Peanuts in class project

Posted on: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 11:36am
traceykva's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/09/2006 - 09:00

My PA 1st grader informed us at dinner tonight that they did a class project with peanuts. He didn't eat them, but they were offered to everyone else in the class along with a variety of vegetables. My DH and I were flabbergasted! I called his teacher and she said the teachers passed out all of the food themselves, and the peanuts were in a different area in the classroom. I questioned why I was not contacted and why the other teacher asked my son (not me) if the arrangement would be OK. I tried to remain very calm, and stressed the desire for a phone call so we could make the decision whether to have DS avoid a class project like this in the future. I've received calls in the past when they plan to use food in class projects, so I'm especially confused whey they didn't do it this time.

I intend to call the school's 504 coordinator tomorrow to expand the 504 plan, but I'm still in shock that the teachers thought that serving peanuts to all the 1st graders would be a good idea. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to tactfully approach this, other than what I've already done. I want them to take me seriously when I complain but not label me as someone who is looking for things to complain about! Everything else this school year has been fine. There's been no reactions and they've been very accomodating with my requests.

Posted on: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 10:40pm
mom135's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/24/2007 - 09:00

I am in shock after reading your post. If this happened to me I would have been beyond livid. Here's my opinion: this is completely unacceptable. And it seems to me that the teachers do not understand the concept of cross-contamination, or air-borne reactions.
Did you give them the impression that the allergy was "mild" and only with consumption? I'm just trying to figure out why they would have taken this risk. You seem to indicate that you have a 504 plan. That's great, but, yes, I guess its time to expand it. But it still floors me that the teachers would have done this anyway. There's no question that you should have been contacted.
Keep us posted.

Posted on: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 10:45pm
mom135's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/24/2007 - 09:00

By the way, I was checking into Virginia recently, and their Board of Education, while not having its own state guidelines to follow, does seem to indicate that schools should reference the Massachusetts Board of Ed. allergy guidelines. Its a fine document, very thorough.
You could reference it, go on Mass. Bd. Of Ed. website and search "food allergy". It should come up.
I always find its better to have things in writing to show the teachers/administrators.

Posted on: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 11:29pm
traceykva's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/09/2006 - 09:00

Thanks for your post. (It helped to affirm my belief that I am not overreacting!) We recently had my DS retested with a RAST test rather than SPT. He was a class 6 PA, so we had the 504 amended after those new results to increase the peanut-free zone in the lunchroom. My son's teacher is aware of the severity of his PA. She has called me before when they have used food in the classroom. I'm still not sure why they have to use food instead of something else, but at least they were relatively safe foods (pretzels, cereal) and I had a chance to bring in safe alternatives to be sure. I even volunteered to bring safe foods for the entire class so there wouldn't be any problems. That's why I'm shocked that she didn't call me this time when they're actually using peanuts in the classroom.
I talked to the 504 coordinator this morning, and she mentioned that she was in the room when they were setting up. She went on to say there was a separate area for my DS, they took precautions, blah blah blah. She did say she assumed that I had been contacted and would amend the 504 plan today for my review. I was hoping she'd say that using peanuts or other highly allergenic foods in the classroom was a bad idea and it would be stopped, but she didn't. I will wait to see what the draft amendment to the plan says. I have a copy of the Massachusetts plan at home and looked at it for guidance. Thanks for suggesting I review it. I am going to try to include a specific reference to no peanuts may be used in class activities and see if they will accept it.

Posted on: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 11:52pm
mom135's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/24/2007 - 09:00

Sounds good. I have one more suggestion. Have you been on allergy.hyperboards.com?
I use that website also. I think you should post your story there and I have a feeling you will get lots of informative and emotional feedback.

Posted on: Wed, 10/29/2008 - 12:53am
mom1995's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/09/2004 - 09:00

Please check out this link. Maybe send it to your school or print copies for all the teachers. I hope it helps.
[url="http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_10514484"]http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_10514484[/url]
Good Luck

Posted on: Wed, 10/29/2008 - 7:02am
lakeswimr's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/01/2007 - 09:00

What did they do to be sure other students did not spread peanut residue around the classroom? (And also to be sure the teachers did not?) Did they all immediately wash hands after touching the peanuts and were all surfaces cleaned immeidately? If not then your child could have had a reaction from this.
Please check out and then share with them these links...
[url="http://www.rd.com/living-healthy/when-food-turns-fatal/article26968.html"]http://www.rd.com/living-healthy/when-food-turns-fatal/article26968.html[/url]
[url="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/main.jhtml?xml=/health/2003/02/18/hallergy18.xml"]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/main.jhtml?xml=/health/2003/02/18/hallergy18.xml[/url]

Posted on: Fri, 05/08/2009 - 1:09am
markus's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/08/2009 - 08:07

Seems like your link is broken, can you fix it?

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

You already know that if you or your child has a peanut allergy you need to avoid peanut butter. Some...

There are many reasons why you may want to substitute almond flour for wheat flour in recipes. Of course, if you have a...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

Do you have a child with peanut allergies and an upcoming birthday? Perhaps you'd like to bake a...

Most nut butters provide all the same benefits: an easy sandwich spread, a great dip for veggies, a fun addition to a smoothie. But not...