peanut free class distributes peanut candy on v-day

Posted on: Thu, 02/14/2013 - 6:02am
mj mom's picture
Joined: 10/14/2009 - 09:32

Hey everyone! I am just looking for support...people that understand.

My son is severe PA, had his reaction on the way to see santa when he was three, he is now 7. We gave him his epi-pen, and he had a second reaction in the ambulance.

His school has been better than most in the area. His classroom is peanut free, though the school is not. His teacher has been great thus far, but I'm frustrated today.

A letter had been sent home in the beginning of the year to designate it a peanut free classroom. I found out today, a parent (who knows better) sent in a v-day treat bag with a peanut candy in it. The candy was wrapped, and in another bag with other treats.

The treat bag was placed into my son's v-day bag with all the other candy. The teacher went through his bag, and took this goody bag out and kept it on her desk. My policy is that my son is not to eat/receive any food I have not provided (there is always a stash in the classroom). Her classroom policy is no peanuts.

My issue is two-fold. One, either you are or aren't peanut free. If you are peanut free, which it supposedly is, there should NEVER be peanut anything passed around. Two, I had to have my son throw out his whole v-day bag because of the possibility of cross-contamination from the peanut candy. He was devastated.

My thoughts are this, I would rather keep him safe than deal with some stupid candy. I always try to make these things better with extra treats, etc., that are safe. The teacher didn't see the problem because the candy was double wrapped. What if they ate the candy while making the bags--they could get residue on the bags. What if the kids were eating it in the classroom? etc.

It's so hard to get people to understand. Unless their child almost died, they just don't. We don't let them cross the street by themselves, what's the difference? Either you are peanut free or not. The candy should have been sent home with a note stating the classroom is peanut free. If it was a cross-contamination candy, I wouldn't be so upset, but it was a PEANUT candy.

Do you all understand what I'm saying? We will be going to the principal's office tomorrow morning. They can think I'm a freak if they want to, let's see what happens if they lived in my shoes...


Posted on: Tue, 02/19/2013 - 8:34am
wildturkeyleg's picture
Joined: 02/19/2013 - 15:22

My son is 4 and had his first anaphylactic reaction on Valentine's Day. His cousin is in first grade and had his Valentine's party at school, which was supposed to be peanut free. My sister said there were several emails sent to all the classroom parents reminding them not to bring peanut products to the party. My mom picked my nephew up from school that day, and my son went with her. My nephew, being so sweet to his cousin, gave him what he thought was just a piece of chocolate. It turned out to be a Reese's peanut butter heart. After five hours in the ER and an overnight stay in the Pediatric unit, I have some HUGE concerns about my son starting school in the fall. Are peanut free classrooms treated as more of a suggestion than a rule? I totally feel your frustration with your son's school situation.

Posted on: Mon, 04/22/2013 - 11:44am
mj mom's picture
Joined: 10/14/2009 - 09:32

My biggest frustration is with teachers who are more worried about being nice than being safe. Many times they tell me they feel "bad" that my son can't have anything and want to give him something safe (dum-dums etc.) My policy is to give him absolutely NOTHING unless I have provided it. I give them stuff in the beginning of the year and he can pick from that bin on special days. They mean well, but don't get it. They may get direct contamination, but not cross contamination--like making something at home (cupcakes) that doesn't contain peanuts. I'm just like....ok, but how many times have you made peanut butter cookies or something else in the same bowl, oven, etc.?
His school treats it as a rule...but it still is up to the discretion of the teacher. My rule about accepting nothing is to keep it simple for my child. A dum-dum packaged for the Dollar Tree is cross-contaminated, but the regular ones are not. How is he supposed to know? Until he is older, that is my policy for him. So, now that he is 7, he is getting pretty good at refusing. But the fear always exists. And the cafeteria is not peanut free. They separate him.
This is just me, but don't be afraid to be a pest. Meet with the teacher before school. Set up a plan and have it in writing. Establish your rules, whatever they may be, and explain that you want to make things easy for the teacher. Realistically, he/she has lots of things to worry about in addition to our kids, so making it easy for them helps. That's another reason I provide snacks. It's a no-brainer for the teacher. Schedule meetings through out the year to reinforce--especially before any major holiday. I speak to the teacher first before going to the principal, but we have been at the school for four years, so the principal already knows us and our agenda. DON'T BE AFRAID TO BE FIRM. I have not filled out an ADA 504 form, but you have the right to do it and then it's legal. You can also have your allergist/doctor write a note or help reinforce things too. Good luck--I totally get it!! Also, my son is not allowed to accept anything from anyone, even family members, unless I check it first. Some people think I'm a freak, but I just want to keep my son safe. I don't care what they think.!!

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