So upset...need advice, sample of letter maybe?

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2003 - 10:02am
MattsMommy's picture
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Joined: 07/29/2002 - 09:00

I enrolled my son in a preschool (2 days a week) at a church run preschool. They were the 6th one I went to and the ONLY one to agree to send a letter home REQUESTING that parents don't send in peanut butter for lunch or snack. The other 5 refused to even do that.

Last May when I enrolled him, that was fine. But now the time is here to start going (next week) and I'm having second thoughts. I called the director today to express my concerns.

3 things she said over the course of the conversation upset me...
1)I will not ban peanut butter from the school and cannot guarantee that parents will follow the request we make in the letter.
2)I won't ban it because he's the only one in the room...yes there are two other students in the school, but not in his room. (this one confuses me...seems to me that's all the more reason to ban it from the school)
3)During lunch we have a little table over in "home area" that seat two..we'll put Matthew and a "friend" at that table to keep him away from anyone that still chooses to bring pb&j.

So...I told her he would not be attending as I'm not comfortable with those actions. We hung up but it's been weighing on my mind all afternoon.

What could her justification be for NOT banning a sandwich spread that can cause 3 of her children to die?

Why should Matthew have to be excluded at lunch time? At the young age of 2 he will not understand and I can see him throwing a big fit if he can't sit anywhere he chooses like the others.

Of the other two kids with PA only one of them as an epi-pen on sight. She went on to assure me that it's kept high on a shelf in her office. Oh great...as if I'm worried that other children can get to it..how about getting to it when/if my son went into anaphlyactic shock?

I don't know my rights here (since it's run by a church) and I'm not even sure it's worth the battle. I know that sounds lame but it's the truth. My dh is in South Korea for a year and I'm not sure I have the energy to devote to "changing" her mind. Heck, him being gone is part of the reason I enrolled Matthew. It was to be my time to re-group, get things done, go to appointments, etc...

Now I won't have that..which is no big deal. But he's losing out on socializing with other kids (which he really loves) and just being in an educational enviornment.

Lastly, this is the church we were married in and the pastor that married us is still there.

Would you call the director again tomorrow to address the things that I listed? I just let her say them today..didn't disagree. Would you write a letter instead? Would you talk to the pastor? That's kind of going over her head after I didn't really force the issue with her today.

I'm at a loss and so very frustrated. Any advice is appreciated. Sorry so long.

Maddy
Matthew 2 yrs

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2003 - 2:20pm
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by MattsMommy:
[b]3 things she said over the course of the conversation upset me...
1)I will not ban peanut butter from the school and cannot guarantee that parents will follow the request we make in the letter.
2)I won't ban it because he's the only one in the room...yes there are two other students in the school, but not in his room. (this one confuses me...seems to me that's all the more reason to ban it from the school)
3)During lunch we have a little table over in "home area" that seat two..we'll put Matthew and a "friend" at that table to keep him away from anyone that still chooses to bring pb&j.
So...I told her he would not be attending as I'm not comfortable with those actions. We hung up but it's been weighing on my mind all afternoon.
What could her justification be for NOT banning a sandwich spread that can cause 3 of her children to die?
[/b]
Would it be the second half of point #1?

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2003 - 2:33pm
Dawn's picture
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Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

Maddy,
I'm so sorry for the frustration you are going through! I also thought I had my son enrolled in a place that could handle pa, but when it came time to start school, they did an about-face and things were not what I thought they would be. My son did not go and I got all my money back.
I really think that people get scared. After all, I think most,if not all, parents are when they first learn this diagnosis. Anyway...I would call the director and voice your concerns. Give her a chance to realize her mistakes and make accomodations that would [b]include[/b] Matthew rather than exclude him. But maybe she won't. I decided in my son's case that I would not send my child to a school where the group was considered more important than the individual. He is now in an incredible Catholic school that is doing everything I've asked for (the 2nd grade teacher, who doesn't even have a pa child in her class called me tonight to ask about snacks!).
In my own situation, I tried to address my concerns with the teacher, then the director, and then the pastor. None of them ever handled it like I expected they would (I apparently have high expectations of mankind) and so I was glad my son was not a part of their "Christian" program.
Good luck. Please keep us posted. (I'm sorry- I know those couple of hours to get mundane things done without a toddler at your heels are so helpful when a spouse is away- my own travels quite a bit!)

Posted on: Fri, 08/29/2003 - 3:46am
nutcase's picture
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Joined: 09/16/2002 - 09:00

Maddy- I am so sorry to hear about your frustrations. I wonder if a meeting in person with all three(director, pastor and teacher) would be helpful and maybe something could be worked out. You said that the school is two days a week. How many hours is it? Do they all eat lunch there? At our son's nursery school(he is 15 now) it was only 2 or 2 1/2 hours long each day so there was just a snack served (which was prepared by the teacher). However, the first nursery school we attemped(and the one our daughter had attended) refused him due to his "medical condition". I was livid at the time. If you are looking for socialization for your son there are always play groups to look in to. We had a play group in our neighborhood and it worked out great. It must be hard having your husband away and dealing with all this at the same time. Let us know what is decided. Good luck!

Posted on: Fri, 08/29/2003 - 8:30am
Jodi2boys's picture
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Joined: 01/23/2003 - 09:00

This is the letter that I wrote and gave to the school to send out to the parents. It seemed to work great and the parents seemed to really understand it and so far...have been very supportive. Hope this helps!
August , 2003
PARENTS OF XXXXXX:
RE: LIFE-THREATENING PEANUT ALLERGY
Dear Parents:
This year, there is a student in Miss Brown

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