School problems - need ideas please


Gosh, my kids have been going to school at their all their lives, it's a K-12 school so they have had some of the 'specials' teachers for years (art, gym, computers, etc).

Morgan came home 2 weeks ago, and I asked how her day was. She said that her home and careers teacher (she's the elem. art teacher too) said that they were making peanut butter cookies. Morgan reminded her that she has a severe allergy to peanuts, and the teacher said 'that's right, I'll come up with something different to bake'. Well, they go to class, and they are all set to make PB cookies! She said the teacher looked at her, and said she forgot about her allergy. Morgan said that she didn't feel comfortable being in there while they baked PB cookies, so the teacher had her go into another room to do homework. She said that her teacher came in a 4-5 times to check on her. One of the times that she was in checking on her, the new pricipal came in and asked for a needle and thread so he could fix his tie. The teacher asked him if he knew how to sew, and he replied 'somewhat'. The teacher than says, 'I'll have Morgan fix it since we just finshed a unit on sewing'. Morgan said she was so embarrassed - not only for being put in that position (she said she took forever doing it so that she didn't make a mistake), but when she was done she had to bring to down to the computer lab room where the principal, superindendant, and many other staff members were being instructed on a new computer program.

Morgan asked that I not call the teacher to talk to her about this. I did try calling, but Mrs. E (the teacher) was already in class.

Fast forward to yesterday: She came home from school upset about her test grade in home and careers. She said that part of the test was on things learned on class the day they made the pb cookies. I took the kids to school early so that I could call her teacher, Mrs. E.

I called Mrs. E and explained to her that Morgan felt bad having to leave class the day the made pb cookies. Her response was "that was her choice". I told her that Morgan made the right decision b/c her allergy is life-threatening. It wasn't a choice moron - it's what she's been directed to do by physicians so we can avoid another anaphylactic reaction! She said that she can't cater to all these kids with these little problems! Mrs. E said that she does the best she can, and that she couldn't change things at the last minute. I said Morgan reminded you the day before, and you forgot. Mrs E said that she needed to be aware long before that so that she could change things. Make a different cookie - it's not that hard! In Sept ALL teachers that have students with special needs gets info on them. So I said to her, don't you get info at the start of the year concerning thse kids? Yes, she says, but since I have so many students there is no way I could read thru all that.

At this point, I'm was SO MAD, and seeing that she just doesn't understand, that I decide to end the conversation. She did say she was She doesn't see where any of this should be an issue.

We will be meeing with the super to see what we can do to keep Morgan safe and participating in class.

Is she eligible for a 504 plan? We live in NY, if that matters. I've never had issues like this, so i've never had to look into out rights. If someone could steer me in the right direction, I would really apprecaite it.


------------------ Liz, mom to:

B: age 14 with asthma, bee sting allergy, mild EA's and eczema

M: age 11 with asthma, peanut & nut, severe EA's and eczema

A: age 6 with asthma, peanut, nut, fish, penicillin, severe EA's and eczema

On Dec 5, 2006

What a WITCH! First off, I am in NY and my son has a 504, so yes you are eligible. I would start that process immediately.

Your dd was not only excluded, then lost credit on the test, but had to sew the principals tie???? Oh, I would be livid.

And guess what, the info they give her in Sept. is important and she better find the damn time to read it!

Ok, I am really mad now. I would be clear to the super how upset you are and insist it will not happen again.

On Dec 5, 2006

I don't know about a 504, but that teacher was wrong!!!! She gets the information about the children and is EXPECTED to read it all. That is just **** ! Excuse my language but it is. If she had taken the time and read then yes she could have figured something out. I feel so bad for your child to be singled out and have to go in another room. Your daughter going to another room wasn't a choice-it was necessary. Your child should feel safe at school and they are not accommodating this. Hopefully, a 504 can be put in place. I would definetly not let this one go by because sounds like the teacher doesn't care. Oh that makes me mad! Keep us posted! Nancy

On Dec 5, 2006

I agree with Josh'smom. You certainly can't let this teacher get away with what she is doing. maybe she needs to be better educated on how serious PA is. I just saw another thread about the poor 17 year old girl who died this weekend. Maybe printing out this article would help her realize how dangerous pb is for some people. I would be livid too!

On Dec 5, 2006

It is bad enough that she didn't read the information and is not knowledgeable about your child's allergies. BUT the true sign of a poor educator is one who will stand by and allow a student to be excluded from an activity because of a situation like this.

I'd have that teacher's head on a PLATTER.

Please go get a 504 you are eligible. You need one to keep your child safe, to keep her from being cast out in this way.

Let us know how this works out.....

On Dec 5, 2006

yes you can get a 504, im in ny too and im starting the process for my son who will be starting pre school in the fall through our school district.

im glad you are calling for a meeting with the super and the princapel.. that lady was wrong, and uncareing and put your daughters life in danger. if peanuts are life threating, in your case it sounds like they are ,then i she was indangering the health and safty of a child in her care and she can get into alot of trouble. especally since she told you she didnt even read the paper work on your child!!! i hope she dosnt have tenyear, because she should be fired!

On Dec 5, 2006


That is some of the best advice someone else here gave me when I was starting the 504 process. I'd start drafting a letter outlining the events that occurred for you to hand over in person to the super when you meet with them. That way there is something on file. Also, after your meeting with the super, make sure to write a follow-up letter.

Definitely read the thread that was raised in the "Schools" forum --- 'Why Not Obtaining a 504 is a Disservice to Your Child'.


On Dec 5, 2006

i'm typically a very passive person but i would be livid about this. completely out of line to have had pb cookies being prepared at all (the smell is overwhelming, can you imagine what that could cause someone with a severe PA??). this was not only unsafe but also inconsiderate.

then to send your daughter out of class and later have the missed lesson affect her grade....

quiet, passive me would have busted through that door and torn into several members of the staff at school if this had happened to one of my two PA daughters (or anyone child excluded in this way for any reason). making pb cookies was completely NOT necessary in order to learn something about cooking (or whatever they were supposed be learning from the activity). there were a million other things they could have done instead.

uggggghhhhhh. i'm mad right along with you.

did you see the thread about the 17 yr old that died this week? i would forward that to the teacher, the principal, the vice superintendent, and the superintendent of your school system and anyone else i could think of if you don't get some immediate resolution and apology for this.

i would also make sure they are aware that some allergy sufferers (anaphylactically speaking) can react without actually handling or ingesting the offending allergen. if they need proof, ask them to hear about one of my two PA daughters who was hospitalized after breathing in a mall food court at christmas time one year. ate nothing, handled nothing but did sit near an asian food kiosk (sp?). full reaction.

another one of my girls had a less severe reaction in the wide open outdoors at a softball game as a child four rows up and two seats down at a half of a pb sandwich.

i don't expect the world to drop what it's doing for my children and yours but i do expect them to exercise good judgement and thoughtfulness whenever possible. in this case, it was entirely possible to find a way to include your child and keep her safe.

On Dec 5, 2006

So, let me paraphrase what happened here.

Your daughter's teacher refused to accommodate her [i]federally recognized HIDDEN DISABILITY[/i].

Then, this same teacher HUMILIATED and singled out your CHILD for doing what she needed to in order to keep herself safe.

Finally, she PUNISHED her academically for having made her own needed modifications when the teacher refused to.

Am I understanding this so far? I thought so.

First, it is NOT appropriate for the teacher to decide which disabilities are "genuine." Clearly she has a problem with that. Hey-- I get that. I had a few (very few) college students that I strongly suspected needed 'extra time for exams' mostly out of laziness or poor work habits... but that was [i]not my call to make.[/i] And I didn't. I accommodated anything that came through official channels. Period.

This teacher was WAAAAAAY out of line. And I am also ashamed that the principal went along with this "Fix my tie, Cinderella..." bit. [img][/img]

On Dec 5, 2006


I would document this in a letter to the appropriate higher-up (the SUperintendent?) and describe the situation as you did here, professionally and accurately. With a few words thrown in like negligence, life threatening, exclusion, and attachments about the seriousness of PA and Federal and state law.

I used a couple good attachments in my letter to our Superintendent: 1) NIH document on "Students with Chronic Illnesses: Guidelines for Families, Schools and students" (this documents school responsibilities and applicable federal laws like 504, ADA, etc). Just google the title and NIH and it will come up.

2) "Assuring the Safety of Food Allergic Children in School," Journal of School health, November 2006. (see post in Schools board on this)

3) State Law - I think NY has a new law pending...get a copy and attach it.

4) Article(s) on PA death, anaphalyxis.

DOCUMENT this!!!! (and put in the part about the tie too, I think that is inappropriate)

Good luck!

PS how old is your DD?

On Dec 8, 2006

Just curious what is happening with you? Did you approach anyone about what happened?

I would just be LIVID!!! Hope you are dealing better with this than I would have.

------------------ Stacie - Mother to: 10 yr. PA 8 yr. TNA 2.5 yr. PA&TNA

On Dec 9, 2006

I somehow missd this thread until now. I am absolutely appalled! I agree with all the advice others have given, and have only one more thing to add. As hard as it may be to keep calm when to speaking to the principal and superintendent about this, it is imperative that you do so. Keeping calm will go a long toward showing that this is serious, and you are not just a "hysterical mother." Please let us know how this turns out.

------------------ [url=""][/url]

On Dec 9, 2006

I would take this directly to the superintendent of schools and raise a big ugly stink about it. You may want to call the FAAN to see what my rights are, just to be clear. And I agree that if you don't have a 504 for your child yet, you need to get this process underway so that this doesn't happen to your child again.

The teacher stupidly forgetting about your child's allergy is one thing. Punishing her academically is another.

That teacher is a moron and needs to be corrected -- upside her head, if possibe ;-)

------------------ Two daughters, ages 10 and 13 who are allergic to peanuts, soy, all legumes, most tree nuts, and a few antibiotics.

On Dec 9, 2006

Ok, I agree with the thoughts that the teacher doing the cookies and lowering your dd's grade was stupid, unfair and needs to be taken up with the school.

My only other thought is that somehow that teacher may have seen the chance to fix the principal's tie as a priviledge. While that sounds weird, at my dd's school for charector education kids come in and help teachers with files, art work, and yes, even sewing sometimes to get ready for special events for a classroom or the school. One day dd came home and said she had spent a little time that day cleaning markes off of the hallways walls to prep for Grandparents Day. Maybe(and just maybe since as I said above the rest of her decisions were dumb)this teacher thought it would be cool for your dd to help out the principal with a special task vs. just doing homework. Obviously even in that cause she should have asked if your dd was willing to sew the tie etc...but I can see how somehow she thought that request was OK?

Just trying to make the "tie thing" a potnetial misunderstanding. But as I said in the beginning, the teacher's choice to make the cookies was poor and lowering dd's grade should not happen.

On Dec 10, 2006

Just curious if there are any updates? the first time I read your post, I somehow missed the part about sewing the tie....totally out of line!!!!!