This is going to be harder than I thought

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 12:38pm
3xy1PAinNH's picture
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Joined: 08/07/2006 - 09:00

I have read your posts with anxiousness. There is even another poster here who is in the same town, but her child attends a different school. She is having a difficult time.

I was hopeful that b/c I have an older child, volunteer in the schools frequently, etc...that I would not see these issues when my 4yo PA child started public school.

I have been debating needing a 504, and wasn't sure if it REALLY was necessary.

Then I stopped by school and started chatting with the nurse (who I know, and like) about my 4yo being there in two years, and what are their policies?

The conversation really upset me. She sais things like:
"We'll need Drs. orders for one epi"
"I don't think 504's are necessary until High School" (the other poster here had her child's school nurse suggest the 504...so there is obviously no set standard in the district).
"Parents ask for different accomodations...most end up backing down and sign waivers so their kids do not need to eat at the PA table....they don't want them ostracized."
"Some parents expect school bus drivers to know how to use an EPI, but that just isn't reasonable, and most drivers don't want that responsibility, so we direct them to call 911 (takes 10-15 min. for ambulance to get to my house or the streets near it).
Besides, we've had diabetics take the bus with no problems. "
And "maybe your older son could be the responsible one for giving him his epi (he is NINE! - and he'll be in Jr. High by the time 4 yo is in K (two years away, just had birthday a few days ago)."
My 'favorite' was about food in the classroom to which she replied, "We do our best, but we can't guarantee a peanut free classroom, b/c the other children have civil rights to eat peanuts." To which I replied, 'I don't give a damn about other kids civil rights, I care about my child's life.'
To which she replied, "We always work it out, we had a PA child in a class and another girl in the class would get severe migraines if she didn't have protein, like nuts, so we had that girl come down and eat her nuts in the nurses office."

So I e-mailed the principal, who I know pretty well and have a GREAT relationship with. I talk about other community thigns, then mention that I want to talk to him about my PA son, b/c the info I got from his nurse concerned me.

His reply? "She has been dealing with this with many families for a very long time. She is very good. We try to do our best, without overreacting."

*** ? It is almost as if they need to have an Anaph. rxn before they will get it. Please lord let it not be my child.

So...to sum it up...yup...I will be getting a 504. And I am going to be having a nice old chat with the principal.

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 11:09pm
saknjmom's picture
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Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

It is interesting when you compare schools within the same towns.
I know some people with PA in my town and although most of those parents are very very lax in my opinion, the accommodations are different.
The 2nd grade did a letter exchange with students at another school in town. Then, at the end of the year, they rode a bus to the other school and had lunch with their pen pal.
DS's teacher contacted the other teacher and asked her to send a note home with the student he'd be eating with asking that she not have PBJ that day.
The nurse called me and said that school doesn't have a PN free table. Then I got the old, See Mrs. XXX how much we do for you??
I asked a couple of moms and they say their nurse believes the kids have to learn to exist with PB and basically bullies them out of requiring a pn free table among other things.
Right now, our district is amending and adapting rules and guidelines for students with anaphylaxis.
I'm thinking next year, the schools will operate in a similar way.

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 11:18pm
Boomer's picture
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Joined: 02/09/2007 - 09:00

Is it a violation of a students civil rights to NOT allow peanut products?? Our principal something like that to me and I didn't really believe her.
[This message has been edited by Boomer (edited January 05, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 12:01am
3xy1PAinNH's picture
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Joined: 08/07/2006 - 09:00

My understanding is that basically children (minors) have no rights. They have the right to a safe environment, and beyond safety, they have no rights. They can't be bullied, or sexually harrassed, etc...but as far as what they say or do...they have no rights. That is why parents and teachers are ultimately responsible for their care.
It is my understanding that if your child has a 504 that distinction becomes particularly clear, as the child with the disability DOES have extra rights to ensure their safe and equitable treatment.
My info might be inaccurate, and please someone correct me if it is, but it is my understanding I have stated it pretty accurately.

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 1:58am
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

ARG - I really hate the "civil right to eat peanut butter" argument. If schools have the power to forbid gum chewing, revealing clothing, gang colors, and swiss army knives, they have the power to forbid peanuts.
The only "grey" area I can see is how to deal with children who bring peanut butter as their lunch. I agree it's not fair to force them to go hungry. Personally, I like the concept of a "peanut table" which segregates kids that bring peanut products instead of segregating kids with peanut allergies.

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 2:40am
3xy1PAinNH's picture
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Joined: 08/07/2006 - 09:00

Greenlady,
You make some EXCELLENT points! Thank you! All great things I can keep in my arsenal for the time someone gives me such a stupid argument!

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 3:20am
chanda4's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

I am with you on the thought of....is it going to take an anaphylaxic reaction for people to take this seriously, and my answer(after dealing with this smyself) is YES! I don't want it to be my child, heavens NO...but it really does come down to people will not react until they see if for themselves. You hear story after story of the schools that finally *get it* because a child DID have a reaction. They don't make laws protecting these kids, until one of them has died...it's not fair and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought it would be this hard to keep him safe at school. I thought I'd walk in with his Epi and say "my son has life threatening allergies to nuts/peanuts/eggs" and they woudl reply "oh my gosh, this is what we will do"......it has been anything but!

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 5:35pm
NicoleinNH's picture
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Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

EDIT for mindset
[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 11:04pm
3xy1PAinNH's picture
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Joined: 08/07/2006 - 09:00

I forgot to mention that in my discussion with the nurse I acknowledged that I have observed parents reacting in very different ways to this allergy, from ambivelance that there is any medical issue, to the polar opposite of children hardly ever leaving their home (and I recognize for some kids with inhilation allergies, that is the best alternative). The nurses response? Well, someparents have children that really shouldn't be in public school b/c the allergy is so bad, but they send them anyway.
HOLY **** . I didnt' realize public school was exclusionary.

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