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Peanut Free class request - Peanut Allergy Information

Peanut Free class request

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Just moved to a new school district. Previous district provided a peanut free classroom and several other accommodations with no problem, it was not a peanut free school. I contacted the new school two weeks ago to give them a heads up about my registering her and that she had a severe life threatening peanut allergy. They agreed to meet with me but neglected to inform me that they do not have any peanut free classrooms. Two weeks later when I register her they tell me they have no peanut free classrooms nor do they intend to make one for her. They actually said it would be against the law to tell parents they could not send peanut products for in class snack. They also said whenever there is a classroom celebration my child can sit in the nurses office? I told them we would be applying for a 504 and they said that is not what 504s are for... We even submitted a doctors note saying my child needed a peanut free class. Just curious if others have had to advocate for this and how they went about it and if they have a 504. Thanks

By kathleenc1027 on Nov 15, 2014

If this is in the US, you are within your lawful rights to not only have a 504 outlining your child's needs with the food allergy, the school HAS to comply by making accommodations. As a teacher and a mother of a child with a severe peanut allergy, I am aware of what needs to be done to keep children safe in school. The doctor's note should be enough--if the principal and nurse won't accommodate you, go to the superintendent. Good luck!

By mom1995 on Nov 15, 2014

I am so sorry for your daughter. First of all if you are in the US then you are correct. So EVERY school dist has a 504 Coordinator. Their sole role is to ensure the School Dist is protected legally. That is who you need to contact. Sounds like you will have a battle ahead of you with the school if that was their initial response. You can also call an advocacy group. They are usually called (name ) Center for Independent Living. They specialize in helping people with mental or physical disabilities but are a GREAT source of guidance. They can point you to a lawyer that specializes in ADA laws. Normally I would say find information in the internet that you can share with the school about the laws and the manor in which your daughter is protected but I would venture to say they think they know best and you would be wasting your time. You can also find out which Office of Civil Rights has jurisdiction over you area and file a complaint with them. The thing is ISD's receive Federal Funding and as a result if they are fond to be violating Federal Law (ADA) then they risk some or all their funding. It is all about the money so when you start talking about how it will cost them or what they might lose suddenly they are willing to do the right thing. You also have every right to require things that could cost them money too. Things like an aide for your daughter to go with her to every class and ensure all surfaces are clean. Or maybe that they have to clean (per medical guidelines) all surfaces that your daughter would have contact with. I could go on and on.... As a mother who had to fight often with various ISD's and filed a complaint with the OCR on one of them ..... Sometimes you have to be the momma bear and scare the poop out of them for it to all go well. Lastly once you get your 504 and you will, don't think they won't test your resolve or how far they can push. You will have to stop by randomly and be sure your daughter feels empowered to stand up for herself at all costs. Feel free to come back often and ask there are such great folks on here with knowledge to share.

By Mrsdocrse on Nov 16, 2014

I agree with previous posters... The 504 is a mandated by law. They do have to comply with it. However, every 504 is different and I do not think they HAVE to make the classroom peanut free but they can't exclude the child from activities because of the disability. They do have to make some accommodation for that child. Like a peanut free table and have protocol in place for hand washing. You didn't say how old your child is but obviously the younger ones need more accommodations than older kids...

Try to approach it in a positive manner ..... you will get a lot more of what you want. But, I would get the school nurse and the superintendent involved if the principal dismissed you that quickly. Good Luck!

By Dmarie411 on Mar 15, 2015

Sean, I think you are very narrow minded and may need to homeschool yourself rather than telling others to do that to their children. As someone who found out as an adult that I have food allergies, it can e very daunting and anxiety producing, as I'm sure you felt when you finally had your intolerance diagnosed. The difference with what you have and what someone with a severe allergy is that theirs is airborne. And you're right, that shouldn't ONLY be for peanuts. If another child had a severe, life-threatening allergy, I would expect the school to accomodate their specific allergy as well.

I had same issue when it came to family functions, I do not feel comfortable having to subject myself to something that may potentially kill me. If you yourself had an allergy that would kill you, I'm sure you would feel the same way. As an adult, I can choose not to go. A child should not have to be homeschool for something they cannot control. There are even laws in place for adults with severe life-threatening allergies in the work place as EVERYONE should feel comfortable not just in their home. Is it an issue with you that restaurants list allergens so people can eat out? You need to open your eyes and educate yourself before you talk out of your ass because I'm sure if it were your child on the end of this, you would be singing a different song.

By Dmarie411 on Mar 15, 2015

Sean, I think you are very narrow minded and may need to homeschool yourself rather than telling others to do that to their children. As someone who found out as an adult that I have food allergies, it can e very daunting and anxiety producing, as I'm sure you felt when you finally had your intolerance diagnosed. The difference with what you have and what someone with a severe allergy is that theirs is airborne. And you're right, that shouldn't ONLY be for peanuts. If another child had a severe, life-threatening allergy, I would expect the school to accomodate their specific allergy as well.

I had same issue when it came to family functions, I do not feel comfortable having to subject myself to something that may potentially kill me. If you yourself had an allergy that would kill you, I'm sure you would feel the same way. As an adult, I can choose not to go. A child should not have to be homeschool for something they cannot control. There are even laws in place for adults with severe life-threatening allergies in the work place as EVERYONE should feel comfortable not just in their home. Is it an issue with you that restaurants list allergens so people can eat out? You need to open your eyes and educate yourself before you talk out of your ass because I'm sure if it were your child on the end of this, you would be singing a different song.

By SeanH on Dec 10, 2014

There was no misconception about nut allergies, not sure where you got that., it wasn't part of my comment. The allergen does not determine the severity of the allergy. There are people with mild peanut allergies and severe, same with celiac disease, some people get a little itchy and some people lose chunks of intestine and bleed out their butt. So if you have one of every allergy in your house hold, I would suggest you start eating more raw food, rich in enzymes and that should help all of the allergies in your house, not necessarily cure, but minimize symptoms. All those allergies, are you going to have each of those things removed from the class room? It starts with peanuts, then wheat, then dairy, then tree nuts, then soy, then etc. etc. etc. And then you are still going to try to say,"To say it is depriving anyone of anything is beyond silly." It is silly, teach your child, inform the teacher but to change everybody else is folly. And to make more rules just because, as you said'"There are rules everywhere that don't allow you to do certain things in certain places." That is not a logical argument for more rules. I don't understand why you keep going off topic and talking about guns, and saying things like"So don't make it more then it is. There was a time in society that we all worked towards the same goals." When was that? Maybe 40-50 years ago, so way way back before things like the ADA or 504? "So don't make it more then it is."

By mom1995 on Dec 9, 2014

I did not minimize anything. We have a family with one of everyone of those allergies. The misconception continues to be that nut allergies are just allergies. They truely are far more serious then that. To say it is depriving anyone of anything is beyond silly. There are rules everywhere that don't allow you to do certain things in certain places. So don't make it more then it is. There was a time in society that we all worked towards the same goals. We cared for our Childs classmates the same as we cared for our own child.

By Reneev123 on Mar 15, 2015

I don't care who You are, or what You are. You are the most insensitive person I ever come across. You just don't get it,our kids could die! Because We are just asking for a short time(at school) that your child not eat Peanut Butter,because our kids could die. That is putting you and your child in a bubble, give me break. Honey You are way.... into food to much. You are a narcissus ! I will fight people like you at my district for how ever long it takes. I will get peanut butter out of our schools. Again You are why I'm home schooling my son. And no my children don't play in the street. I'm not stupid!

By SeanH on Mar 10, 2015

You say that I am rude and then call me fat, lazy, stupid and a woman. Then you tell me that I hate peanut allergy kids and that my mother didn't love me enough and I am the reason that peanut allergies need to be declared a disability. And you pulled diarrhea out of the air because it was not in my post. I am a man so if you forgive me for being insensitive I will forgive you for you trying to mommy shame me and making up hateful statements. My point was that if you want to raise your kid in a bubble that is fine but you don't need to put everybody else into your kids bubble. Let me guess, you are the mommy that puts "slow" signs on the road, to make everybody drive slow, rather than teaching your kid not to play in the street.

By Reneev123 on Mar 9, 2015

No You are rude and stupid! You for sure have to be the obese mom, that is lazy and feeds her child skippy every day. No child should eat peanut butter,unless it is natural peanut butter with out any sugar. Children don't even like natural peanut butter. My son almost died by touching a marker with peanut butter oil on it.The oil was not visible to anyones eyes. A child ate peanut butter and jelly did not wash her hands,then used the marker. My son, went to color picked up the marker. He immediatly got itchy and rubbed his nose and eyes. The peaunt oil, not visible to any ones eyes at the moment. Penatrated through his eye tissue. He was rushed to the hospital and stayed a week,it was so bad. Im really sorry You hate peaunt allergy kids! It's probably beause your Mommy did not care enough about You to research why You had Diarreah and eczema. You see, we are just good Mommy's!!! You are why Peanut allergies need to be declaired a disability in our school aged children.

By SeanH on Dec 9, 2014

Wow, that was rude. Thank you for minimizing my pain and suffering for the last 37 years. Thank you for equating my opinion with having guns in school. Your logic a=a=a is the same kind of tactics that the media uses to put fear into people. It is not a rational communication trying to find a solution. Ok, in a nutshell, pun intended, your child has a really bad allergy that can cause her death. You love your daughter very much and that is evident by the lengths you are willing to go to keep her safe, that is to be commended. I imagine you have very smart child, meaning that she does not have down syndrome or some other mental disability. Your daughter can be taught to "Just say no" to peanuts. There is no need to deprive everybody else of peanuts because one person cannot have them. If your daughter is special and needs to be put into a bubble, ok. But I don't think it is ok to put everybody else into your child's bubble. I think it would be great to educate the class about your daughter's allergy and bring awareness to the issue. To me this is kind of like those kid shaped SLOW signs. Instead of teaching the children not to play in the street, people put up these SLOW signs to try to change the rest of the worlds driving habits.

By mom1995 on Dec 9, 2014

So section 504 of the ADA states that a disability is anything that limits or effects a vital life function. To that I would say that breathing is a vital life function. In my daughters case and the serveness of her allergy she was covered. Comparing your gluten intolerance to an allergy that will result in someone not being able to breathe is not an equal assessment. I don't think if you were to touch something with gluten residue on it that you would die. That is a very real possibility for people like my daughter. So the 504 is what pretects kids and gives them the same right as others to receive a public education that my tax dollars pay for too. There is no burden in advoiding the consumption of nuts at school. It hurts no one to remove it. So to say other wise is false. All that is being asked is you remove something that could kill a kid. Much like removing guns. But maybe you think it would okay for guns to be at school too.

By Reneev123 on Mar 9, 2015

This is a comment to the person who said,504 are not for peanut allergy children.That a peanut allergie is not a disability. You compairing your allergies to a peanut allergie are not the same! You get diarreha and eczema. Our children who touch or eat peanuts, blood pressure drop, do to shock! As they are throwing up choking on their own vomit,because they fainted. Their throats are closing,where eventually they sufficate to death as thier organs shut down. If an Epi Pen is not given to them they die. Don't You ever compare your diarreah and eczema to that! How dare you just tell her to homeschool, and that it is not a disability. People like you, are the ones that end up hurting peanut kids. There are sooooo many people like You. That is why I will homeschool my son!!! It is 100% a disabilty,because of stupid people who don"t care! As a mother I have to protect my son from peanuts,but most of all from people who dont believe in the peanut allergies. This is a life threating Allergie. Peolpe like You don't want to be bothered with us, just home school..... If that is what us mothers who have children with peanut allergies have to deal with. Then we should get disabilty for our young kids,to help with home school and tutors.

By Cindi12 on Mar 9, 2015

Fatal food allergies are under the 504 disability plans under the law. They are more dangerous than most disabilities!

By SeanH on Dec 8, 2014

Hello, I was confused by this post because people were talking about the "504" and there was really no reference to what it was. So I looked it up and it is for children with disabilities, so that they are not excluded from actives and education. Ok, so now I understand that. So, if I am to understand this correctly, you are trying to say that you daughter is disabled because she has an allergy to peanuts. I don't think that the "504" really fits. I don't think that an allergy is a disability. I don't think she can claim "disabled" and get disability checks because of her allergy. I had sever eczema from age 5 to 43 and even though I ended up in the hospital twice because it was so sever, I would never have considered myself disabled. Before you cry, but my daughter has an allergy . . . . I found out this year that I am (age 43) gluten intolerant and have been most of my life and it turns out that the gluten has been causing my eczema my entire life. So my issue was an allergy as well. I think a peanut free classroom is over the top. Because then we would need a gluten free classroom as well, no dairy, no soy, no tree nuts, no perfumes, etc. Why don't you just home school?

By Cindi12 on Mar 9, 2015

Yes I have been through a similar situation. I went over the school faculty and right to the head nurse for the county. She was able to do the talking for me and my family. It was amazing how fast they were able to accommodate my child's needs. They put in a peanut free table in the cafeteria. Sent home notes to the families making them aware of the peanut free classroom and put up signs letting everyone know that entered the class, also. They put in place washing hands after they ate with soap/water and before returning to the classroom. My son was placed at the beginning of the line and would be the first to wash up. They stopped all eating in the classroom. He sat away from the children who had peanuts/products in the lunches. They assigned him a seat at the end of the table with supervision by one teacher, put all the cafeteria lunches next (that was peanut/nut free) and then all of the brought in lunches at the other end. They wiped down all tables with soap and hot water after each class departed. The teacher always double wiped where my son would sit. My son wore shirts with a listing of allergies on them, daily. It saved him several times from getting hand shakes from individuals that had just eaten peanuts. Of course they tried to substitute hand sanitizer for washing with soap and water, but the nurse quickly explained to the teachers that sanitizer only moves around food allergens it will not remove them. Hope this helps!!!!

By PeanutAllergy.com on Mar 11, 2015

Question of the Week: Answered!

Every week, PeanutAllergy.com answers one of the questions posted in our community.

Our Answer: Thank you for your question. Your child’s safety at school is very important.

The Section 504 plan prevents public institutions, including schools, from discriminating on the basis of disability. As defined by the law, severe food allergies fall under this designation. Read more about the accommodations to be made by the school to keep your child safe from allergens here.

There may also be the option of an Individualized Education Plan or IEP. This article describes the difference between a 504 plan and an IEP which may help you decide which option to go with.

The process of obtaining a Section 504 Designation may be difficult, but it can be helpful to know that others have been through this process. Check out a previous discussion among our members about their experience in applying for a Section 504 Designation here.

Many of our members have discussed whether a peanut-free school is an issue, and you can find out what they had to say here.

Schools all over America have banned peanuts and nut-based foods from classrooms as a result of the increase in allergies among children. Learn more about the pros and cons of banning allergens from schools here.

We asked our Facebook community to share their thoughts and here’s what they had to say.

We hope you find this information helpful. Best of luck to you and your daughter!

By jordnoeddeallerg on Mar 15, 2015

I am sorry but this thread is way out of line. Sean H is obviously ignorant and doesn't understand the severety of a peanut allergy, but I also find the insults to Sean H out of proportion. In spite of years of lobbying from the cigerette industry we eventually banned smoking in public spaces and airplanes because we know it is unhealthy to other people and can be deadly. When one particular food can kill and severely hurt so many children why would anyone educated insist on their right to cause harm to others? The nurse at the school stating that it is not legal to ban peanuts is absolutely wrong. Safety of all children should be her first priority if she takes nursing seriously. Unfortunately the only secure way to prevent an anaphylaxis is by not allowing peanuts because you cannot just ask someone with peanut allergies to avoid them as the allergy is airborne. A previous school of ours had no peanut policy until one day a teacher in car pool had an anaphylaxis shock, because a little girl breathed into her face. She had just had a pbj sandwich on her way to school. The teacher had no known allergies until that day. The fear and guilt this girl had to live with afterwards, not to mention the trauma on all the kids of seeing a beloved teacher throwing up and then not breathing and being taken away in an ambulance could have been prevented. Today this school is peanut free!

By LMT480 on Mar 15, 2015

Wow, some serious name calling. Anyway, I do get very angry when people compare an intolerance to an allergy. It's like comparing someone with a broken arm to someone with a paralyzed arm, no comparison. I'm sure if the person with a gluten intolerance touched bread containing gluten they wouldn't require an ER visit. I also go crazy with people being " deprived of their right to PB". Really?? Go ahead and eat 6 PB sandwiches in the cafeyeria, just wash your hands before going back to the classroom. And yes, you will be deprived of your PB candy in the classroom. I hope you can live without it until you get home. Since when did school become so food oriented?? We never ate in the classroom when I went to school. What's the big deal. Childhood obesity is such a huge problem anyway. Classroom snacks, if any, should be fruits and vegetables. Please don't tell me to home school either. I work full time out of neccessity and would need to go on public assistence if I was a stay at home mom, and that's a whole other blog!

By Nancy Myrick on Mar 15, 2015

I don't understand why anyone is attacking the man for not understanding the 504 issue. Most people don't understand the severity of a peanut allergy and a simple explanation to the school, like this gentleman can go so far. The thing is, the law is on your side, because the school MUST give you a 504 if you request one according to the ADA. This year, when my son started high school, there was no policies or procedures in place and I insisted on a 504. They informed me they only had medical 504 (for diabetes) or learning 504's. So, we had the whole school district change their policy of 504's all together. It needed to be changed anyway. Stay the corse because you are right.

By 1shy@msn.com on Mar 15, 2015

SeanH, you are completely ignorant about food allergies. You need to educate yourself before blasting us. Our kids don't just get a bad case of diarrhea and a rash when they eat or touch their allergen,...THEY DIE! An "intolerance" is not the same as an allergy. You can't die of an intolerance. Our kids have every right to a safe classroom and lunchroom. No, our kids can't "just say no to peanuts" as you suggested. Peanuts are in MANY products in minute amounts. Often, they are found in products you would never suspect, like oatmeal, potato chips, cake, chili, candy, Asian food. Let's say at snack time Johnny eats a handful of Cinnamon Chex cereal. Johnny doesn't know the cereal contains peanuts because it's not in the name. So Johnny assumes it has no peanuts in it so he doesn't wash his hands after snack. He then goes to art class where he touches various markers, colored pencils, and crayons, the table, his seat etc. Julie, who is deathly allergic to peanuts has art class next period. She happens to sit at the same table Johnny sat at last class. She has no idea that some of the media items on her table are contaminated with peanuts. It's Russian roulette for her as she touches the very same markers and pencils that Johnny touched. Julie starts to get hives and throws up. On her way to the nurse Julie can't stop coughing and has trouble breathing. Luckily, the nurse knows exactly what Julie's problem is and immediately gives her the Epi-pen all PA kids keep in the nurses office. Then Julie takes an ambulance ride to the hospital because sometimes one Epi-pen isn't enough to stop the reaction and secondary reactions sometimes happen hours after the initial reaction. All because Johnny didn't wash his hands after snack, and Julie wasn't in a peanut free classroom. It's really no big deal for nonallergic children to help keep allergic children safe. I have 7 kids, but only 1 with allergies. The other 6 are certainly not suffering. Nonallergic kids can eat peanuts the other 18 hours a day at home and all weekend long. It's a minor inconvenience to SAVE A CHILD'S LIFE.

By Ben_mom on Mar 15, 2015

This makes me so sad that not all schools in U.S. don't recognize the need and right for all children to have a safe environment to learn. Talk about behind the times...c'mon America! Wake up! I take for granted that I live in Canada and it is a law that all schools here are peanut/nut free. Being a mom to 2 children with nut allergies, I am thankful for our government and their commitment to children and their safety in schools. To the person who posted comparing their eczema to a peanut allergy - I feel sorry for you and your ignorance.

By Pferdico on Mar 15, 2015

I am pretty knowledgeable on the topic as I have done a lot of research on this topic and have contacted attorneys. By law, your child falls under Sec 504 of the ADA act You can make them give you a plan with the help of an attorney -- guaranteed!! Good luck!

By mom1995 on Mar 15, 2015

You do NOT need a lawyer to get a 504. You can google for examples of food allergy 504's, you can call your local Advocacy agency (usually called something like Center for Independant Living), you can even call the Office of Civil Rights for advice. 13 years of public schools NOT getting it I never had to use a lawyer. We reached an understanding before then. What I did experience often was ISD's are quick to act like they know better and they are the going to tell you what's best right up until you 'educate' them to the law and that you do know your rights and your childs rights. Then the tides turn and everyone gets on the same page. People are just resistant to change and everyone wants to be in charge. For us they quickly learned the only person in charge was us.

By peanutfreechildren on Mar 15, 2015

We have a high schooler that has a severe PN and TN allergy. We are in a new school and district. I did the same that someone else said. I went to the nurse. She then had a meeting with the principal and they made all the corrections that they could. My son will walk out of a class if someone opens a product with his allergen. As a dear friend once told me was true to anyone that has a severe life threatening food allergy. It is a hidden disability! Best of luck at your new school. Hope it is all worked out soon.

By Ughpeanuts on Jul 8, 2015

My 10yr son has a class 5 life threatening peanut allergy. We have had a 504 plan at his school since he was in 1st grade. It requires his classroom remain 100% peanut free and NO outside food is permitted in his classroom. We also have a peanut free lunch table as well as numerous other accommodations. It is by far the best decision we've made

By Nancy Myrick on Jul 8, 2015

It's against the law according the the ADA to be denied a 504 for your child's life treating food allergy. Call your local office of civial rights if you can't get your school to cooperate. The law is 100% on your side.

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