PB in classroom

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 11:14pm
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I've hesitated to post this story b/c I know it is partly my fault and that I should have 504...so please don't rake me over the coals...
Our school is not pn free. I have been very fortunate that parents in my son's class have for the past 3 years voluntarily not sent nuts/peanuts into his classroom for their individual snacks. In the past, if something accidently came in, the teacher always asked the child to not eat it and gave them something out of my son's snack box.
Now, in third grade, the teachers really give the kids a lot of freedom and she is a wonderful teacher, but she doesn't check the snacks.
Back up a minute...my ds is very vocal and very allergy aware, very confident handles pa very well. I have always told him that he will NEVER get in trouble for speaking up about his allergies. I've even given him permission to defy adults if he feels uncomfortable about his allergies.

The problem is that he gets into trouble for talking in class and last week had to stay in for recess 2 times for talking during class...shouting out. So, it's snack time, the teacher is continuing with the lesson and DS sees a girl in his cluster whose desk is butted against his, eating a three pack of Reese's pb cups. At this time, he raises his hand and the teacher says, I only want the answer...he says I have something else to say. She tells him to put his hand down and only the answer is acceptable at this time. This goes on and finally she let him say....xx is eating pb cups and i hate the smell.

The teacher quickly sent the girl to the hallway, sent her to wash her hands and face, washed the desks, sprayed lysol etc.
So, when I talked to her about this, she was feeling so guilty, was so sorry that she didn't let ds speak out. So, his behavior kept him from being listened to. He is a great boy, just very confident and talks too much. I've worried that something like this could happen. In the past, his teachers have really paid a lot of attention to him because of his allergies. Third grade is different.

So, we made a deal with DS that if he comes across this situation again, he should stand up and go to the door of the classroom to signal that he's having a problem.

I am just floored that he didn't shout it out. He is not worried about getting in trouble 99 percent of the time. I never would have thought he would handle things this way. I'm very upset.

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 11:28pm
perpetually perplexed's picture
Joined: 02/12/2005 - 09:00

Wait until 4th grade! It gets better....NOT.

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 11:40pm
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

it isn't your fault....and i don't have a 504 either (never have....honestly, i don't even really know what one is). i still think i'm a pretty d*mn great mom. so...you won't find yourself being raked over the coals by me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] the school has been extremely cooperative with me and we work things out together. i understand that might not be possible in every situation and with every school system. i'm sure some people DO need them but we've made it this far without 504's for both PA daughters.
my girls are pretty afraid of getting into trouble at school and would be livid if they got into any kind of trouble. they would rather die than speak out and get into trouble in class BUT i "think" both of them would have just got up and left the classroom in your child's situation. my kids know their PA comes first; even if it might mean getting into trouble for behavior; particularly if their request for help was being ignored by the teacher. that's one occasion when i would definitely give my kids permission to disobey the teacher. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
at least your child's teacher recognized her mistake in not letting your child speak out. i guess that it's at least good that she now knows to pay closer attention if your child seems to need to say something.
also, did she reiterate with the girl and the rest of the class that peanut butter cups are not an appropriate snack for this particular classroom due to class rules??? (nevermind that it's not even a "snack" at all but a bunch of unhealthy cr*p that serves no nutritional purpose whatsoever...haha....).
i'm not even PA and the smell of pb cups almost makes me ill. they are VERY fragrant and i wouldn't want my two PA girls around them in a small, enclosed area like a school classroom.

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 12:06am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Joeybeth, what scared me is that I, like you thought my son would ALWAYS speak up. We talk about it regularly. He didn't. that scares the Cr#p out of me.
Also, part of the problem is that there is not a firm policy in place. Parents have been asked not to send any classroom snacks in that are nutty. Most have complied. We are also doing a fight against childhood obesity and foods like goldfish are being sent home with a request for a better snack. The R. PB cup just somehow snuck in....

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 1:31am
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

Your situation sounds exactly like ours. Dd is in 5th and although we sent home the letters and the teachers and parents agreed to a nut free classroom, sometimes things slip in and dd seems to be the one responsible for letting the teacher know.
I think it's a big responsibility but like your son, she is quite vocal about her allergy.
It does scare me that her teacher is so lackadaisical(sp) this year though.
In the past snacks were checked by the teacher now it's fallen in the hands of my 10yo!
I think we're going to try for a 504 for middle school next year. They fought me over it at the beginning of this year (kept telling me LTFA's and asthma were not even in the ballpark of eligible) and I reluctantly gave up. I wish I wouldn't have.
I have a chatterbox too! they had to send her out in the hallway last week due to her excessive talking. She's grounded now because it's affecting her grades.

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 1:37am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Well, your son really tried to speak up by telling the teacher he had something else to say and she told him he could not say anything else. That really goes beyond speaking up. Sometimes it takes a small mistake like this for our kids to learn. At least this mistake was not one that resulted in a reaction. And now next time he knows to be even more vocal about it. My dd would speak up about someone eating a Reese`s, but if she tried and the teacher refused to allow her to speak, that really makes it harder for them to speak up. I blame the teacher in this case more than your son.

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 1:57am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Careful mom, I know I want to think this way too. But I understand her situation with my DS being overly talkative and lacking in self control.
I am sure that there have been many times my DS is burning to say something off topic, if you know what I mean.
On the other hand, DS should have blurted it out....forget the pre emting with it isn't the answer, but....
forget the rules, my DS when you are uncomfortable about your allergies.
My husband tried to explain it like this...you aren't allowed to go outside without asking. But, if the house was on fire would you go out or would you seek permission?
He understood. I am just upset with him for deciding this is the time to follow the rules when he constantly breaks them!
I am hoping that I resolved it on both sides, with the teacher and with my son.
Then, I was wondering if getting up and going to the door was the best thing too. What if for some reason he can't get up? I am just getting all worked up again about school. I suppose it is this plus the Theme Day situation. I posted about that in another thread. Obesity I think.
I need to breathe and figure out how to proceed.
[This message has been edited by saknjmom (edited February 12, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 2:08am
Momcat's picture
Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

You might be able to help the situation by talking to your DS about why the teacher didn't listen to him at first. His previous behaviour led to him not being listened to and that could have been a problem. It's kind of like the story about crying "Wolf!" Maybe he can learn from this experience.

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 2:26am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Well, I have a 'chatty-cathy' too.... So I see what you mean. It is hard even [i]for ME[/i] not to cut DD off before she can "get going" sometimes. {cringing}
And I should [i]know[/i] better. So I can certainly see how a teacher would behave in that way after a loooooooong few weeks with a kid like mine.
More incomprehensible to me has been my daughter's reluctance to leave a situation in which she is clearly experiencing aerosol reactivity. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] Much like your son, she decides suddenly that she doesn't want to draw attention to herself!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] WHY NOT????? She's perfectly happy to have an audience the other 99% of the time!! Aughhh.
I struggle with this-- obviously it is [i]her[/i] allergy, and [i]she[/i] is the one that needs to be empowered to decide when "enough is enough" safety-wise. But does that include tolerating objective symptoms in order to stay in an obviously unsafe (but otherwise desirable) environment?? Or do I over-ride her? I don't want to encourage her to hide symptoms, see... but I also want to teach her to own her allergy. Do I trust my 7 1/2 yo to ignore a running nose or itching eyes that are the result of an aerosol exposure? She's so stubborn, and she deeply resents all the limitations she's subjected to... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] I worry that she'll miscalculate-- but if I veto her decisions, am I taking away autonomy that she needs?
I really like how your DH handled this with your son, though-- that is a [i]fantastic[/i] analogy.

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 4:04am
Lindajo's picture
Joined: 10/14/2003 - 09:00

I would say that he should get up and go directly to the teacher and say something like "sorry for interrupting, but so-and-so is eating PB and it is making me uncomfortable." If he was having a reaction of some sort, it would be the same thing..."so-and-so is eating PB and I'm not feeling very well."

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 5:23am
TwokidsNJ's picture
Joined: 05/28/2005 - 09:00

I think he did well and I can only hope my DS would be as assertive (we're not there yet). The teacher handled it well too. Although, I hope a note went home or something (I'm still unclear on whether the PB cups are allowed).
Can you get a peanut/nut free classroom? We dont have a 504 but our school does provide that accomodation to all kids with pn/tn allergies. It can be part of the IHCP, or just part of the school policy. (I have the latter, and am working on IHCP).


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