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Posted on: Wed, 04/19/2006 - 2:05am
selketine's picture
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Joined: 04/11/2004 - 09:00

I think unfortunately when you have parents of kids with certain medical issues and the these parents are not all that concerned (so it seems) or perhaps their kids have a less violent reaction to things like peanuts then the school thinks "so and so in the other class is fine with this so it should work for you too." Kind of the lowest common denominator thing.
My son isn't old enough for school yet (he is 4) but he is a type 1 diabetic and touch allergic to peanut. I have an older son in elementary school (no health issues) but from talking to the health tech I can tell that she think she can deal with my son the way she has dealt with the one other diabetic in their school (the only one she has ever had). I think this is the 1st year they've had a peanut allergic kid too.
I think it will help if part of the education you give really stresses that what works for one kid may not work for the next one. I also hope you do a 504 plan if you haven't already.
Best of luck - you do need to have them take this more seriously. I can somewhat understand why folks don't - I frankly couldn't imagine ANYONE having the type of allergic reaction I saw my son having to peanut butter. I had never seen anything like it before. I wish there was a video we could show of what an allergic reaction looks like, how bad it is, how QUICK it is, etc. Not that I'd volunteer any person to film that of themselves but it would be an excellent education tool if it exists - perhaps as an animated film.
Carol

Posted on: Wed, 04/19/2006 - 2:34am
TNAmom's picture
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Joined: 11/29/2005 - 09:00

When we met with my daughter's school to implement the 504 and to ensure that she had the right to carry her epis with her at school and on the bus (rather than them being stashed in the office), and that we had the right to accompany her on all field trips, we were told that we were the first parents of a food allergic child who had requested these measures.
I was surprised, but maybe should not have been. Everyone has his or her comfort level, and it can be difficult to find the courage to challenge the status quo. And it is true that some parents are more relaxed (and may be less educated) than others about their child's FA.
I used to be more the type to sit back, but I was always feeling tense, wondering about the "what ifs?" I finally decided that I had to make some changes, and now we are all more comfortable.

Posted on: Sun, 04/23/2006 - 9:06pm
jayD's picture
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Joined: 09/20/2000 - 09:00

we had the meeting lat Thursday.....it went OK. I got a little bit of run-around from the principal on the nut hunt issue....she says that the nuts were contained in packaging and were never open, which is not what I heard the guy saying, but hey, she can believe what she needs to I guess. the bottom line was, it was NOT necessary, period. the teachers can certainly find other ways to have fun and she agreed, it would be addressed. All 3 women were surprised to hear about the aides giving Brad nut candy , and agreed that it would be added to their training in the future....they hadn't really addressed that issue because there is supposed to be no food eaten on the buses. I told them that they were actually careful that the bags were not givin directly to Brad on the bus, the aides always came off the bus and gave the treat bags or gifts directly to me. They meant no harm, but we all agreed it shoule be talked about when training aides in the future. They also agreed to hold a second training midway through the year for ALL staff, and that notes would go out at every holiday reminding parents no nuts. One good thing, the district is going to be not allowing ANY outside food to be brought in for parties and birthdays that is homemade.....they are trying to get away from unhealthy snacks in general and want to change the focus away from food for these gatherings. I was very happy to hear that, not only for the allergy issues but I am always amazed at the junk our kids eat at school. My 8 year old packs her lunch all but 3 days a month because the food choices in the cafeteria are so unhealthy. and they have the nerve to send home BMI reports on our kids scolding us for having overweight children and they feed them pizza and french fries twice a week, between the cheese steaks, burgers, pepperoni hot pockets and fried chicken nuggets and the only snacks they can buy are icecream, gummies, and cheetos. gimme a break! anyway, THATS a whole different story! So, I left the meeting feeling like they at least heard what I had to say, I will get into it more with them next month when we rewrite his 504 plan for next year. My comfort level has been higher since he is only there for 2 1/2 hours this year, but next year it will be different...they will have him all day and he will be eating at school. Lots to think about! thanks again for all the support! jen

Posted on: Sun, 04/23/2006 - 9:50pm
notnutty's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

Jen: Here in Minnesota, all the public schools have to put a wellness plan into place by July of this year. It is amazing how well the wellness plan works with peanut allergies.
Our schools plan calls for food not to be used as rewards, it also deals with class parties and birthday parties. For example, if it is someones birthday they get to pick an activity...going outside for 15 extra minutes, playing in the gym for open play, play games in the classroom, extra computer time, etc... That really helps keep the snacks out of the classroom.
Perhaps you could use your argument that EVERYONE should be eating heathier to help deal with PA.
Good luck to you.
Donna

Posted on: Mon, 04/24/2006 - 1:25am
RastaPasta's picture
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Joined: 04/05/2006 - 09:00

Jen, I am so sorry that things haven't changed much since my dd went to elementary school in 1999-2005. I found that the only thing that motivates people to do anything is to write letters, and SEND COPIES to everyone.
You may want to write a follow-up letter reiterating the issues that were discussed, agreements made, your expectations, etc, and ending it with looking forward to the 504 meeting.
Remember to remain calm & stick to facts. Always mark the date of your calendar with relevant information: if a reaction occurred, a safety concern such as this, whom you spoke with, what was said, agreements made if any, etc. Be sure that all letters addressed to the principal are copied to the teacher or others involved and most importantly to the superintendant, and assistant superintendent.
It takes alot of courage and fortitude to be a parent of a child with food allergies. Regardless of whom, people obviously still do not think in terms of a food allergy being a disability. You are your child's main advocate so don't concern yourself with how they are going to feel if you send them a letter, business is business and it can be conducted in a civil manner.
If you're uncertain of how to compose a concise business letter, do seek out an advocate for this purpose. I call EACH & EVERY agency (including Easter Seals) listed under disabilities in the white pages of the phone book for whatever need my dd has.
The biggest mistakes I have ever made were going to meetings by myself, trusting that the other party was truly concerned with the issue, and not following up with timely letters. The bottom line is that everyone is trying to cover their a** legally, and so should you.
I've read posts for years that contained information on every which way to get yourself screwed. The sad part is that the writer didn't recognize that their behavior and the information they supplied was used against them in many forms in what was suppose to be just a simple meeting or a nice information exchange conversation, etc. By the time they knew they're head was spinning & they were asking "what happened" or "how did it happen".
I may get reamed for encouraging you to do this, but that's okay because it has worked for us and most assuredly, its your choice.
This saying seems appropriate:
"STICK TO YOUR GUNS!"
Good luck with whatever you choose!

Posted on: Mon, 04/24/2006 - 7:13am
TinaM's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2004 - 09:00

So sorry to hear about all this!
It helps me to read this cause maybe I can learn something with DS starting school in Aug. Hang in there and voice your concerns!!

Posted on: Tue, 04/11/2006 - 2:35pm
hopechapel's picture
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Joined: 12/11/2005 - 09:00

This really sounds like **** . I don't even know what to say.

Posted on: Tue, 04/11/2006 - 10:58pm
Lori Anne's picture
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Joined: 07/13/2005 - 09:00

Please keep us updated as to what happens.
You have every right to be upset. It's as if the school said, "yeah,yeah..we'll have a peanut free classroom to keep everyone happy" and just slaps a label on the classroom, but doesn't follow through.
They have a long way to go before they really get it.

Posted on: Wed, 04/12/2006 - 12:17am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Oh my gosh!!! I don't even have words for what you've been through!! By the time you get together with all the right people about this, you'll be calm, cool and collected*, and ready to present a great case. I can't see how they could possibly have any valid excuses for all this. Take the ball and run with it. Go over heads if you have to. And good luck - keep us posted.
* I do encourage the "calm, cool and collected" approach - so they don't turn you into one of "those" parents and just shrug you off after you leave. (Although I know/hope you wouldn't just leave it at that, if they did.)

Posted on: Wed, 04/12/2006 - 12:24am
kkeene's picture
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Joined: 10/20/2003 - 09:00

That is horrible I would flip!
I would schedual a meeting with the school staff & board & perhaps your Dr if they are willing.
Is there any way that you can get in contact with the other pa parents at your school???
Sure would be nice if you could join forces & attend the same meetings, maybe then they will take it more seriously
[This message has been edited by kkeene (edited April 12, 2006).]

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