The Christmas Pot Luck that Led To Filing an Ont. Human Rights Commission Complaint

Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 9:01am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Okay, so in the thread about Jesse not attending school for two days at the beginning of this school year, I posted about how I had recently learned, from another Mom, that unsafe food was being brought into the classroom and her daughter had spoken up on Jesse's behalf. I also posted about it separately under Living with PA.

To-day, Jesse's class had a pot luck luncheon. Each parent was given a very specific thing they were supposed to provide for the luncheon. What did the teacher provide the PA parent with? Two bottles of fruit punch. Should probably have spoken up a couple of weeks ago and told her that since I was the PA parent, it would be *better* for me to provide say a "safe" dessert or something so my son could enjoy it without worry. Didn't do that, head stuck in sand still.

So, conversations re the legalities of checking lunches, etc. have been posted throughout the board now by myself in various different threads.

But to-day, it was okay for me to check the pot luck lunch food because it was on a table instead of in lunch boxes or knap sacks. Go in this morning, with both children with me, before the bell rings to check the food that has arrived by this time.

Oh, am stopped on the way into the school by a Dad I know saying that he has just learned this morning that he has to provide a baked good and if he bought a cake at No Frills would it be okay for Jesse to have? I said no, it wouldn't be, but understanding the man's position (time frame, other children to be picked up at noon from JK, no vehicle), I said, if that was what he bought, it would be okay, Jesse would know now to eat it. But, also knowing that this man would do the *right* thing because it's his daughter that has been speaking up on Jesse's behalf in the classroom.

Lovely candy pizza, made of brownies, topped with Christmas coloured M&M's. Plain M&M's, but still "may contain". Still a 1 in 5 chance of residue becoming smeared (especially 'cus the brownies are gucky) in the classroom. So, no, not okay.

Voortman's Christmas cookies, clearly labeled, in bold black letters yet, "may contain trace peanuts" so my only assumption is that the person buying the product could not read English. So, no, not okay.

The kids begin to come into the classroom and they're rightfully excited about their day. I speak with the teacher and tell her that everything looks okay except that the candy pizza and the cookies have to leave the room now.

She looked at me, with her Stepford Wife smile and said NO. She said that she would find a way for the other children to eat these goodies when Jesse was not around (I don't know what she was planning to do with Jesse so he wouldn't be around, but anyway).
I said, no, that's not okay, because then you need a handwashing protocol set-up which you don't have in place in this classroom (which they don't - remember no written school plan at this school).

She says she'll speak with the office. I said no, it's okay, I'll speak with the office. Well, someone in heaven above must have been watching me to-day (perhaps my Dad [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ) because both the a**hole principal and the idiot vice principal were not in to-day. We actually had a substitute principal!

I told her what had happened in the classroom. I said that I had asked the teacher to have those items removed and that they could be given to each child, but Jesse, at the end of the school day. Otherwise, I could remove Jesse from school for the day. She asked me what I wanted to happen. I said that obviously, I wanted the food to be removed and handed out at the end of the day because if I took my son home, I would be filing a complaint to-day with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

She went and spoke with the teacher and I spent the next hour slicing the candy pizza into 25 slices (hard to do) and separating the cookies onto 25 plates and saran wrapping them for distribution after school was over.

What was the big deal about that?

But you know what? If the principal had of been there, Jesse would have ended up coming home with me. He would have balked and stood firm (can you do the same at once?).

And then, in thinking about it, and calling another PA parent because my head had exploded and I was unable to do this morning what I was supposed to do this morning, I realized that if this happened to-day, it has been happening for the last 3-1/2 months.

When I showed the teacher the cookies with the "may contain" warning, she looked at the warning as though she had never seen one before. And you know what? I bet she hasn't. Not because there haven't been warnings come into her classroom but because, as I was told last week by the vice principal, the teacher gives the snacks/lunches a cursory glance (again, because it's *supposed* to be illegal for them to do anything more).

And I sat and thought and thought about the difficulty that I'm having with the Ministry of Education about even getting IPRC information never mind an actual meeting, and I thought, you know what? To he** with you all! (y'all to my American friends [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ).
I've had enough. I am calling the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

I called and went through everything that has happened (or not happened) since Jesse entered school this year and the b/s that the Ministry is trying to shove down my throat as well as the b/s the school is shoving down it about not having anyone to check the lunches even if they did get permission.

The woman had to speak with her supervisor. She came back and said that they felt the only way to deal with this now was by filing a formal complaint against the school board, the school, and individuals at the school.

The process was started to-day. I will now receive paperwork to complete and return in 21 days from date of receipt.

Did I feel like doing this? No.

Are "may contains" such a big deal? Perhaps not to some, to me, yes.

Is it going to be worth it, even if I lose? Yes. My children are the most precious things around me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

I asked Jesse on the way home how he felt about the other children being handed out the things I had wrapped up and he said "I don't know" and he sounded kinda sad but also like he felt different. If only the candy pizza maker had chosen red and green Smarties instead.

And the Dad that spoke with me, he ended up making chocolate chip cookies and buying an assortment of fruit. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

I'll continue this thread as the *official* thread for anything re this now formal complaint before the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

On a separate note, I finally received a call tonight, after 5:00 p.m. (unusual) from the gentleman at the Ministry of Education. I'll try to speak with him tomorrow.

I want to know specifically where it says it is illegal to check for peanut products in knapsacks. I want to know specifically where it says it is legal to check for guns and drugs. Where in the Ministry of Education Act are these things clearly spelled out?

And I want to pursue the IPRC with the definition of physical disability I posted here in a different thread, regardless of what the man tells me.

And, I am tired.

Thanks for listening. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 10:22am
Sandra Y's picture
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Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

Sorry for all your troubles.
The schools are just looking for trouble and making it hard on themselves. When will they realize that life-threatening allergies will not disappear (in fact they are increasing rapidly) and parents of allergic children are not going to stand by and meekly allow their kids to be threatened in school?
They need to change. One simple change they could make is to STOP distributing food in schools and STOP focusing so many activities around the consumption of food. Basically it's laziness. Much easier to hand out food and call it a party than to actually come up with some fun, educational activities and call that a party instead.
I keep reading posts here about parents running around trying to find safe food products to use in the classroom to substitute for unsafe foods the schools want to use. This only works if the parent of the allergic child has the time, knowledge, and personality to commit herself to doing this over and over again all year long, every time there is an "event" at school.
And what is the big deal about checking backpacks in elementary school? Our school did this routinely with younger grades to check for homework folders, notes from parents, missing library books, etc. What is so secret about a 6-yr-old's school backpack?
Good for you for filing the complaint. You have a lot of energy! Enough of these complaints and maybe schools will wake up and realize they have to change with the times, show a little flexibility.

Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 10:28am
momjd's picture
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Joined: 02/24/2002 - 09:00

Wow. I admire your courage. :-) You are probably in for a long haul and it will probably get worse before it gets better. Take care of your kids and keep your chin up. I can't believe the teacher wouldn't get rid of the food. (Ok, I can believe it- but shouldn't have to) Like kids need 50 kinds of sweets in order to have a successful party!
You may want to have a serious talk with J about coming to you immediately when something happens. Now that you've gotten the ball rolling, it's hard to predict what might happen at the school.

Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 10:41am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Sandra Y., thank-you for your very compassionate and understanding reply. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] You know, I am just simply tired of it all. And basically, that's what the school would like. For me to get so tired that I remove my children from school and homeschool them. Not going to happen.
I went into babble speak yesterday somewhere on the board about how I end up having to deal with something at the kids' school every day, whether it's getting a book for my son to do his book report or speaking with my daughter's teacher about something the teacher did that has upset her. I explained to my children that MY Mother only met the teachers ONCE a year, at parents' night. And, my Mom was a SAHM, albeit 35 years ago.
I told both of them that they had to start focusing and taking more responsibility for themselves as far as speaking with the teacher about their concerns or figuring out when the library is open. I am very fortunate that I am still at home, but in the New Year, that all could change. And I can just see my two wandering around the school looking dazed and confused. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]
And this has nothing to do with PA. Jesse is aware of his allergy. He was very careful about the food that he did choose at the pot luck to-day even after I told him what was okay (I told him NO to the jelly sandwiches just in case of cross contamination). He is empowered. Had the principal sat down and worked with me re Jesse's written school plan, Jesse would have been in the meeting this year. He can do all of that.
But, as I explained to the Ontario Human Rights Commission person to-day, I can only protect my son in the school system until he hits high school. I understand that he has to learn each year and develop and *own* his allergy more and more. But, my soul, he's still my guy. And, again, I only have until he's 14 where I can actually request a "peanut free" classroom here for him in Ontario.
And I'm damn straight going to do it.
It's funny you should mention the amount of foods in the schools. I was talking about that to-day with the woman at the Ontario Human Rights Commission office. She has three children in the school system here. Her youngest, in JK, only goes to school for half a day, or from 9:00 a.m. 'til 11:30 a.m. This woman could not figure out, why, if the child eats a *good* breakfast, she is required to have a snack before leaving again to come home for lunch and the end of her school day.
In speaking with another PA parent to-day, same thing. Food food food. Jesse's teacher, at the beginning of this school year, told me that she uses candy as an incentive.
Jesse had to check with me say within the last couple of months to see if a particular jelly bean was okay. All the other classmates had gotten them for incentive during the day. I checked the label, okayed them and he got two jelly beans.
Can anyone tell me what kind of incentive two bloody jelly beans are to an 8 year old (or then 7 year old)?
With dollar stores galore, and stickers and pencils and all sorts of nifty stuff out there, what the he** is wrong with teachers that they have to use food as incentive? And even having said that, what about the incentive that comes in word form?
The only incentive I got in school was the gold star I got on my report card from the principal. You lined up at his door and went in and met Mr. Jack and he put a gold star on your report card (if you had earned one). I survived.
With obesity on the rise and also food allergies on the rise, what is it with this obsession with food in the schools? I know we have discussed it here before and certainly I think we've come to the conclusion that society period is food obsessed, but oh my soul.
I'm simply thankful that I had a substitute principal to-day. If I had had the regular principal, I would have had Jesse pulled out of school to-day. I was already playing the scenario in my head. I've been able to do newspaper article interview like things to increase awareness re Jesse's PA (PA in general), but the thought of TV media would scare the bejesus out of me. However, I honestly thought to-day that if I had to bring Jesse home with me, I was calling the media to-day, BEFORE I called the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
BTW, I will post their phone number should anyone else require it.
The woman I spoke with to-day, now she won't be the investigator, but she basically told me that their feeling would be that someone has to be checking the lunches/snacks of the children.
And the right of the child to eat the "may contain" cookie (the vice principal brought that up to me a couple of weeks ago) versus my son's *right* to attend school safely or his *right* to die in a school in Ontario (whichever way you care to read that one), she said Jesse's rights do come first.
What is it with food?
Sandra Y., again, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 10:46am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Sandra Y:
[b] Much easier to hand out food and call it a party than to actually come up with some fun, educational activities and call that a party instead.
[/b]
He!!, I wouldn't even care if it was educational. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 10:50am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

momjd, thank-you for your advice. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Since they were mailing the forms out to-day and I have 21 days to return them, I don't anticipate the sh** hitting the fan until nearly the end of January month. I am NOT going to give the school any kind of heads-up that this formal complaint has now been started.
But yes, it would be very wise for me to speak with Jesse to see if anything happens to him as a result of what may be an ugly battle.
I don't want an ugly battle. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
Another PA parent, very outspoken, speaks up for her child at school. The teacher doesn't like her. What does she do? She takes it out on the child.
I never even connected the dots between that and what I've just done.
Did I mention speaking to the custodian when I was cutting up the candy pizza? All of the staff were supposed to be Epi-pen trained, including the custodians. In the school Jesse was in in Grade One, there was a wonderful custodian, long haired Native American fellow (my Father, also a custodian in later life would have cringed at the long hair [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) told my DH and I that he always had his eye on Jess and not to worry about him. He was Epi-pen trained.
Custodian walks into the staff kitchen to-day as I'm cutting up the pizza thing. I asked him if he had had Epi-pen training. What's an Epi-pen? Oh, for allergies? No, he has not received Epi-pen training. Something else to pick at.
Or, I told this to someone to-day who was horrified and surprised that I have allowed it. A jar of peanuts in the office. Shelled peanuts but with the brown skin stuff still on them, in a glass jar, not where a student could touch it if they came into the office, but on a shelf behind the main desk, but still part of the whole cubicle thing.
I saw it. Cringed. Have never said anything.
But, as was pointed out to me to-day, what if Jesse went to the office having a reaction, or not even having a reaction and the secretary had eaten some of this and touched him? WHAT IF?
Sometimes, honest to God, when I look at how I can stick my head in the sand, and then unstick it and get things rolling, I wonder how my son survives. 3-1/2 months I did NOTHING. NOTHING.
CSI and Without a Trace look new tonight. I need some respite after exploded head episode to-day. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Many thanks and Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 10:52am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Momma Bear, yes, just sheer holiday fun for the he** of it! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 11:37am
Cindia's picture
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Joined: 06/05/2001 - 09:00

Cindy, I want to let you know that I think that you are very brave for doing this. I also think that yes, unfortunately, you may be in for a long, ugly battle.
You might want to consider how Jesse feels about all of this and think about how much you want to have him in the daily loop. I know he has daily school stress (as all our PA children do). This will add to it. And, by no means am I saying that you should not pursue this. I just know that things like this can be all consuming.
A word of advice: Keep a daily journal and make a written record of every telephone conversation and include who you talked to, the date, and what was said.
Ps. Try and limit e-mail correspondence to those involved with the case. Anything you send via e-mail is "discoverable" according to the law.
Good luck to you and keep us up to date!
Cindia

Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 12:27pm
synthia's picture
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Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

ATM
First of all (YOU GO GIRL!!)don't back down.
Document all calls and conversations,maybe a letter of understanding to back that up.
Ask for a list of all those trained in Epi-Pen and document that request and date all documents.
Be nice, and I know that one is going to be hard it was (and is) for myself and most PA parents.You can get more flies with honey then with vinger(an old saying).
I know you are not in the states but just some suggestions.I hope they help and good luck.
Stay strong
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 1:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Strange thing I didn't realize to-day when I filed the complaint and subsequently spoke with two PA parents in my province - that this is going to be an ugly battle. It was only after posting here and had the responses that I did that I realized I've bitten off, well, quite a chunk. A do-able thing and certainly not just for my son, but for all food allergic children in a province where *most* of us just *assumed* that we had certain rights.
I am going to be contacting the Minister of Education for the province, newly appointed since we have a new Liberal government in office. He is an excellent, compassionate man who did deal with me three years ago re school board policies regarding anaphylaxis.
Also, on the up-side is the most probable passing of the Anaphylaxis Protection Act (not clear of the title) that Katiee started a TAKE ACTION thread about some time ago and that we have been working on quite a bit and posting about quite a bit here. erik has also posted a thread re this in the Schools section. That should also be a helpful thing to have in place.
Cindia, I have spoken with Jesse about what I did after what happened to-day at school. I simply explained to him that what was going on was not right and that I was pursuing it further. But, as with all of my difficulties with his schools in the past, or parents making horrible horrible comments to my face, Jesse NEVER knows what is wrong with me. In fact, he wouldn't know that anything was *wrong* period.
For that, I have the members of PA.com to thank from the bottom of my heart. You give me a place to talk about things and relieve the stress and get support so that my son doesn't see some wigged out Mom about his allergy.
Through the years, certainly, I've chronicled different things that have happened, which happen to all of us, here on PA.com and yet Jesse didn't know that anything was upsetting me. You all knew here. Jesse didn't.
I don't think it's important for him to know all of what will be involved. What I do think is important for him to know is that I don't think what the school is doing is right and that I am willing to fight, to the bitter end, for him.
I especially appreciated the words of advice that both you and synthia gave me about documenting everything.
Life turned somehow topsy turvy for me at the beginning of November month and my phone, which never rings, is constantly ringing off the hook. Not with personal calls, but all things that would be considered, I don't know, "official" things. My kitchen table, where my phone is, has become a pile of paperwork where notes are taken on each of the various conversations I have, none of which, until last week, had to do with PA. So, I am good at documenting.
I had an appointment earlier this week scheduled. It was clear to me that the woman was coming to my home. Monday came, she never showed up. I called her and she thought I was supposed to be at her office. When she spoke with me in a most condescending tone about perhaps me being confused, I explained that no, I'm sorry, I write everything down from all of the phone calls I'm receiving now, and I was not mistaken. I go to her office to see her tomorrow.
I know that I come across very strong and adamant here and sometimes it can be downright off-putting to some. I just wish that everyone could meet me in *real* life and see that I'm really this shy middle-aged woman (who suddenly went grey this past year and is trying to decide whether to continue to hide it or let it be) and I have tried to live my life in such a non-confrontational manner. I don't like confrontation. I don't deal well with it and I don't do it well.
But somehow, when it comes to the life of my child, or the safety of him at school, I am different. I am not a screaming maniac when I go into the school. I was very calm and clear with the substitute principal to-day (so yes, synthia, honey, not vinegar) and even my threat, if you will, to her, that if I had to take Jesse home I would be filing a complaint, was just said as a woman who knows her stuff (although I don't really know all of the intricacies and have to rely on other members here for help).
I felt good to-day when I filed the complaint. I called my friend back to tell her I'd done it. She congratulated me (she's another PA parent). But now, just having realized it may be a bitter battle, I'm kinda scared and doubting myself (although that won't stop me).
Many many thanks and Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 1:34pm
DebO's picture
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Joined: 03/15/1999 - 09:00

Hi cindy
Hang in there. I have been searching since you started posting a couple of days ago and have not yet found anything about searching or not searching - I have read through the privacy acts and the education act and there is nothing there. Took a quick look with the Attorney General of Ontario and Police Services and there is nothing there either.
Interestingly enough, though, the Ontario Schools Code of Conduct (which the Ministry implemented along with the Safe Schools Act) states that Students will:
refrain from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others;
I have some other questions/comments but need some time to think them through. In the meantime, good luck to you and take care.
deb

Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 11:03pm
steveandleslea's picture
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Joined: 10/11/2002 - 09:00

Good luck w/ this, Cyn. I feel awful for poor Jesse. This garbage just seems to never stop. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] I wish there would be a teacher who would just *get* it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 11:26pm
nancy023's picture
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Joined: 12/12/2002 - 09:00

Good luck, Cindy.
Those people didn't know who they were messing with.

Posted on: Thu, 12/18/2003 - 11:29pm
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Cindy, I think you are doing the right thing. It probably wont be easy or fun, but I think you will feel better for doing it. You've been upset with yourself for sticking your head in the sand, well no more!
I'm sure that Jesse doesnt realize how upset you are but I think its good for him to learn to stand up for what is right. I would just make sure that he isnt being treated differently or having things said to him at school once they find out.
When I started the process last year for my son, and people at the school were upset, I was very worried that the teachers would be looking at my son and thinking "Its because of THAT kid that we can't do this". How they could look at his sweet munchkin face and hold it against him, I dont know?
Well if theres anything I can do, research things online or whatever , let me know.

Posted on: Fri, 12/19/2003 - 12:45am
synthia's picture
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Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

Hey ATM,I hope I was not taken wrong.
Be strong you can do this it may get rough at
times,take a deep breath and WE ARE HERE FOR YOU.
If there is anything I can do for you please ask.
Please let us know how it is going
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Fri, 12/19/2003 - 12:52am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Cindy,
Anything I can do to help. Even my phone number, just ask.
Good luck.
Peggy

Posted on: Fri, 12/19/2003 - 12:58am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

One more thing, I am amazed that any teacher would hand out candy even to non FA kids. How dare they? Here in CA everyone is so health conscious. Candy is like poison in the schools. Maybe a wrapped candy cane once a year but never would a teacher hand out candy without parental permission first.
Maybe I'm wrong but I would seriously resent any teacher giving candy to my child, PA or not. And I agree, [b]food, food, food [/b] what is the big deal? Why does it always have to be food?
My 21 year old DD STILL has a collection of reward stickers she got in school starting in K! They were like gold to her and obviously still are if she still treasures them!
Peg

Posted on: Fri, 12/19/2003 - 1:02am
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Peg, you would not believe the amount of candy that is given out in my kids school. ALL the time. Yet the world cant figure out why obesity is such a problem! It drives me crazy. I really dont feel that I should ask them to change anything else right now at school.
Our nurse really wanted food free classrooms instead of peanut free. Maybe next year.

Posted on: Fri, 12/19/2003 - 1:16am
pgrubbs's picture
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Joined: 10/27/2003 - 09:00

ATM-
Preach on, sister!!!! Let us know what you need. I'll do anything I can, though I'm in the US.
paula

Posted on: Fri, 12/19/2003 - 2:02am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by momma2boys:
[b]Our nurse really wanted food free classrooms instead of peanut free. Maybe next year.[/b]
This has worked out really well for us. Highly recommend!

Posted on: Fri, 12/19/2003 - 2:15am
smack's picture
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Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

Well I figured I'll wait till after Christmas but I have some issues about our p/free, peanut/safe school that my children attend.
I gave $2.00 for each child to participate in the building of the gingerbread house in their class(the last day which is today of school).
Yesterday their teacher asks me to check out all the candy to make sure it's fine and tells me another teacher bought some as well.
I go up there and see M&M's, loads of other candies that have may contain etc. etc.
She comes up and I tell her the candy isn't safe and they won't be coming to school tomorrow.
I'm pissed off right now(about all of this) and Megan has been throwing up since 5:00a.m. but I'll follow your thread closely because I'm probably going to be in the same situation as you.
I do pick up my kids for lunch because I don't trust their peanut *&^^ing free school anyway, but this class project really ticked me off.
Other foods for special occasions being brought in aren't with peanut but Austin never eats anything that I haven't made anyway. I don't care about may contains or may have come in contact with because he doesn't eat it.
But this was a class project and he paid his friggin dues to be included...safely.
I'll talk to you later Cindy but Good Luck with all of this, and Have a Great Christmas with your family.

Posted on: Fri, 12/19/2003 - 4:06am
Chicago's picture
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Joined: 04/21/2001 - 09:00

DD is now in 3rd grade and kids are starting to have issues with lots of candy. At today's holiday party several kids could not have the candy treats since they were "chewy" (Tootsie Rolls, Starburst etc...) I felt bad that as a room parent I had only focused on PN and TNAs (two allergic kids out of 32) and neglected those with all of the various dental things like spacers, braces, retainers whatever. Seems they start that type of correction a lot earlier then when I was young. We did have some non-food prizes that we substituted, so the kids still had fun, but still that is another reason to find things that everyone can enjoy!
At any rate, I vote for the "food free" classroom!
Good luck with your fight Cindy. I'll admit that when I saw in another post that you were just bringing fruit punch, I wondered if the teacher was thinking through everything. I think that so often teachers just get in the groove of what they have done before...
[This message has been edited by Chicago (edited December 19, 2003).]

Posted on: Fri, 12/19/2003 - 4:39am
MommaBear's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b] This has worked out really well for us. Highly recommend!
[/b]
Easily definable. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
BTW, was reading in the local paper about the Governor of IL backing legislation to ban "junk food" in schools.
excerpt from article entitled [b](Bill would flunk junk food[/b]: (Metro section of Chicago Sun Times, page 15, December 19, 2003) by Jim Ritter, Staff Reporter, Contributing: Shamus Toomey, Kate Grossman
[i]"Blagojevich said the ban would help fight the childhood obesity epidemic. But it also could affect vending machine sales, which provide funds to cash-strapped school districts.
And defining junk food won't be easy. For example, Blagojevich cited Gatorade and Fruitopia as healthful. But those drinks are just sugar water with minerals or a little bit of fruit juice added, said Margo Wootan, of the nutrition consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest.
The legislation would leave it up to the Illinois Public Health Department to define what's OK and what's not."[/i]
Among the suggestions from a leading consumer group the newspaper article listed as "Healthful Vending Machine Snacks and Drinks" was:
[b]Peanuts[/b]
[i]Sigh.[/i]
Note: listed among the snacks that should be "banned" were (among others):
[b]Twinkies, Ding Dongs, etc."[/b]

Posted on: Fri, 12/19/2003 - 11:11am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I would like to thank each and every person that took the time to respond. I will respond to each one of you, and your particular posts later.
When I originally spoke with Jesse's teacher about the pot luck yesterday and what she wanted in the way of fruit punch since it's not something I really buy for my children (do you know ALL of the drinks that were offered were either pop or punch - oh well, it's her dealing with kids bouncing off the bloody walls?), she had said that usually there is enough food left-over that they continue to eat the pot luck again on Friday.
Okay.
Why I have to read people's minds I am unclear. It turns out to-day, that people brought more food in. Okay, this is understandable because it was the last day of school.
I get a phone call from Jesse at 1:30, leaving a message asking if no name ice cream was okay for him to have.
I get the message at 2:00 and call the school and the secretary is a real meanie with me and she says, you'll have to speak with Jesse. I get Jesse on the phone and he tells me about the ice cream, but obviously, it isn't right in front of him (the carton).
It is No Name, so Dominion brand. I have let him eat Equality brand before at two birthday parties because I know that A&P labels really well. I'm not sure about Dominion and I would have to check, but from what he told me, it sounded as though the ice cream was probably okay and I okayed him having some even though I knew I was taking a risk. Had it been Loblaw's store brand, automatic no. Oh, the ins and outs of store brands.
At any rate, by the time I've spoken with him, the ice cream has been served to EACH CHILD IN HIS CLASSROOM and he was left out. I said, okay, Jess, did you want some ice cream? No, I don't want any now, I just wanted to check to see if it was okay for it to be in the classroom.
My head exploded. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] How could a teacher serve ice cream to 25 other children and have one boy, even though he's 8, I still consider him a child, wee child, ice cream and leave one sitting there with nothing especially when this is a "peanut free" classroom so if you're kinda unsure about something maybe you should call the Mom and ask before you serve the bloody stuff (anyone who cares to, I am in a right foul mood and you can replace the word bloody with the F word instead).
I said to Jesse, I want to speak with the vice principal. The secretary (snot) says to Jesse, the vice principal is on the phone. I said to Jesse, tell the secretary I will wait. Meanwhile, he's been called out of class for this.
I get the vice principal on the phone and I said, could you please explain to me why every child in my son's classroom was eating ice cream except Jesse and why it was not checked before it even entered the classroom?
Well, no, no explanation except for that "it's the holidays, much commotion b/s".
I said, how do you think Jesse felt when everyone else was eating ice cream in the one class that he is supposed to feel relatively safe and comfortable? It's ice cream for Lord's sake. She said, well, actually, Jesse seems to be fine. I said, well, Jesse will internalize a lot of things and perhaps it does appear as though he is fine but that may not be the case.
I explained to her that even yesterday he did feel badly that other children had been able to have stuff that he couldn't, but only because the stuff shouldn't have come into his "peanut free" classroom to begin with.
She asked me if I would like to set up a meeting with herself and the teacher about me pre-checking food for parties in the future. Well, that's what I thought I had done yesterday. No one said, hey, come back in to-day, and truth be told, I had other things to run around doing that I didn't end up getting done because Jesse forgot his knapsack at home and I had to come home get that and take it to him at school, miss a bus, wait for another, and then get to an appointment.
I said, well, actually, I'm not sure, after what happened yesterday, it has become an formal complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Oh, so you're refusing to meet with us? I said no, I'll check with my lawyer and see if it would be beneficial to meet or since the process has been started whether it would be better not to meet.
I gave her the heads-up. Damn. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]
In making the decision the substitute principal made yesterday with me, apparently she called the a**hole principal at whatever meeting he was at while I was in the school, unbeknownst to me. I was lauded by the vice principal (and apparently the principal) for how well we solved the *problem* of the food yesterday. Excellent problem solving. WTF? Am I a bloody idiot? Am I a mean spirited woman who because her child couldn't have the candy pizza wanted it thrown in the garbage? No! Bloody idiots.
Ember has something in her knapsack after school tonight, a white chocolate thing. She has a "peanut free" classroom. Jesse says, how come she gets to have that, I didn't even get to have ice cream.
I had asked the vice principal if she could ask Jesse, after I got off the phone, if he would like ice cream and that he had my permission to have some. Apparently he was not asked. And then he goes on to say that there was none left anyway. But he's angry because his sister had something.
Then, Ember starts telling me what they had at their pancake buffet to-day - Timbits. I said, what? Did B (the PA child in Ember's class) have Timbits? Yes. I said, Oh. Jesse looks at his sister and says how could you have a Timbit, they're not "safe". Well, they are "may contain" and I have allowed Ember to eat "may contain" products at school after trying to avoid them her first year of school.
And I just thought, you know, different PA parent, different comfort zone, but man, no wonder these people think I'm a bloody psycho.
The vice principal did tell me that she does believe it will come down to the right of my son to have a peanut free classroom versus the right of another child to eat a cookie. I personally think that's the most ridiculous bloody thing I have ever heard. I said, so, my son has the right to die in a classroom in Ontario because another child's right to eat a cookie is more important. I don't think so.
She also said that she has been going for seminars at OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) in Toronto - she said it the long way and I say, oh, OISE (surprise in her voice, whatever) and that apparently they are being told in these seminars NEVER to call a classroom "peanut free" because they cannot guarantee it.
Is there a Freedom of Information and Privacy Act here in Ontario? She did say that she believes that is where the falling of us not being able to check the lunches comes under. I'll try to do some checking.
She asked me if I was willing to come in every day, if they did send out letters of permission to each parent and I said yes.
And I was wrong. I can only protect him with a peanut free classroom up until he completes Grade 6. Grade 7 and 8, and I remember now from when I was in school, you have your homeroom and then travel to the different teachers for different subjects. I only have three more years where I can stand up for my guy.
She also went on to tell me that she considers Jesse very empowered and his strongest advocate at the school on a daily basis, that he's a bright boy and really knows his allergy. I said, yes, he's been reading labels since he was 4.
Apparently also, Parent Council is really looking forward to me coming in to speak with them on January 19th (I think). I had wanted to speak with them about litter on the playground but I think they think I'm coming in to talk about PA so I'll have to get some information together.
The vice principal apologized to me for what happened to-day. I said no, Jesse should be the one apologized to. I said I just simply don't understand what is wrong with someone that they could let everyone else in a classroom eat something like ice cream and leave ONE CHILD OUT. Do people have no hearts?
But again, thank-you for your support.
smack, if you need my help in any way (as if I seem as though I could help anyone the way things seem to go with me [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ), please let me know and I'll give you my phone number. What happened to your children was wrong. Plain and simple. And I'd be demanding my $2.00 back.
Your PA child has the right to participate in all school activities, BEFORE, DURING and AFTER school in a relatively safe environment (recognizing now that each school's idea of *relatively* can be very different).
I fought that out with Jesse's JK principal when it came time for the Fun Fair at the end of the school year, held after school. We were basically told to stay home and I said, no, hey, wait a minute, it's a school activity.
Again, I know it seems like I'm really strong and very verbal and even downright bi*chy, but I swear, anyone who would like to visit over the holidays, please let me know (give me two days notice so I can clean up a bit [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) and you'll truly see that I am actually quite mild and meek and that this is extremely stressful and hard for me.
Your continuing support of my trials and tribulations gets me through these days. I appreciate that. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Fri, 12/19/2003 - 12:15pm
DebO's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/15/1999 - 09:00

HI Cindy
I have reviewed the Freedom of Informatio and Privacy Act in detail because of my privacy issues last year. I read through it again this week when I saw you posting. There is nothing in it about checking backpacks. It deals exclusively with the collection, use and protection of personal information.
BTW there was a party in my daughter's class in Ottawa today. They had fruits, vegetables, oreos and some baked goods which had first been reviewed and approved by the teacher - the parents had to first provide an ingredient list. My daughter still only eats what she brings from home (veggies and dip) but at least she could be confident that the food the other children were eating was not unsafe.
take care
deb

Posted on: Fri, 12/19/2003 - 12:53pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Deb O., yes, I sadly remember when you had to look into the privacy thing. A very interesting piece of information you have given me, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Can you review this on-line?
I spoke with another PA.com member and she said that she felt the school and school board were feeding me a line of crap about being able to check knapsacks because with children who are young, a teacher may check for a library book, homework, or who knows what?
I had told the vice principal to-day that if the principal had not nixed my written school plan for Jesse, I would have been the food monitor for the school, which has never been a big deal for me. All people do is call me before something comes into the classroom (not even the whole school) to see if it's okay or not. I told her that had this been in place, someone would have called me about the gosh darned ice cream and this would not have happened. But he had to be an a**hole and nix the school plan and now what are we doing? Sitting down in January to do what should have been done 3-1/2 months ago.
I think, for me, I just found what happened yesterday to be the last straw. I'm not clear why. I have enough other stuff going on in my life right now that I really don't need to be adding any extra stress, but something just didn't sit right with me and I just thought ENOUGH.
Now yes, we did have the Year from He** last year with the teacher not checking the food for 3 months and then when we did start checking it, what did we find? A lot of stuff that shouldn't have been coming into the classroom. But it was done.
How it was done successfully in JK, SK and Grade One, I will never know. And when I speak with other parents in Ontario they tell me that yes, their children's classmates lunches are being checked.
I just snapped. Not in a visible way. But something in my head just said you know what? You've buried your head in the sand for the last 3-1/2 months with this school and what could be going on. What is going to happen when Jesse drops dead?
I know better and I should be doing better. This has NEVER happened to him before and why should I start allowing it to happen now? Because I don't want to cause waves in a school community that I don't feel particularly welcome or part of? Who gives a toss when it comes to the life of my beautiful son with those luscious eye lashes?
The vice principal, in explaining why the teacher said NO to me yesterday said that she thought the teacher was just thinking on her feet (she was able to articulate that she would find another way for the other children to eat *the goodies* when Jesse wasn't around, but during the school day) and that's why I was given kudos on my excellent problem solving.
I'm sorry, that kind of thinking on her feet doesn't help me or my son. It was ignorant of her.
I also asked the vice principal about the custodians not being trained and she said that it would be highly unlikely that a custodian would ever be in a position to administer an Epi-pen at the school. I said that that was not the point, that in Grade 1, one of Jesse's strongest watcher-out-fors (can't think of a word [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) was the custodian and he was Epi-pen trained.
That didn't wash with me and I said that I wanted them trained, just as I had requested in September month.
I just thank my lucky stars that because I chose to bury my head in the sand for the last 3-1/2 months my son isn't dead. I honestly do. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
I have dealt with reluctant principals. I have dealt with downright bi*chy teachers. I have dealt with parents that didn't understand and some really mean ones. But, along the way, I have also dealt with wonderful principals and vice principals that just "got it" and teachers that were the same. Compassionate and caring human beings who cared about the life of a little boy more than they cared about another child's right to eat a bloody cookie.
Deb O., I'll be in your town/city at the beginning of January month for a very very short time. It would be lovely if we could touch base.
And thank-you for the information you just posted. I think that will be what wins the case. Seriously. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Fri, 12/19/2003 - 5:09pm
MommaBear's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Cindy,
Read the recent accounts you gave. Sounds veeeeeeeeeeeeeeery familiar. Except *I believe* that the situation *I* was in was much uglier. Much. I could be wrong. Most likely, I am. The fact my situation was first hand experience might have exaggerated it in my eyes and memory. (Although I get pretty worked up reading this). Actually, I think I get worked up not over what happens, but over what causes it to happen. Or at least a lack of somethings that cause it to happen.
Has a lawyer for the school entered the picture yet? Do schools in Ontario have lawyers on retainer?
You quoted: [b]"Oh, so you're refusing to meet with us?"[/b] Makes blood run cold. Did it seem as there was no sincerity, avoidance, or at least indifference?
Completely understand about the "heads up" comment. In *my* situation, I probably wore my heart on my sleeve (as usual [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ), thinking, "If they understand, If they know I am sincere, If they just realize........."
I find myself thinking that alot. Been doing it for a vast portion of my existence.
I think in *my* situation, part of the difficulty lay in that I *let* them lead. Probably because *I believed* they truly wanted a *solution*. (And I'm talking [b]both[/b] school systems I found my family involved with regarding my oldest cub) Probably shoulda been at least a 50/50 proposition.
I also think in *my* situation, part of the difficulty lay in that [i]*I allowed myself to be rushed*.[/i] (Easy to happen when others lead [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) I was so eager to achieve a *safe* environment for my child at [i]either[/i]school. An environment where people cherished and cared for him. [i]Or at least felt a responsibility to return him to me unharmed at day's end.[/i] An environment where he didn't feel "outside", but felt *special*. And wanted.
My final biggest mistake was that *I trusted*. Well, I'll add a qualifier: *I trusted [i]too much[/i].* Still trying to figure that one out. Spent my life teaching myself to trust only where trust is earned. How I screwed up my *big rule* about trust where [b]my own child's well-being[/b] was concerned, I'll never know. Oh, yeah, [b]because I broke my other two *big* rules: Don't be led, Don't be rushed.
Anywhoooooooooooo...
Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Merely relaying *my own personal, highly individual, and ***unique*** experiences.

Posted on: Sat, 12/20/2003 - 12:46am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Momma Bear, I'm fairly sure that we do have lawyers in the school boards here. When I refused to sign the liability waiver two years ago when we moved here because of wording I didn't care for, the superintendent said that he had to check with the board's lawyers. I, in turn, checked with mine, Anaphylaxis Canada, AAIA and everyone here, was told not to sign the waiver.
What my lawyer told me though was what I needed to know. Cross out the wording I didn't care for, initial it and hand it back in. I did that.
I wasn't given that liability waiver last year (same school district). I was given it this year again by the a**hole principal (I'm sorry, that's the only word I can think of when I think of him) and I did the same thing, crossed out what I didn't care for, initialed it and handed it back in. I did not hear from anyone about what I had done.
The lawyer hasn't become involved yet because even though the formal complaint has been started over the phone with an Ontario Human Rights Commission person, they have to mail me paperwork that I have to fill out and return within 21 days (having been told that the sooner the better). Then, once the Commission receives my written paperwork, I believe then that the school board district, school, and individuals of the school would be notified that a formal complaint had been filed.
So, I'm looking at a lawyer in about a month or so unless the vice principal told anyone yesterday amidst the Christmas rush to get out of the school and home after I gave her the heads up.
I didn't want to refuse to meet with them when she suggested that we do so. I am simply unclear and do have to check with my lawyer about whether this would be in my (and my son's) best interest since we do have the complaint coming forward.
I would love it if a school would see either of my children as the beautiful human beings that they are and how special each one of them is in their own way. But what I'm basically asking the school for is that they return Jesse to me safely at the end of the school day, without having excluded him from any activity or him feeling different because of his hidden physical disability.
You know what? I want my son to know that his life is more important than someone's right to eat a gosh darn cookie! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]
Last year, yes, the Year from He**, a lot of difficulties and intricacies posted about here, but again, how was my son *accommodated* (hate that word) in JK, SK, and Grade 1, in two different school boards, in two different schools, with what I consider relative ease?
Chrikey, Grade 1 was a breeze! A breeze!
For JK and SK, I didn't have difficulties with Jesse's teacher, I had them with the principal of the school and even then, we finally worked together and got a *reduce the risk* school.
And this was when they were small and probably needed more teacher supervision.
My mind is simply boggled this year. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]
Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Sat, 12/20/2003 - 2:41am
Peg541's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Cindy,
I have to say this. Your son knows he cannot have the unsafe foods in the classroom. He might internalize this but I really think it is part of his learning process and he is not being damaged by watching his classmates eating ice cream.
He remembers being in the ER and he knows why that happened. He will do anything to avoid that again. This is why I think he is really much more OK than you think he is inside.
Yes he is a little guy. But he is a little guy with a big big problem he has to learn to live with.
Give him more credit for understanding why he is different and what is that wrong about being different anyway? Better than run of the mill in my estimation. He will also learn this.
We always made sure DS had a few extras at home or where we felt safe. That made up for the things he did not get that were unsafe. He sat and watched kids eat all manner of unsafe foods and believe me he grew up decent, pi**ed off but really really understanding about why this was all necessary.
I kept a supply of little two dollar Legos or anyting I could find that was cheap. I doled these out whenever I felt he needed a boost but I also explained to him why he did not get the ice cream etc. He did not grow up spoiled or gimmie gimmie. He grew up understanding.
When you make your case I would be sure I did not focus on Jesse not getting his cookie. Please focus on the stupidity of the teachers and principal. Focus on their inability to learn that your son's life is more important than that cookie.
Peggy

Posted on: Sat, 12/20/2003 - 4:36am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Peg541, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] From what I understand about what happened yesterday, when I spoke with Jesse on the phone, he wasn't concerned about eating the ice cream but concerned about whether or not it should be in his "peanut free" classroom. Still, I can't imagine being the only kid in the classroom that was sitting there and not eating ice cream. I can't imagine it because I'm not Jesse. I don't know how that would make you feel.
Now, when I spoke with the vice principal after I spoke with Jesse, she said that she thought Jesse was fine.
And you know? You're probably right. A lot of times it is me that gets upset about things when Jesse will simply say "It's okay, Mama".
Yes, that's totally cool that he can say, "It's okay, Mama" and just keep on trucking but, for me, this week there came a point where I didn't want to hear that from Jesse because I really felt it was NOT okay. He is empowered. He is knowledgeable. And I'm sure he'll navigate through life very well, all while avoiding peanut products.
We live in a part of town now where if you go to the mall or up the main street from me, there are all the *eatery* type restaurants - Montana's, Crabby Joe's, etc. Jesse will never be able to step foot into one of them safely unless they remove peanuts from barrels at every table. And that's okay.
I understand that there will be a lot of things, and have been a lot of things, that Jesse will not be able to do because of his allergy and I also understand that because of this he may feel different.
Oh, for example, Jess always wears his Epi-belt. For some reason, this week, we get to the school yard and I ask him about his Epi-belt and he had forgotten it. I think he was really unfocused all this week due to Christmas coming. At any rate, I wasn't in a position that day to walk back home fifteen minutes and walk back to the school with the Epi-belt (like I had to do with the knapsack yesterday). I said, okay, we have to go and speak with your teacher.
I went to the office and got Jesse's second school Epi-pen from the emergency meds knapsack. Then, I took mine out of my purse. We went to the teacher and she was given one and Jesse was given one to carry, but obviously not in his Epi-belt. At the end of the school day, had to return the one to the office and the other one to my purse.
(am now going to put post-it notes on my front door about knapsacks and Epi-pens and whatever else both of the kids seem to be forgetting these days so I do a check list before leaving the house).
At any rate, one of the children in his class, the one who loves pb sandwiches and asked me about Jesse's Epi-belt when we went to a concert together, she was in my group, she came up and asked me what the orange thing was that Jesse had. I explained to her that it was the same as what she had seen but in it's container because Jesse didn't have his belt.
I think it's really cool that children will actually come up to you and ask you questions about how your child is different or what they carry is different. In my day, so many years ago [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] we wouldn't have said anything.
I really believe education is the key and I have been so willing to provide that to this school. The principal just didn't want the education. Now, he'll get it.
I hope Jesse is okay about his allergy. I don't want him to be sad or anxiety ridden because of it. I don't know.
Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Sat, 12/20/2003 - 4:37am
MommaBear's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]The lawyer hasn't become involved yet because even though the formal complaint has been started over the phone with an Ontario Human Rights Commission person, they have to mail me paperwork that I have to fill out and return within 21 days (having been told that the sooner the better). Then, once the Commission receives my written paperwork, I believe then that the school board district, school, and individuals of the school would be notified that a formal complaint had been filed.
So, I'm looking at a lawyer in about a month or so unless the vice principal told anyone yesterday amidst the Christmas rush to get out of the school and home after I gave her the heads up.
[/b]
We did not file a "formal complaint, but none-the-less, In *my* personal, unique, and highly individual situation...................[i]the lawyer [b]for the school (in my situation)[/b] was physically present during the first 504 meeting. Probably "present" before and most likely near the "get go". If I didn't have the meetings *taped*, I might not believe *myself* if asked how they "went". South comes to mind. It seemed as if my family was always a few steps behind. I think it was that "trust" issue. We had a *clue* (well, actually I *felt* we were quite prepared and informed on *our* end), but didn't really expect...............
Again,
Dislaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Merely relaying *my own* highly indivual, unique, and personal experiences.

Posted on: Sat, 12/20/2003 - 5:47am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Momma Bear, I understand where you're coming from. Here's the thing though. We Canadians, when discussing PA (and a lot of other things as well) consider ourselves to be a more enlightened lot than Americans (not as individuals, as a nation). I know that that last line sounded really really horrible and it is not meant to be.
But, when it comes to PA children in the school system in Ontario, what I have finally come across is just something that we don't think should/could/would ever happen in Ontario. We have "peanut free", "peanut safe", "reduce the risk" schools. And, if we don't have that, we have "peanut free" classrooms.
We have school board policies regarding anaphylaxis in every school board district in Ontario.
It was only after I posted here about Jesse not being able to attend school this year for the first time in FIVE YEARS that I learned that yes, there are other PA parents out there whose children, in Ontario, are not in school.
We didn't think it could happen. And, of course, who does it have to happen to but me?
You obviously have your PA knowledge. I have mine. I have helped a lot of PA parents across this country, and even in America, with what knowledge I do have get their children safely into school. I have spent hours on the phone talking to parents, phoning school boards, getting copies of school board district policies so that children could get into school and get in their safely.
Jesse's written school plan, which was written by another PA.com member has been used by other PA.com members to get their children into school with certain guide-lines (if you will) in place.
It's a *good* thing this happened to me. What about the PA parent who doesn't have access to the internet? What about the PA parent that does not know his/her rights or the rights of their child? What about the PA parent that doesn't speak English or French in this country? What about the PA parent that for whatever reason(s) simply doesn't have it in them to fight?
Even when things were going well with Jesse's school (not this one), I didn't sit back and say, okay, my PA son is okay. I worked really hard to make sure that other PA children would be okay as well.
All he** has broken loose. But thank heaven it's with me. I know my stuff. I know my son's rights. I have extensive, incredible support here from people that will provide me with even more knowledge that I will need to fight this through. (I am very grateful [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ).
Have always looked at most everything as a "there but for the Grace of God go I" kinda thing and couldn't sit back and say nothing even when things were going okay with Jesse's schools. Had to help other parents. In turn, people help me.
Stress wise, right now, nothing to do with Christmas, I'm not really in the position to take on the school board and this school. But I don't see anyone else doing it for me.
We do have the Anaphylaxis Protection Act that will be passing soon and hopefully that will also help with what's going on with me here.
A young woman dies near Ottawa because of her milk allergy. There but for the Grace of God.
Had this not happened with Jesse in school this year, I wouldn't have known that such a thing could/would/should happen in Ontario. We think we have life made here and certainly in a lot of ways, compared to the difficulties faced by my American friends getting their PA children into school, we do.
But then, you meet the one a**hole. A**holes aren't country specific.
There are a couple of people that I consider *better* to fight this battle in Ontario than I am, but truth be told, if it had to happen to anyone, I'm glad it was me (or had been one of those other two people) because I do know my stuff and do have wonderful wonderful support here.
Now, I just need the Anaphylaxis Canada seal of approval on my head so that I can *officially* help other PA parents.
I am not the type of person to home-school. I am too disorganized and fragmented. I would rather focus on the right of my son to attend public school in this province and fight that out.
Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------

Posted on: Sat, 12/20/2003 - 7:24am
momjd's picture
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What a beautiful attitude. We all do have different roles to play and different battles to fight. I am glad that you are able to go into this with open eyes and a strong attitude. May your perserverance be rewarded.

Posted on: Sat, 12/20/2003 - 8:10am
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

(here is to feeling many on the board recognize this style of reply, as one I use liberally, and without any particular reason other than I feel it is an organized reply. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img])
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]Momma Bear, I understand where you're coming from. [/b]
I really hope you do. This since [i]it is the manner in which I offer support[/i]. While I [b]support[/b] you, it is not my style to encourage someone to run headfirst into the maelstrom. At least not without all the advance warning I can give. Not saying you shouldn't go ahead, not saying you should. Just stating what I see. [i]Literally[/i]. Best form of support I can muster. That and a judicious supply of logic, reason, and self examination on my part.
Contrary to the belief such are cold and calculating, *I think* logic, reason, and self examination are on the side of moral/ethical behavior and the driving force behind many people who have strong opinions of such. From what I know of the same, generally erring on the side of compassion, "doing what is right", and sacrifice in the name of the "ideal".
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]Here's the thing though. We Canadians, when discussing PA (and a lot of other things as well) consider ourselves to be a more enlightened lot than Americans (not as individuals, as a nation). I know that that last line sounded really really horrible and it is not meant to be.[/b]
Completely understand. As I think, in general, the occupants of many countries either outright or privately think highly of themselves. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] I know that that last line sounded really really horrible and it is not meant to be. Nothing wrong with Nationalism or National Pride. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] What does it say about ourselves if we don't have faith in who we are?
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]But, when it comes to PA children in the school system in Ontario, what I have finally come across is just something that we don't think should/could/would ever happen in Ontario. [/b]
Similiarly speaking, [i]I don't think it is the intention of most Americans that it happen here, either. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]We have "peanut free", "peanut safe", "reduce the risk" schools. And, if we don't have that, we have "peanut free" classrooms.[/b]
Are they really? Even. with. regard. to. "reduce the risk". (I generally think of it in terms of reducing the "significant risk" and where risk [b]is[/b] reducable). Hope people understand what I am trying to say. ie: It's not "reduce the risk" *to me* unless one reduces where and when possible, and in particular the "significant risk". It's a "and" situation, not an "and/or". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Boolean type deal.
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]We have school board policies regarding anaphylaxis in every school board district in Ontario.[/b]
I understand. [b]"We" have the ADA. [/b] [i]Did I hear someone cough?[/i]
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]It was only after I posted here about Jesse not being able to attend school this year for the first time in FIVE YEARS that I learned that yes, there are other PA parents out there whose children, in Ontario, are not in school.[/b]
But do you think this type of situation has been occurring for quite some time? Thinking of the ?theological? train of thought regarding trees falling.
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]We didn't think it could happen. And, of course, who does it have to happen to but me?[/b]
Fate/Karma/Life/[i]God's Will[/i] can be that way. *I* personally have had similiar experiences regarding Life. Still, I am appreciative of the value such holds.
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]You obviously have your PA knowledge. I have mine. I have helped a lot of PA parents across this country, and even in America, with what knowledge I do have get their children safely into school. I have spent hours on the phone talking to parents, phoning school boards, getting copies of school board district policies so that children could get into school and get in their safely.
Jesse's written school plan, which was written by another PA.com member has been used by other PA.com members to get their children into school with certain guide-lines (if you will) in place.
It's a *good* thing this happened to me. What about the PA parent who doesn't have access to the internet? What about the PA parent that does not know his/her rights or the rights of their child? What about the PA parent that doesn't speak English or French in this country? What about the PA parent that for whatever reason(s) simply doesn't have it in them to fight?
Even when things were going well with Jesse's school (not this one), I didn't sit back and say, okay, my PA son is okay. I worked really hard to make sure that other PA children would be okay as well.[/b]
Fate/Karma/Life/[i]God's Will[/i]?
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]All he** has broken loose. But thank heaven it's with me. I know my stuff. I know my son's rights. [/b]
As do I. (But, still, I always leave room for the possibility that Maybe it's just me, or Maybe I am wrong.)
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b] I have extensive, incredible support here from people that will provide me with even more knowledge that I will need to fight this through. (I am very grateful [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ).[/b]
I will say that in this way, we most likely differ. [i]I am a person who, out of necessity, does not allow much support into my life.[/i] Personally speaking, and with the understanding that the majority of the world does not feel as *I do*, and that in this way, I am most likely the exception to the rule.................... such support often has the effect of disarming my focus and stealing [i]my drive[/i]. When it comes to support and the relation such has on my ability to manage, it is, for lack of a better comparison, a [b]negative feed back loop[/b]. Maybe a fault on behalf of my personality, emotional makeup, ambition, [i]whatever[/i], but I can only take it in small amounts and of limited duration. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Funny thing is, I feel and react somewhat differently when it comes from those I am most close to. I tend to push such away less vehemently. Maybe it's just me.
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]Have always looked at most everything as a "there but for the Grace of God go I" kinda thing and couldn't sit back and say nothing even when things were going okay with Jesse's schools. Had to help other parents. In turn, people help me.[/b]
I feel I have already addressed this, just noting so you don't feel I have ignored this statement.
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]We do have the Anaphylaxis Protection Act that will be passing soon and hopefully that will also help with what's going on with me here.[/b]
As do I rejoice with every Law/Act/Public Code enacted that furthers the spirit of compassion/moral-ethical behavior/erring on the side of caution/doing what's "right". I just don't bet the farm on it or hold my breath. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]A young woman dies near Ottawa because of her milk allergy. There but for the Grace of God.[/b]
Thinking of Synthia's slogan/motto:
"[b]No Child Lost to Food Allergies[/b]"
(when are we going to see the a bumper sticker???) I would gladly plaster it across my vehicle.
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]Had this not happened with Jesse in school this year, I wouldn't have known that such a thing could/would/should happen in Ontario. We think we have life made here and certainly in a lot of ways, compared to the difficulties faced by my American friends getting their PA children into school, we do.[/b]
I believe I have addressed similiar statements in this post. Just don't want you to think I ignored it.
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]But then, you meet the one a**hole. A**holes aren't country specific.[/b]
[i]Where's my "hallelujia" chorus when I need it?????[/i]
Just noting the a$$holes I've personally met were not alone in their endevors/ignorance. They generally had a lot of "backup".
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]There are a couple of people that I consider *better* to fight this battle in Ontario than I am, but truth be told, if it had to happen to anyone, I'm glad it was me (or had been one of those other two people) because I do know my stuff and do have wonderful wonderful support here.[/b]
Fate/Karma/Life/[i]God's Will[/i]? (posted at the risk of sounding redundant.)
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]Now, I just need the Anaphylaxis Canada seal of approval on my head so that I can *officially* help other PA parents.[/b]
I have similiar sentiments regarding the [b]ADA[/b] and the [b]Office of Civil Liberties.[/b]
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]I am not the type of person to home-school. I am too disorganized and fragmented. I would rather focus on the right of my son to attend public school in this province and fight that out.[/b]
Completely Understood. I was not suggesting that you do.
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]Happy Holidays![/b]
[i]Merry Christmas.[/i]
Sincerely,
MommaBear.
Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Just participating in discussion and sharing of personal experiences.

Posted on: Sat, 12/20/2003 - 10:52am
darthcleo's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
I am not the type of person to home-school. I am too disorganized and fragmented. I would rather focus on the right of my son to attend public school in this province and fight that out.[/B]
I don't know, Cindy... Seems to me you are plenty organised, and have plenty of drive ! And if you want a secret, I am the *LAST* person you could have predicted as being the homeschooling type. In fact, people were even surprised that I ever got pregnant and *kept* the child!
I'm only saying this because, from what I've seen around me, this type of comment most often comes from a lack of knowledge about what homeschooling really is. There are so many approaches, that there is one for everyone. The school approach is *not* what happens in homeschool.
When I see all the energy you're putting into this, I can't stop myself from thinking it could be redirected to something more constructive: providing a safer environment and a better education.

Posted on: Sat, 12/20/2003 - 11:47pm
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b]Thinking of Synthia's slogan/motto:
"No Child Lost to Food Allergies"
(when are we going to see the a bumper sticker???) I would gladly plaster it across my vehicle.
[/b]
Thought about this. How about a little enamel lapel pin? Maybe with the word "child" embellished in some way?

Posted on: Sun, 12/21/2003 - 2:15am
Going Nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Holy Moley, I'm late to this thread. I've been under the weather all week, and honestly avoided any post longer than a couple of lines because I couldn't concentrate. What a mess.
Cindy, I'm impressed with the gumption you've showed because I know it's not your nature to confront. I have no advice to add that hasn't already been given. Looks like you're in for quite a battle.
And as for food as rewards, just as you remember your gold stars I remember the little yellow commendation slips on Mrs. Jacob's desk in first grade. They were awarded based on our behavior, performance, act of kindness, etc. We had to save them up, and then on the last day of school she counted them and gave us some little trinket as we were walking out the door. I've never, ever forgotten it even 38 years [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] later. Does anyone think these children are going to remember all this da#*ed food? Does it really mean anything to them? Or is it just a quick way to accomplish what the teachers want in the short run.
Good luck. Please keep us posted if you can stand it!
Amy

Posted on: Sun, 12/21/2003 - 1:54pm
helenmc's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/01/2002 - 09:00

I've saw this thread when it first started, and wondered how quickly the application process would take.Coming back tothe trhread after the weekend and seeing Jesse's oce cream problem (on top of the previous day) It looks like you're going to move it a lightening speed - and good on you!
Your ar$ehole Principal sounds like a lovely piece of work, and Jesse' teacher a bitch. And I just don't get the whole junk food at school thing (it happens here in the office too, and I don't get that either).
If you need support from us just ask - I have no idea what we could do for you, but if you wanted to provide overseas examples of pa safe class environments we can provide that! And our legal system / outlook on life is much more similar to Canada's than the US.
Go get 'em!
All the best Cindy - and try to have a wonderful Christmas wih your family [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Geoff & Helen
Canberra

Posted on: Mon, 12/22/2003 - 10:59am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I received the paperwork to-day from the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Wow! They want it back in their office by January 8th. And it's official official stuff. I'll probably post each and every question here. And I'm hoping I can type it out because I can't even see being able to sit and write down everything they want to know.
I will probably post most of it here and also, after I get the bloody thing mailed, they did send me rights as outlined by the Commission and I would be happy to copy and send those to anyone who would like to see them (I do think they're available on-line somewhere because I have a friend who has sent me extensive information). But again, after I get my claim mailed, I'd be happy to copy and mail it out.
But wow, it is overwhelming looking!
To everyone who has posted, I have not forgotten to answer each and every one of you. I simply require a pen at my computer desk first so that I can take notes and respond *properly*.
Your support and encouragement has been greatly appreciated. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------

Posted on: Mon, 12/22/2003 - 1:16pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Cindy,
I am so sorry to see that you are having such a huge problem with Jesse's school. And I just can't believe the crap some of these so called educated people come up with! I wish you all the best in this and am so proud of you for going through with this - it's probably gonna be a tough fight and I would definately be watching for the teacher to be taking it out on Jesse - sad but unfortunately a reality!
I went through something very similar a few weeks ago with a field trip and 80+ kids going to eat PB sandwiches in Cameron's peanut free classroom - fortunately I have a school with an exceptional RN and administration but I still had to "go over the teachers head" and I know she wasn't happy at all...just makes me wonder what else the teacher allows in the classroom that I don't know about.
My heart goes out to you, atleast I do have administration that backs me...but they didn't always, I had a fight w/them in the beginning.
And I think it's absurd and most heart breaking that Jesse had to sit while all the other kids had ice cream and he had none. It's extremely heartbreaking - and I can't for the life of me imagine knowing an adult that could have watched it! Makes me cringe to think that she is a teacher!
Many hugs to you girl and best wishes - You know how to get me if you need me and I hope that you won't hesitate if you need to.
HUGS,
Lana

Posted on: Mon, 12/22/2003 - 1:19pm
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Hi all
I am new here, I have a 7 year old daughter that has had 3 YES 3 anaphylaxis reaction in school this year, she is allergic to all tree nuts and peanuts.
Her 1st reaction happened on the 3rd day of school,( she has been in the school since JK now in grade 2) we have an allergie comm. and the staff has been trained, The board states they have policy in place (But they dont understand it.)
My daughter was Denied access for over two months following a severe reaction in early Oct. an office staff admin. at her school called me , and did not follow the Severe allergy registration protocol , that reads Give epi pen (that she carry, with back ups in office) call 911 before the parents.
and more.
When I saw her in the school in Oct, I almost dropped she was covered in hives swollen could not really speak, I had to ask the principal to call 911.
well after very anixous night in hospital, she was ok. We took a letter from her allergist to the school, he pointed out once again ( they have all her medical info on file) what to do in the event of reaction, GUESS what!!!! they denied her access, for well over 40 days, not just from that school but from the board. not only is this against Human Rights, but the school has a dozen other children in it with the same allergy, they got to stay??
Why?
No tutor no help just bullied around by the school board.
The principal acted in gross negligence, as did her teacher.
We got her back into school, the health board visited and did more epi-pen demos.More of the policy was put in place, I spoke with her teacher who said I know what to do dont worry.
Yet on her second day back into school, in late Dec. she had another reaction,this time they did call 911, but her teacher did not notice her hives, someone going in to see her did along with the principal.
There had been a bake sale in the gym the night before peanut butter cookies and the like, and thats is where she started to get hives. Later I learnt the the principal was told of the bake sale, the night before by another parent of an allergic child.
I called the school from the emerge, and was told that the table where most of the nut goodies had been placed and eaten, is just the spot my daughter had been praticing for her Christmas Play. Why did they not tell us?I would have kept her home till the gym was cleaned up she is wigggling a loss tooth, and it does worrie me.
Now we have a tutor, and are at our wits end.
And wondering if we go ahead with a Human Rights Comp. or sue for Gross negligence, and most of all how to educate our child in a safe environment, The school in this board in Ont, is not the place.
She so looked forward to going back, had some fear after her Oct reaction, but missed her friends, this is not the happy Christmas I had hoped for.
Schools !!!!!!!
[This message has been edited by just me (edited December 25, 2003).]

Posted on: Mon, 12/22/2003 - 1:58pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

just me, welcome! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
As I posted early on in this thread, it was only after my son was denied entry into this particular school (same school board district he's been in for the previous two years) and I posted about it here, did I learn that yes, this does happen in Ontario!
In October month, I believe, I received an e-mail from Cindy at NASK that I posted about here where a food allergic child was NOT in school in Ontario.
And yet, honest to God, I had NEVER heard of this situation until it was presented to me with my son at the beginning of this school year. It's not that I wasn't open to hearing about it. I am in touch with so many PA parents/people that I thought if there was something going on like this in the Province of Ontario, where we did things like this did NOT happen, I would have heard of it by now.
If you look at the board from last year, when I had what I considered the Year from He** with my son's school, particularly his teacher, I received support, encouragement, caring, and concern. But no one from Ontario was here saying that yes, their child was OUT of school because of difficulties encountered.
I think that a LOT of us have experienced difficulties with our PA children in the Ontario public school system and I am okay with that to a degree. (That may sound odd, but I can explain it). Then, there are other people in Ontario who do have "peanut free" classrooms and "peanut free" schools that work really well and they don't step forward in threads where people are having difficulties and say, hey, there but for the Grace of God go I, let's see how I can offer some support to this person.
Since I got on-line and became a member of PA.com almost four years ago, even when my son was not having difficulty in his school, I made it almost my mission to help other PA parents get their children into school safely. I have contacted school boards throughout Canada asking them for their policies.
Actually, even before going on-line, I was able to help another PA parent, who lived in the same school district that I did, but his child was in the Catholic School Board (separate school board?) and they didn't have school board policy re anaphylaxis at his child's school. What I did was provide him with a copy of the public school's board policy and he presented that to his child's school and lo and behold, his child was in school and in relative safety.
Then, another PA parent wrote my son's written school plan for me. A wonderful, caring woman who really knows her stuff. I've used that every year up until this one when it got nixed by the a**hole principal. And, since I have a copy readily available, I've sent it to countless people to help them get their children into school safely.
I remember when I first moved to this new area two years ago, there was a woman in a fairly close city near-by that was having problems getting her son safely into school in the new town that they were moving to. I was on the phone with her quite a bit, got school board policy for her, and do believe I helped get her son in to school.
But the thing is, having said all of that, I can only help other people because people here have helped me through what seem to be every day battles for me now with my son in the school system, which I don't understand since he is getting older, it was dealt with relative ease when he was younger, didn't meet with as much resistance, and there are more PA *customers* in the schools now than when he first entered.
just me, if you need my help, please let me know. The task I have before me of actually filling out this complaint is going to be quite daunting for me. I have been told it will be precedent setting. Just as I have been told that even requesting an IPRC in Ontario for my son based on his hidden disability will be precedent setting.
I do believe that the Anaphylaxis Protection Act (posted about by Katiee under Take Action and erik under Schools) will help our children greatly and I've posted as much information as I've received in Katiee's thread.
I also believe that we have a GREAT Minister of Education in Gerard Kennedy.
just me, would you like to take the plunge with me?
Do you have a lawyer? If not, would you like me to contact mine and see if you can sue the school for gross negligence? I know that it is in my head, and I posted it somewhere that should my son have a reaction at this school, the first thing I'm doing after posting about the reaction here is contacting my lawyer and suing their a**es. I don't even know if that has been done in Ontario.
And you know what, just me? I'm really tired. I'm tired of fighting, especially when I do know that other Ontario PA parents do not have to deal with the stress of this day in and day out.
In speaking with a dear friend of mine, another PA parent, she runs into obstacles all of the time as well, and although they're not quite the same as the one's I've experienced with my son, she probably could file a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission right now as well.
I think it's important that we stand up and be heard. I understand that it would be a lot more difficult in some ways to have a child with a visible disability. But, my soul, if a school EVER behaved in the manner in which they are with a child in a wheelchair (my children were asking me why a child at their school was in a wheelchair and couldn't speak just this week), there would be he** to pay. They just wouldn't do it. But, when it comes to hidden disabilities and ones that can KILL, they seem to be getting away with, well, almost bloody murder. It enangers me.
And for some reason, although I chose to bury my head in the sand for 3-1/2 months, that pot luck this week was the last straw for me. Never mind having to walk through the litter strewn playground each day. Never mind knowing that my son shouldn't really be playing on any equipment because of residue issues.
Oh, and the thing that I have now heard from both the a**hole principal and idiot vice principal is that even Jesse going to the library could be considered a risk because what if a child checked out a book before him, took it home, read it while eating a pb sandwich and then brought it back with residue? Well, what if? But to me, c'mon, that's kinda extreme. I've already provided him with a keyboard and mouse (actually the principal at his previous school provided it for us after I read about a reaction here, dear sweet woman) and them stretching it so far just maddens me further.
When Jesse had his surgery a couple of weeks ago, we had a woman cab driver coming home from the hospital. She asked me if my children went to a certain school, which they do. She said that she had a daughter in Grade 1, who was diagnosed as border-line ADHD and the school didn't want to have to deal with the child and actually asked the Mother to find another school for her. The woman did! I wouldn't have! I felt like telling her, but I was getting Jess in the house from his surgery, that they did not have the right to dismiss her child and that she should have fought it!
I think that's what they count on. We'll back down and decide to walk the extra half hour to a school that may "accommodate" our child. Remember, the a**hole principal did ask me why I moved into his school area to begin with. What? I need your permission to rent the old barn house in your school area? Or what, renters aren't welcome (well knowing that there are a lot of renters from a group of townhouses, not low-income, coming into the school).
just me, please contact me if you'd like any help whatsoever or you just want to vent. I don't judge and I don't feel as though everyone has to fight the fight that I am now embarking on (believe me, it will probably take my life's blood), but if you want to just talk about the horrible WRONGS that have been inflicted on your child, please please feel free.
I'd also like to say that I'm glad that you came forth and posted about your difficulties. I know that after posting about Jesse not going to school for the first two days of school this year for the first time in five years, domestic goddess posted that her child had had difficulties as well. And then there was the child that Cindy at NASK had contacted me about (as well as countless other people).
I honestly don't believe that I'm just hearing about this because it finally happened to me. My ears have been to the ground for quite some time when it comes to children in not only Ontario, but other places getting into school. It just so happens that new members have come to us after this has happened to me.
Again, please feel free to contact me, even if you only want to vent. I'm not going to go into a tirade about what you *should* do to get your daughter back into that school and safely. I'm simply here to listen and I do have enough Ontario contacts who care that perhaps we can help you, as I have been helped here by not only Ontario contacts, but members from America and Australia even.
I have to get to bed. I am very tired. Something about searching the board re mesquite last night [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] and then walking the streets for hour eights [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]
Oh, just me, if you feel comfortable, could you tell us what school board district this is happening in? And are you the person that Cindy at NASK was working with?
Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Tue, 12/23/2003 - 12:01am
MommaBear's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Cindy,
I have two questions to add:
#1 If you manage to get an IPRC "in place" "officially", [b]will you trust your son's life in that school?[/b]
#2 Are the "necessary players" available consistently in that school to fullfill necessary accomodations? Not reasonable, but necessary.
Absolutely not offering advice in any manner or form. Just asking questions.

Posted on: Tue, 12/23/2003 - 12:05am
momma2boys's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Cindy, I have a question also, do you think that once the papers are filed and they are notified that they will cave and make changes or do you think they will fight it?
Also, not making any recommendations, just commenting on your comment, I think that you COULD homeschool your kids if you wanted to. I know that there are other factors involved, but as far as you personally being able to do it I think you could.

Posted on: Tue, 12/23/2003 - 12:27am
crazydaisy's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/14/2003 - 09:00

Hang in there cindy.
I will be praying they get the (BIG) picture.
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The Daisy Thanks You

Posted on: Tue, 12/23/2003 - 9:07am
KarenT's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/30/1999 - 09:00

Hi Cindy, I have not posted in a long time but just wanted to let you know my thoughts are with you.
Also, to remind you that my DD is in grade eight and every class she goes into has a big sign on the door "Peanut/Nut FREE ZONE". She eats in the class with 4 or 5 friends who bring nut free lunches. The other children eat in a cafeteria. There is no food allowed in the classrooms. Any snacks handed out by the teacher come from a pre-approved list. This was all set up when she enrolled at this school for grade 7. I lucked out with this Principal!
So your rules and help for Jess do not have to end at grade six.
I hope you have a fun holiday with your children, I know I am.
We just had a warm carrot cake with a hot brown sugar sauce I loved and remembered from my childhood. Two kids liked it two kids said they did not like "wet cake"! Can't please all the people all the time!
Love and hugs coming up the 401.
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Karalot

Posted on: Tue, 12/23/2003 - 10:50am
just me's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/22/2003 - 09:00

Hi Cindy.
yes it is my daughter that Cindy of Nask must have spoken to you about, ( at least I hope there are not more), I do have a lawyer, and its the Ottawa School Board, the lawyer for the board is aware of the situation. Its a battle out there and even though we are suppose to have policy in place it is up to the principal to enforce it.Cindy P of Nask has worked very hard on a Bill 3 and it just had its second reading, lets all hope that it will pass by next Sept.I am sorry to say I have NO faith in the education system and PA children at this point. I share you concerns and worry about the children entering the system. Yes we too are going to Human Rights and perhaps then some. but not today.1st we need to all recover from the shock of this school year to date. and Yes sure I would like to contact you just dont know how?
all for now
Just me in Ottawa.
[This message has been edited by just me (edited December 23, 2003).]

Posted on: Wed, 12/24/2003 - 8:41am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

just me, my e-mail address is listed in my profile thingy (great wording [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) but you can contact me at [email]cin44ca@yahoo.ca[/email] I will be in Ottawa hopefully on January 5th and 6th for my daughter to see an eye specialist (well, two of them, at CHEO) on the 6th. I'm going to be kinda in and out of your City fairly quickly.
I understand what you mean about needing time to re-group. The emotional toll that this takes on everyone is quite a bit. That's why I wasn't even sure if now was the *right* time for me, personally, to embark on a complaint because I have other legal stuff going on in my life as well and also a recent change in family dynamics which was quite drastic. But, for some reason, I just snapped with that last week of school.
I had allowed myself to bury my head in the sand for 3-1/2 months with regard to my PA son, his safety and ultimately his life, and then after his birthday party (posted about under Living with PA), I realized that I still had a problem at the school, I just didn't know about it because my head was in the sand.
I do have quite a bit of work ahead of me, even though it is the holiday season, to get the complaint written out and filed back in Toronto by January 8th (I don't know when I'm going to find the quiet time because my children have basically decided they're not going to bed 'til I'm going to bed, totally different issue I know), but I am going to file it.
And I would certainly be pleased to contact my lawyer and see if you can pursue this further as far as suing the school.
Please contact me.
Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Sat, 12/27/2003 - 12:04pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Deb O., am starting to organize the information for my complaint and I need to know if the school and school board (and really the Ministry of Education) have been lying to me about checking the lunch bags being illegal (against the Freedom of Information Act or whatever it's called). Are you able to point me in the right direction at this busy time of the year?
To everyone else who has responded and given me support, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Right now, I have to get that information down and ready to type out and sift through and sift through. I thought I would have some time, but my complaint is due back in Toronto by January 8th and I'll be out of town for January 5th and 6th. So, I have to get it done now.
Otherwise, I will gladly come in after I get the complaint mailed and answer each and every question to the best of my abilities.
Your support, concern, encouragement and caring, along with information have been overwhelming and very much appreciated, very much needed. I am very thankful. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Sun, 12/28/2003 - 4:08am
just me's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/22/2003 - 09:00

Hi Cindy
The answer is no, its not against Freedom of info, or any education act, to look at into lunch bags. I have also been in contact with a Human Rights lawyer in Ottawa. Many schools check the snacks and lunches that come in to nut free classes, even the one my child was in. Hope that helps,and thanks for your brave work.
wishing you all the best Just me.
[This message has been edited by just me (edited December 28, 2003).]

Posted on: Sun, 12/28/2003 - 4:18am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

just me, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I have been told by the Ministry of Education that it is *illegal* to check the lunches/snacks. The superintendent got in sh** for having done so for the past two years in this school board district. They are feeding me a line of crapola. It has been done for four years previous to this.
When I spoke with Anaphylaxis Canada, before filing the Ontario Human Rights Commission complaint by phone (just starting it really, not officially filed 'til I do the paperwork and get it back by the 8th), I believe I spoke with Susan Hunter and she said that she was going to pass all of the information I had given her on to one of their volunteers that is well versed in legalities.
Of course, this all hit around Christmas so no one has gotten back to me.
I just posted this in the thread re the article started by lynn1999_2000 and I thought it was appropriate posted in this thread as well:-
jodi2boys, yes, it does sound as though we have similar situations with our schools. The thing, at least, in America, is that each PA child can have a 504 Plan implemented so they are treated on an individual basis regarding their PA (or that's my understanding, which may be limited).
Here, we just have the basic school board policy re anaphylaxis and hopefully the Anaphylaxis Protection Act coming through. So, last night when I was looking at the thread about Jesse not being in school for the first two days this year and some of the comments that the principal made to me (as though he was an allergist and knew better than I did), I also considered how much the other PA parent may have affected this principal's thinking. They had been dealing with this PA child before mine, and, as I say, it is quite different than how I want my son to be treated. I guess basically that's why I'm filing the Ontario Human Rights Commission complaint.
If we have to look at severity, which is something I don't agree with (everyone has the potential to have a severe, anaphylactic reaction), the first PA child in the school has had no reactions. I'm not even sure where his Epi-pen is. It is certainly not on his body, which was a requirement of both school boards I've been in with Jesse. So yes, Jesse, given that he has had three anaphylactic reactions and one to residue only, he would be considered more *severe* than the other little guy.
The school is basing their decisions on I think the other PA child and also I just think being downright stubborn - they're not going to be TOLD to do something. The *issue* of whether or not another child has the *right* to eat an unsafe cookie is something that I can't even imagine a person in school administration uttering. However, it was uttered and on more than one occasion. And would that child's *rights* outway my son's right to live or at least attend school in relative safety? Highly unlikely.
Can you imagine a non-PA child's parents going to the Ontario Human Rights Commission complaining that their child was being denied access to their education because they could not eat a cookie? That's really how it was presented to me by the vice principal and I can't even imagine that being said by a person who deals with children on a regular basis. She also said to me that an asthmatic child has the chance of dropping dead in her school the same as Jesse does. I'm like, what?
My son is asthmatic so I know that yes, you can die from an asthma attack. But my soul, it is NOT the same thing. In my opinion if a child's asthma was that severe, there would also be an emergency medical plan in place for that child and perhaps even an Epi-pen prescribed so that the child did not drop dead! The situation is NOT the same!
I know that in my daughter's class last year there was a child with severely uncontrolled asthma and she did wear her meds in a fanny pack. I actually had to speak with her teacher one morning because the child was coughing uncontrollably and I asked her if she had had her asthma meds before coming to school and she said no. I spoke with the teacher and said that maybe she should call the Mom and see that the child got her meds (she did).
Of course, with that, there were other things in play. Why didn't she have her asthma meds before she went to school when her asthma is that bad? Why would the Mom send her in to school coughing uncontrollably?
But again, and I've never asked the question here, but perhaps the time is right, I am sure that if you have a child with severe asthma you can ask for emergency procedures to be put in place just as we have with Jesse's PA.
You know, it's an *odd* thing and perhaps just the other "real life" PA parents I've run into in my son's schools. By the time he entered Grade 1 in a different school district, I had worked with the principal long and hard enough (and banged my head against the wall long enough) that we had a *reduce the risk* school. By the time we left that school, there were 4 other PA children in the school. But the one other PA parent I met there, his attitude was also kinda lacksadaisical (can't spell to-day for sure), just as the one this year.
Last year, there was another PA child in Jesse's school as well, a year younger than him who had been in the school before him. Her emergency plan was also very different than what my son's is and I did post about it here.
So, I've always been the Mom with the tight comfort zone and the one who requires what may seem like a lot from the school and quite frankly, I'm getting tired of it. But there is a reason. I know right now Jesse is home with me on holiday. He is safe. If we go out (which we are in a few minutes), he will have his Epi-belt on "just in case". The second Epi-pen is in my purse always in it's own zippered section of a great retro purse I picked up.
But, when I send him off to school, whole different ball game. He does move around the school. The vice principal did bring that up last week with me as well - what am I going to do when Jesse is in Grade 7 and 8 and only has a homeroom and navigates through the school for different classes? What am I going to do? Who the he** knows? And why ask me that right now? What has that got to do with the situation that we're dealing with now?
I think I also posted about her stupid library book comment. She said that even Jesse checking out a library book was putting him at risk because someone else could have borrowed it, taken it home, left peanut residue on it and returned it to the school. So what was she trying to say? That my child shouldn't borrow library books?
To me, it was a stupid thing to mention because he hasn't had a reaction to a library book (yet, touch wood). If and when he does, then yes, that's a situation we have to look at.
The same as the computer keyboard story I posted about again within the last week - I had read a story in Today's Parent about PA and how different parents dealt with it. The *extremist* was seen as the child who carried her own computer keyboard and mouse with her. I had never requested that for Jesse. Then, I read about the reaction that was posted last year by Valerie (forget her UserName, remember her name and her son's name) that her son had to a computer keyboard.
It was then that I spoke with Jesse's school and they provided him with a keyboard and a mouse. That same keyboard and mouse parcel were sitting beside him as we had our discussion with the idiot principal at the beginning of the school year.
I'm going to take this whole post and put it in my Christmas Pot Luck thread just because it *should* be there probably more than here.
A really just a big vent about the stupidity that comes out of people's mouths.
Happy Holidays! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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