aren't they concerned about all the litter? Or children choking on food when there is no teacher supervision? A weird school.

On Sep 16, 2003

Excellent letter Cindy! I'm so sorry that you have to be going through this. The arrogance of the man to tell you that he knows more about peanut allergies than you do! You have kept your temper well in all of this, in my opinion. If this had been happening to me, I think I would be having my husband call his cousins named Rocco to take care of things, if you know what I mean. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Anyway, keep your spirits up, and keep up your good work on behalf of Jesse.

On Sep 17, 2003

The principal HAD to call me to-day on a matter not related to PA. After dealing with that matter, he said that he hadn't gotten back to me re my note that I had left him Monday because he has been busy. He said, why do you want to speak with me about how Jesse's transition into the school is? Have you not asked Jesse? What does Jesse have to say about it?

Well, I don't know if I worded the note *wrong* or not but I had said that I would like to have a meeting with the principal re Jesse's transition into the school.

And that was the response I got from him. Actually, I consider it a non-response. He simply turned the question back to me.

I asked him if he had received the e-mail from Monday and he said no, the vice principal had not sent it to him yet. I said that perhaps after he read that then he would want to set-up a meeting with me (likely not [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] ).

I did say that I was concerned with the amount of litter on the playground and one part of the playground (a marshy area) that Jesse is playing in. He said that the litter came into the playground over the week-end (not true, I saw it building up all last week). He said that he was sure if something happened to Jesse in the marshy area (why they would have a marshy area in a playground is beyond me), he is sure that one of the kids would come and get help. Bloody lovely.

Apparently, the Parent Council raised the issue of litter on the playground the other night at their first meeting so student crews are now going to be working to clean up the trash.

The principal really likes his Parent Council (which is fine, but also means if you're not on Parent Council or don't agree with things Parent Council wants, like the eating on the playground, then you're SOL).

I received the district's school board policy re anaphylaxis and even though it is only a one-pager, I truly believe that Jesse's written school plan still adheres to it (heck, it has been considered as adhering to it for the past two years). The problem there is that the wording is so vague it is really open to interpretation.

I mentioned to the principal that the teacher had not been trained on the use of the Epi-pen yet and that that concerned me and he said that she had been trained previously when she had another student (meanwhile, the principal was given an Epi-pen trainer and said he would be doing it). He said that he would get both teachers trained with the trainer (when, I don't know).

He also said that he is going to call Shopper's Drug Mart to come in and speak with the staff. That was NOT what I had asked him to do with the resources of SDM. I had asked if he could have a community awareness night re anaphylaxis where SDM will come in and do the presentation (I had called them last year). But no, of course, he's not going with what I had asked for (educating the community - it does say the community *should* be educated in the board policy [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] ) but just using SDM to educate the staff. What about the evening thing?

I have a meeting with Ember's teacher after school so I have to get some caffeine in me. I just came home this morning and listened to traffic all day as I tried to fend off yet another migraine.

I thought I was having a mid-life crisis/nervous breakdown last year. I was wrong. I am going to end up on the third floor of the hospital here (the psych ward) this year and possibly very soon).

He hasn't received the e-mail from Monday yet! B/S! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]

Pardon all foul language. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Sep 17, 2003

Hello Cindy, I went to your School Board's web site and did not see any policy on anaphylaxis or administering oral medication!!!

I believe I sent you information regarding anaphylaxis and oral medication from my children's school board.

On a funny note, regarding migraines .... I read a magazine in the doctor's office today, while waiting for my son's peanut/nut skin test that if you have 20 minutes of sex just when a migraine is starting that it should help you rid the migraine!!! I think it also said that for a man that 20 minutes of sex will burn the same amount of calories as a round of golf!!

something to think of the next time you have a migraine!!

On Sep 18, 2003

We're having a problem with Jason's grade school about the food on the playground issue. The principal refuses to make the playground a food free area because there are sports teams that use the facility after school hours.

You might want to bring up the issue of eating on the playground as a choking hazard, not to mention it's downright unsanitary. The choking could be a biggie just because the playground isn't properly supervised.

------------------ Cheryl, mom to Jason (6 PA/TA/other FAs and EAs),Joey (4 NKA) and Allison (11/02 dairy sensitive)

On Sep 20, 2003

When are we starting our email campaign to support you? ....I'm in!!!

On Sep 22, 2003

Peanut Trace, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

It was suggested to me (and maybe even in this thread) that an e-mail campaign may make the school even more hostile towards me. I'm not sure. So, that's why I haven't called on "the troops" yet for further help with this situation.

I have not heard back from the principal re the e-mail that I sent last Monday to the vice principal's e-mail address. Remember that he will NOT give me his own e-mail address (his school one, not his home one). I spoke with him on Wednesday and he said that he had not received the e-mail and I still haven't heard from him and it is a week later now (a week after I sent the e-mail).

I had a meeting after school with Jesse's teacher. She had still not been shown how to use the Epi-pen so I quickly demonstrated with my own (I have another story to post about my DH self-injecting himself with the Epi when demonstrating it's use at a birthday party on Saturday, but that's another story and I'm not well and don't feel like talking about it right now). So, I showed her how to use it. I am still unclear as to when the principal plans to train everyone I want trained.

I told her about the coconut part of the letter being incorrect and she thanked me for letting her know because another parent had already asked about coconut.

She said that there have been few incidents in the class, if any. I am not sure what answer I got about "may contains".

She did ask me about a special treat that she could buy for the class as an incentive that would be "safe", i.e., animal crackers so I gave her a couple of examples. Food as incentive, just great [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

The biggest thing I had to talk to her about was on Friday she had taken Jesse's water bottle away from him and because it was a recyclable bottle (I hadn't bought his permanent one yet this year), she threw it out right before his eyes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] Well, I knew that Jesse must have been fiddling with the bottle when he wasn't *supposed* to be but for her to actually throw the bottle out kinda ticked me off regardless.

So, I mentioned to-day that she wouldn't be aware (because Jesse has no written school plan at this school) that Jesse cannot drink from water fountains and HAS to have a water bottle. I noticed that quite a few children in his class do (and obviously not for PA reasons). She said that she does take them away if they become a problem.

So her and Jesse discussed how his bottle would be left at the back of the classroom (after I replace it) if he should be fiddling with it in the future but it will always be in the class.

I also had a couple of other things to go over with her, not PA related, and all I can say is she is quite firm in her position re whatever we're talking about. She doesn't put names on the board for misbehaviour like last year's teacher, so that's a *good* thing, but her speaking in the third person and firmness were quite interesting. I felt as though she ushered me out of the meeting because she had another meeting to attend and I really felt then that she should have scheduled more time for me. However.

Not sure what got accomplished. Am unclear if anything did except the coconut thing and the water bottle thing was made clear.

I've gone back into depressed mode re the whole situation (school, house, bad choices made this summer, etc.).

But Peanut Trace, if you do think an e-mail campaign would be helpful, I really can't see, at this point in time, how I could pi** the principal off any more than I already have.

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Sep 22, 2003

reflecting on the [i]impasse[/i] our family found ourselves in when dealing with our public school system. *Personally*? I found it to be quite effective in destroying our resolve.

On the other hand, upon the disintegration of that [i]particular resolve[/i] time, energy, and earnest was freed in order to focus on a [i]new resolve[/i].

Lemons, lemonaide. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Merely reflecting on my own unique, personal, and highly individual situation.

On Sep 22, 2003

Cindy: if you have the vice-principals school e-mail address then, the principals school e-mail address should be set up in a similar way. for example john.smith@..... OR smith.john@.....

you only need to figure out the name part as the rest would be the same. Try and e-mail him and see if it is sent back to you. OR play dumb and phone the School Board Office and ask if the principal has an e-mail address, you can ask the receptionist rather than speak to a Superintenden or Director of Education.

worth a try!!

On Sep 22, 2003

Cindy, I'm so sorry to hear that the school difficulties are continuing. The teacher speaking in the third person sounds [b]truly[/b] bizarre! Could you print out your e-mail and hand it to the principal, or at least have the secretary leave it on his desk?

When you feel up to it I want to hear about dh and the epi-pen.

Take care, Miriam

On Sep 22, 2003

Hi Cindy,

I am wondering about one thing. How do you know that the classroom is peanut-free at lunch, or are you very nervous each day not knowing? I remember last year the teacher told you it was, but then you found out half way through the year that tons of unsafe products were being allowed into the classroom. Is anyone checking to see if the lunches are safe? If another kid brings in a Snickers bar, would anyone (ie: the teacher) notice? Do other kids still eat peanut products in the playground with no teacher supervision? It sounds like a strange school. Are kids eating unsafe products in the classroom/library/etc?

Maybe the teacher will be good but I guess you won't know until some time has passed. Good luck in your struggle [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by erik (edited September 22, 2003).]

On Oct 6, 2003

Cindy: How are Jesse and Ember liking school? Just wondering if everything is okay?

My daughter's school is having a Thanksgiving lunch this Thursday. The school sent home a note requesting donations of veggies, veggie dip, pies, squares, buns. I offered to send in one of everything on the list, however potatoes, stuffing and gravy were not on the list. Today I heard that they are ordering these from the local grocery store. I know they are not thinking peanut allergy when ordering the food. I plan on attending the lunch but will need to check out the rest of the menu before I am totally comfortable with my daughter eating the WHOLE meal. I will probably end up cooking a turkey breast and stuffing and sending my daughter with her own "meal" to eat with the of the school.

On Oct 20, 2003

Simply re-raising. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Seems like I'm not the only one in Ontario that has been having problems this school year with getting their children through the doors of the school or keeping them in it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Dec 8, 2003

So, after all of the work that I went to to get Jesse and Ember safely into school, with all of the wonderful support I received here as far as who to contact and what to ask for, what do I do?

I stick my head in the sand. I say "be safe" to each child every morning.

I watch the litter accumulate on the school ground's and say nothing.

Other parents do not speak with me. I have tried speaking with a couple from Ember's class and they just don't want any conversation going. And I'm not an outgoing person to begin with.

I hear some things from other parents who dropped their children off at Jesse's birthday party on the week-end that leave me feeling rather alarmed (posted under Living With PA - how other children with look out for/speak up for your PA child) and come back to look in this thread for specific information re the illegality of checking the lunches.

Post that information in the other thread for katiee to see.

And realize that I've done what for the last three months? Sit here praying?

I stuck my head in the sand and did nothing.

I am now going to call the school and ask how to get an IPRC thing started.

There has been no change re the litter on the playground.

And you know what I has really caused me to be motivated again, aside from the fact that nothing has changed at the school and the principal has not worked with me? It was because that one parent said to the other Mom (that stuck up for Jesse) that Jesse should be removed from the classroom.

I asked Jesse over the week-end what the child was like (the one bringing the unsafe stuff into the classroom and the one whose Mother had made that comment) because I was wondering if she was one of the *popular* girls or whatever. To Jesse, she's just another girl in his class.

I'm going to call the school now. I am really angry at myself for having let this go, but with other things having come up that were not expected, and my tendency to not follow through or to bury my head in the sand, I can see where I'm coming from. I'm still angry with myself though. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]

Do I feel like being precedent setting? No.

Now, the principal had said that someone could check the lunches in the classroom if there was a letter written to each parent/guardian asking their permission. Do I go that far?

IPRC and then think about going that far because I think the wing-nut teacher (no offense to other teachers, but she speaks in the third person all of the time and looks at you with kinda a blank look but with a smile on her face, like a Stepford wife, I don't think she "gets it" and I don't know if she's been Epi-pen trained or not either yet).

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Dec 8, 2003

On the subject of sticking head in sand (ostrich move):

We've done the same with Caitlin and preschool... Until now:

Tuesday Caitlin was out from school with a cold, so Friday was the first class of December, and we didnt get a calender saying there would be a party. A mother brought in munchkins (donut holes) for the class. Caitlin, as usual, had her snack of WF fig newmans. Anyhow, a teacher came in at snack time, to chat with our teacher. Our teacher didnt realize Caitlin was handed a jelly munchkin.

15 minutes before class ended, this happenned. When class ended, Caitlin runs out and tells DW 'We had munchkins today!' -- Ann quesitons C (did you have one? What did it taste like? with answers like 'yup, like strawberry jelly').

Ann questions teacher (whom we ADORE -- she had Sara in class, and we all like her), and the teacher comments, it got hectic, maybe i gave her one... Too many things happenned at once, etc... And then breaks down and cries hysterically in front of DW. Take C to the nurses office, and give her benedryl. (The munchkin has wheat/milk). No noticeable change, except irritable, little itchy, then the blotchiness appears on her face...

More benedryl, some elidel, and towels in case she vomits (last episode with SOME sort of x-contam). No vomitting this time...

Anyhow, Ann is worried now about the safety at school for C. SHould she have been furious with the teacher? (her question). Mistake? Yeah.

But do we remove our buried heads from the sand? We're sure (not really sure, but we hope we're sure) this will not happen again... The teacher called us at home, that night (I knew she would) to find out how Caitlin was... She was VERY apologetic. This was the first incident (Im sure there will be more in C's life at school).

We do not have any 504 plan (or whatever..). We have an Emergency plan, with phone #'s, meds, etc... And we know the nurse will be fine with the epi's.

But I know your issue with school, even though we're only in preschool now... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Jason Caitlin 4-17-00 Allergic to Dairy, Egg, Wheat, Bananas, Grapes, Rye, Sesame, Beef, Garlic, Mustard, Onion, Peas and Avoiding Latex and all Nuts Sara 2-13-98 NKA (avoiding nuts) Meghan 2-28-03 dx'ed Reflux - Alimentum feeder, Zantac - 1.5ml 2x/day - RAST neg. for everything. [url="http://community.webshots.com/user/jtolpin"]http://community.webshots.com/user/jtolpin[/url]

On Dec 8, 2003

Okay, head exploded [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] Call another PA parent and PA.com member who lives in the same province as I do to make sure that I am not totally insane [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

Call the school. Principal was not at his desk. Ask to speak with the Vice Principal. I tell her that I would like to get an IPRC for Jesse and how do I do that? She asks if it is for him academically or health wise. I said health wise regarding his peanut allergy. She says she doesn't know what is involved and will have to get back to me.

The other PA parent I spoke with has told me that I request the IPRC in writing, to the principal. I am just unclear as to what exactly I put in the letter.

I relayed the story of the unsafe products being brought into the classroom and how another child and her Mother had spoken up on Jesse's behalf and I told her what the other Mother said (he shouldn't be allowed in the classroom).

She told me that Jesse's teacher stays in the classroom eating her lunch for 15 minutes, which she does not have to do, because of Jesse's PA. Otherwise, there is no supervision. She gives the lunches a cursory look, again, because checking them outright would be illegal.

She asked me if I knew specifically what products were being brought in, which I didn't. She said that it's especially problematic with cookies because of all of the warning labels.

I explained that even though the cookies have a warning of "may contain" there is the 1 in 5 chance that they do and the 1 in 5 chance of residue thereby being left behind.

I told her that the Principal had told me at the beginning of the school year that a letter could be sent home asking permission to check lunches. She said that even if this was done, they do not have the manpower to do it and since I'm the PA parent, I can't volunteer to be that person power.

She said at a Principals' Meeting sometime this year they were told that Jesse did NOT have a "peanut free" classroom in Grade 1 (and yet, the young girl and her Mother sticking up for Jesse know Jesse from that very same Grade 1 class where lunches were put on a round table and checked by an E.A. each morning). I corrected her. I said that not only did he have a "peanut free" classroom but that his written school plan was adhered to, every point, something that they will not do at this school. And I told her that he also had a "peanut free" classroom last year and his written school plan was also adhered to last year.

She told me that they're not supposed to call a classroom "peanut free" because of liability issues. Liability issues my a**! If my son has a reaction at this school, who do you think I'm calling as soon as I post about it here? My lawyer! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]

She then went on to say that as far as the other children bringing unsafe food into the classroom, it really comes down to who would win the battle for their child's rights. Me, the PA parent, or those who want to send peanut products into the classroom. What? A question of rights? Is the other child bringing these things into the classroom because of a medical condition? Does my son have the *right* to die at school in Ontario? (touching wood furiously [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] )

I have to ask - what is wrong with these people? What is wrong?

Now, as most everyone knows, I have often had a difficult time in school with Jesse. Last year was the Year from He** which everyone got to read about.

But in Grade 1, in this same school district, I had NO problems. None that I can remember anyway. Nothing significant. Nothing LIFE THREATENING.

I asked her about educating the school community as a whole re food allergies by using the Shoppers' Drug Mart pharmacist and she said that I really have to come to the next Parent Council meeting and discuss things with them. I have been placed on the agenda.

My PA son has the right to die in an Ontario classroom because another child's parent chooses to buy an unsafe cookie. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

I have a bunch of other legal stuff going on right now (landlord, etc.) and am trying to keep my head above water, although I imagine many can sense me drowning, but I am going to follow-up hopefully this week with The Ontario Human Rights Commission. I know the gentleman I spoke with there at the beginning of the school year, when he dealt with the superintendent used the word BAN and said my son had better be in that school. I never had to file a formal complaint. Perhaps it has come to that?

Oh, and I did ask about the list of "safe" products that Ember had received in her "peanut free" classroom and where that list came from, with the glaring errors. Where? The other PA parent. Just bloody lovely. I continue to look like a raving f/n lunatic because someone has a lax "comfort zone" and was the first PA parent in the school instead of me.

I think that about covers it. Thanks for listening.

Now I understand why I buried my head in the sand for these months. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

And then, I think, okay, look at erik posting. He managed to survive school without "peanut free" classrooms, maybe Jesse will be okay.

Then think about last year at this time where he had the anaphylactic reaction to residue after leaving the breakfast program I ran.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Dec 8, 2003

Cindy, sorry about all the he!! your going through with the school still. I just wanted to say I would go for the letter requesting permission to check lunches, if they don't give permission, it's probably for a reason and someone could just casually check and see what that child is eating after they take it out of their lunch.

That teacher your referring to sounds very familiar, did she move to Ontario from BC, because we had one just like that 4 years ago.

Anyway good luck with the school, keep up the fight.

On Dec 8, 2003

Quote:

If my son has a reaction at this school, who do you think I'm calling as soon as I post about it here? My lawyer!

I would never make light of such a serious thing, but it made me smile a bit to think what a testament it was to all the support here that you would let us know what happened before calling your lawyer.

I'm so sorry about all you are going through. My husband is pretty insistent that we find a peanut free school for DD next year for when she starts first grade. (Her kindergarten is peanut free, but that's as far as they go, gradewise. Public schools in our town are not peanut free.) Every time I think he is being too conservative, I just have to come here and read about all the problems people have had with non-peanut-free schools.

I know it must be hard to be the precendent- setter, but you are doing what you need to do to keep Jesse safe, and that is all that matters. Strength!

[This message has been edited by Kim M (edited December 08, 2003).]

On Dec 27, 2003

Simply re-raising because I had to go through the whole thread to start to sift through information to put in my Ontario Human Rights Commission Complaint.

I have to say this. It is SO true. PA.com is my journal. It's definitely my PA journal. I have dates of EVERYTHING that has ever happened to Jesse, PA related, everything and anything right here. I am so thankful.

I also have the information provided by other members right here at my fingertips to also add.

Of course, some may say that this is a continuing journal of my life period, but hey, you have to read between the lines! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

I just wanted to say I really really appreciate everyone's support and caring, concern and encouragement. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Aug 16, 2007

Re-raising, 'cus I can't remember how it panned out.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

Related