School wants to use their own \"Very short\" and not so thourough 504 outline...HELP!

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Hi everyone, I just got a call from my daughters Principal. Our 504 meeting is set for next Tuesday. The school wants to use the short version of the Districts 504 outline instead of the 504 Plan I wrote for Lindsey (with all of your help)! I've seen the District's 504 outline, and it really leaves just about everything "up in the air" so to speak. My main questions are: #1. Can they refuse to use the 504 I wrote? #2. Can they force me to sign "a waiver"? #3. How can I get them to see the plan they have is extremely week? They haven't had another PA kids at the school, and I don't want my child to be their "learning curve"! Any help or suggestions I'll be truly greatful for! Thank You All! Lori

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On May 13, 2003

I'm sure others will have better information than me, as we are just starting this process as well. I suggest getting a letter from your doctor explaining your daughter's allergy. There is a thread up about writing a letter to your doctor. Also, perhaps taking some allergy info. of your own with you to the meeting, and explaining the allergy as it applies to your dd. Maybe there is a way to fit what you want into their outline? I know theirs is simple, but if you/they could fit your specifications into their outline topics perhaps the school district would be more willing?

On May 13, 2003

Thank You for your reply! I have a letter from both Lindsey's Allergist, and her Pediatrician stating that she is anaphylactic to contact, inhalation, and ingestion. They also stated she needs her Epi-pens "with her" at all times, along with quite a bit of extensive information. Lindsey's 504 plan is very detailed and thourough, but also very manageable. I also have made myself available completely to help in every aspect of the plan to make things easier for everyone. It almost sounds like they want to take complete control of Lindsey's peanut allergy and leave me as far out of the loop as possible. They told me that the school nurse will be in charge of everything pertaining to this "issue". I really have no comfort level about that because the forst question she had for me in the beginning was, "What is a peanut allergy?", and now she acts as though she knows more about what my daughter needs than I do (I wish she did). I'm just very scared, and I don't know how to be "politically correct" enough with her, but still get it across to her that my daughter's life means more than everyones level of control, or pride. Anyway, thanks again for your support and advise. Lori

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On May 13, 2003

Lori, hi, I was just wondering what do they have in their 504? Do they plan to have a peanut free room? school? I would be concerned too if I were you considering your child is inhalation and contact allergic as well.

Maybe if you show your dr. the plan and have him write another letter stating that these accomodations are not sufficient?

I think some people just cant handle someone else knowing more than they do and maybe they are threatened by you?

I wouldnt give in though and send your child unless you believe they are doing everything they can to make her safe. Good luck!

On May 13, 2003

Lori, I'm sorry you are going through this. Maybe you'll have to wait and see what they write up in "their" 504 for your daughter and then after that point out the things that are missing from it. I am getting the feeling that our school nurse is also the "controlling" type and I'm not sure how I'm going to handle it. She at least seems somewhat knowledgeable about peanut allergy, but not knowledgeable on some aspects of it. I want us to be a team, so I don't want to step on her toes, but I disagree with her on some main issues. Good luck. Let us know what happens.

On May 14, 2003

Momma2boys, Thank you for your reply! The school really doesn't want to have any peanut-free areas at all. They keep all the kindergarten lunches in the classroom with the kids, and they were surprised when I let them know that they would need to find another area to keep food in. They also were amazed that I wanted a peanut-free lunch table ("How are we supposed to controll who sits where in the lunchroom? We have almost 900 kids here..."). My response to that was "Well....I'm confident the adult staff members in charge of the cafeteria can manage what happens at one table". They don't want Epi-pens around either. The nurse said she will in no way allow Lindsey to have them with her, on her, or in the classroom. The Epi-pens will have to be locked up, "And I'm sure there will be someone around who can find the key if it is needed, 4 or 5 minutes wont make any difference". These people are thinking they have all the time in the world when dealing with peanut allergy. I'm having a hard time getting them to open up to me...it's like they have built the wall, and aren't going to let me through.

Tgab, The 504 they have is a generic form from the district, and they feel it is enough to just "be aware" there is a peanut allergy present. I want to be a team too, but they really seem to want me to back away and let them do as they "see fit". I have been all sweetness and light with these people so far *Not My Nature* by a long shot, but in the best interest of my daughter I have bit off and chewed quite a bit of my tongue in the last 4 years. I just wish I knew for sure if they can "dismiss" my 504,and basically do as they please. If that is the case, then my daughter will not be going to school.

Mooma2boys & Tgab...Thank You for the encouragement and suggestions. I'll definately take all the advise I can get!

Lori

On May 14, 2003

Oh Lori, I feel so bad for you. I cant even believe how they are acting. Locked up epi-pens?? NO WAY! I would refuse. Our school has always had the kind. keep their lunches in the room and next your when my ds goes to kind they will have to keep them in their lockers.

Im in the process of 504 as well so I cant help you much on the specifics of the process, but with your childs situation I wouldbe concerned about attending this school.

Ive already told my husband if they dont make it as safe as possible and make me comfortable, he will NOT go. I dont know what your options are, but I would look into it.

One thing I do know is if you read my 504 questions post Ive been told repeatedly that at 504 meeting you have an equal say. I would look that up, print it out and tell them you will not allow certain things to happen. Good luck, you have your work cut out for you. Keep us posted.

On May 14, 2003

Lori,

All I can say is that this just stinks! I am very worried about how our own 504 is going to happen. Hopefully, we will find out soon. You are not alone! I spoke with our principal months ago about a 504 and he was like no problem. Then I go in to talk to him again, and he sounds like he is more in favor of just a healthcare plan written by the nurse. I am wondering if the nurse spoke with him and pressured him into it beforehand. The first time I talked to him, was before I talked to her. When I did talk to her she told me flat out that she knew nothing about 504 and that she writes out healthcare plans the week before school starts. THAT IS NOT ENOUGH TIME to write up something for a kid with severe allergies!! Especially since she has so many other healthcare plans to write!

And as far as the school nurse, I don't even know what to say. Our school nurse tried to tell me it was "safer" to have the epi-pen locked in her office so that no one would get "confused" about where it was. I just bit my tongue and said I would ask the doctor and see what he said. He said the epi should be with her (in her classroom, or very near to wherever she is), which was no surprise. I would favor her having the epi on her person, but am pretty sure that is a battle I won't win. At least not this year.

One other thing, doesn't your doctor have to sign off on the 504? Hopefully, he knows his stuff and wouldn't sign one that is insufficient anyway, so you aren't the "badguy".

Keep us updated on your situation. Sending you positive thoughts that it all works out.

On May 15, 2003

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000967.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000967.html[/url]

On May 15, 2003

quote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Originally posted by tgab: "Our school nurse actually tried to tell me it's SAFER to have the epi locked up in her office because then everyone will not be confused as to where it is in the event of an emergency. HELLO!?!?! That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. If the teacher can't remember that there is an epi kit in her classroom then we have serious problems. I didn't tell her in as many words as I wanted to, because I have the support of my doctor, and possibly the principal, to keep the epi in alternate places in the school. So I think everything should be ok. I have no reason to cause unnecessary hate and discontent."

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I (MommaBear) replied:

"I posted in another thread:

As I realized we could never eliminate all risk at school, *in our personal situation*, and contemplated the consequences of such a risk, *in our personal situation*, I also realized that it was necessary ,*in our personal situation*, for my son to be in close proximity to his life saving medication. For us (my husband and I) to willingly place him in a situation where this was not possible (being in close proximity to his life saving medication) would be negligent on our (my husband and I) part. Quite possibly malpractice. Knowing what we (my husband and I) know.

The 504 meetings did not yield this result. (Our son being in "close proximity" to life-saving medication). Knowing what we (my husband and I) know, and post cold realization that the school,*in our personal situation*, and it's agents,*in our personal situation*, surely must fit one of the following options:

1. Did not hold the same opinion.

2. Did hold the same opinion and were unwilling to accomodate.(Perhaps this is why they strongly suggested we "homeschool" ie, Principal stated to us:"You should homeschool your child.")

3. Did hold the same opinion and were unable to accomodate. (Perhaps this is why they strongly suggested we "homeschool" ie, Principal stated to us:"You should homeschool your child.")

Irregardless of the situation that existed, my son was being placed directly in the way of unnecessary risk,*in our personal situation*. That is what we (my family) found most unacceptable.

MommaBear, Mother to two awe-inspiring little boys, age 7 3/4 PA(contact, air-borne, ingestion)/Nuts/some other legumes/Asthma/EA/"Atopic" child in general, age 3 5/8 (So far not PA , but had an accidental "oral challenge" without my permission, lol./not officially diagnosed with "Asthma" yet/no food allergies that we are aware of.

Link of Interest: (to a document entitled: "Managing Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Schools")

[url="http://www.doe.mass.edu/cnp/2002/news/allergy.pdf"]http://www.doe.mass.edu/cnp/2002/news/allergy.pdf[/url]

note on page 3: "*Schools should be prepared to manage an anaphylactic emergency by:......

(d) maintaining a current supply of epinephrine by auto-injector in at least two easily accessible loctions and/or carried by the student when appropriate. (Please note: epinephrine should never be kept in a locked cabinet.)"

Also of interest is "Appendix C" on pages 42-43 of the same document."

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/003704.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/003704.html[/url]

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form, merely relating my family's *unique and personal* situation. I do not guarantee the accuracy or content of the link in this post."

On May 15, 2003

Excerpt from this thread: [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000967.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000967.html[/url]

quote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Originally posted by T.Normile: "Hi everyone, I'm new here and just thought I'd offer a little bit of information on the Mass. Guidelines. I've recently been very involved in advocating for full time nurses in our schools. We are lacking a few hours of each day at two of our elementary schools. I've done extensive research and have had numerous lengthy discussions with administrators and school committee members. I'm happy to say that in September, Belmont will have full time nurses in all of its schools. During this process I made many contacts at the Ma. Dept of public health and the Ma. Dept. of education. Although the document is a 'guideline' it most likely would hold up in court legally. There are many organizations, medical and educational that support this document, and it is felt that it would hold water.

It is very lengthy and detailed. It does, however give a good starting point for creating a policy. We are in the process of doing that now.

I was one of the parents that spoke at the Ma. State House a few weeks ago for School Health Advocacy Day. There are senators and state reps that support funding school health departments. I encourage everyone to contact your reps and legislators and let them know that funding the school health departments is crucial."

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I (MommaBear) replied:

"HAAAAAAAAAAAAALEL-LU-JAH! HAAAAAAAAAAALEL-LU-JAH! HA-LEL-LU-JAH! HA-LEL-LU-JAH! HA-LEEEEEEE-EEEEEEEL-LUUUUUUUUUUU-JAH!

[url="http://members.aol.com/nonstopny/easter/messiah.htm#hear%20it%20live"]http://members.aol.com/nonstopny/easter/messiah.htm#hear%20it%20live[/url]

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Merely humming to myself. Loudly."

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