Ugh, does Sunday school count as a school issue?

Posted on: Mon, 09/13/2004 - 7:51am
Sarahfran's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2000 - 09:00

I finally ran into someone who willfully "doesn't get it" reagarding this allergy. I knew that my good luck couldn't hold out forever.

My DD started Sunday school yesterday. The communication in advance was horrible--the church currently has no director of religious education and all we got in advance of the first day of Sunday school was a form letter telling us which session our DD would be in. No phone number for questions or anything. When I registered her, I noted her peanut allergy and expected that I'd be able to talk to the teacher in advance (find out if they were planning snacks in the room, any craft projects with food, set-up for medical emergency, instruction in epi-pen use, etc.). When that expectation didn't pan out, I figured I'd just talk to the teacher when I dropped Claire off. I wasn't particularly worried since the likelihood of a reaction at Sunday school was pretty minimal (assuming no snack; my bigger concern was that they use a regular kindergarten classroom and there is no knowing if that classroom is peanut-free).

As it turns out, talking to the teacher in advance was impossible. They called all the classes up to the front of the church and led them off. I followed my DD's class and tried to talk to the teacher, but a woman pulled me aside and wouldn't let me continue. I explained the situation, and she still wouldn't let me continue. She said parents weren't allowed in the classroom. I told her I didn't want to go to the classroom, I just wanted to make sure my DD was safe. Basically she refused to let me hand over the epi-pen (at one point she said there was already an epi-pen in the class, then she said the teacher was a physician, then she said teachers weren't allowed to administer injections. None of this was making me feel safe; it just made me feel like she had no idea what she was talking about and didn't want to listen to me). Finally with the assurance that there would be no food in the class (an assurance I later found out was false), I allowed myself to be led away. Eventually I found someone a little less concerned about her own importance who escorted me down to the classroom and let me hand over the epi-pen. Later when parents were allowed to observe the end of class, my DD's class was doing a project with a "discovery box" of nature items. Included in this were acorns (o.k. for my DD, but obviously not something you'd want a tree nut allergic person around), which just seemed to indicate to me that although they may have noted her allergy, they really weren't paying attention to the details of it--they sought no information from me and took no measures to make sure she was safe or to let me know what they might be doing to make it a safe environment. I still think that maybe they DO have a great system in place but I have no idea what it is because of that horrible woman who wouldn't let me talk to anyone!

I find it incredibly ironic that all this happened at church and on a day when the homily was about compassion!

Grrrr. I've written a letter to the church staff and CC'ed the pastor; next week I'll definitely talk to her teacher in advance or not let her stay.

Sarah

Posted on: Mon, 09/13/2004 - 9:32am
mcmom's picture
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Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

My son started Sunday school today (yes, we have it on Monday [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ). I was more stressed out about this than I was about his regular school! He too has his class in a kindergarten classroom, so I worry about what the kids ate there that day - plus before the class begins, the kids all sit together in the cafeteria and eat a snack (the world would surely end if kids didn't eat a snack at every opportunity!) and then go directly to the class. The instructor is kind of an older lady, who I was *not* comfortable leaving the Epi with (I am barely comfortable leaving it with my husband, lol!) so I had arranged in advance that I would lurk around the hallways while his class was meeting.
In the end, everything worked out fairly well. Most of the kids in his class didn't even have a snack; and then as soon as they got in class, the teacher took them all to the bathroom, so everyone wound up washing their hands, anyway, lol. And my son really liked the class, which made me feel like the aggravation was worth it [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Of course, my husband thinks there is no need for me to stay with his Epi because "they're not eating in the class". When will he get it??
Sarah, there was complete confusion at our first day, too. I'm hoping the next session will be a lot more orderly! I had called and gotten the teacher's phone number last week and called her a few days ago, and luckily she had already been informed about ds. And even so, at one point I was ready to say the heck with it and leave today! Hope it works out better for you next week [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 09/13/2004 - 9:41am
darthcleo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

oh my... DS starts next Sunday... It's my only school issue since we homeschool, but I "delegate" Sunday School...
Now I'm starting to be scared!

Posted on: Mon, 09/13/2004 - 9:48am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Sarahfran:
[b]
As it turns out, talking to the teacher in advance was impossible. They called all the classes up to the front of the church and led them off. I followed my DD's class and tried to talk to the teacher, but a woman pulled me aside and wouldn't let me continue. I explained the situation, and she still wouldn't let me continue. She said parents weren't allowed in the classroom. I told her I didn't want to go to the classroom, I just wanted to make sure my DD was safe. Basically she refused to let me hand over the epi-pen (at one point she said there was already an epi-pen in the class, then she said the teacher was a physician, then she said teachers weren't allowed to administer injections. None of this was making me feel safe; it just made me feel like she had no idea what she was talking about and didn't want to listen to me). [/b]
[b]HOLY.......[/b]

Posted on: Mon, 09/13/2004 - 11:22am
e-mom's picture
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Joined: 04/23/2000 - 09:00

Sorry to hear you are having difficulties with your Sunday school.
Our Sunday School is actually peanut and nut free. They are incredibly educated about pa and we are quite lucky.
They have VERY specific signs up all over.

Posted on: Mon, 09/13/2004 - 2:38pm
nancy023's picture
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Joined: 12/12/2002 - 09:00

I volunteer in a CCD class. The Church is being much stricter about who is allowed access to the children because of all the abuse issues, but they were not using common sense in your case. Our teachers are also forbidden to administer medication, so the epi-pen would be a no-no technically, but there is one additional teacher who has children with nut allergies, so in reality the issue would be covered.
They apparently don't get it in your daughter's class at this point. I would not be comfortable leaving her there.

Posted on: Mon, 09/13/2004 - 9:10pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Yes, the church is getting much stricter requiring background checks on EVERYONE. However, I would have your allergist write a letter stating that you are to be his "personal" aide in the classroom for medication administration.
I was an assistant teacher for three years. Last year I bowed out to be Ryan's personal aide. Unfortunately our CCD is on Sunday morning with a Dunkin Donuts right across the street. Munchkins and donuts are commonplace as well as big party days with tons of candy and baked goods on holidays. Let's not forget birthdays. I have told the director he must leave when most food is served. This is not open to negotiation for me. Further complicating matters (in my mind) is that CCD is held in the daycare center. There is absolutely the possibility that most surfaces are contaminated with peanuts. Therefore I bring a sheet of newspaper and set it down at his spot on the table. He knows the maneuver the chair with his feet, not hands.
If someone were to tell me he I couldn't be in the classroom with him, I would say, "Mark him down as present because I brought him. Give me the materials he needs to do his work and we will do it out in the hall." If they tell me that can't be done, I would tell them it can and it will. (Nicely, of course). If I got any flak stating that I couldn't be there and he has to have me there according to his doctor, well then I guess I'd be writing an editorial for the local newspaper to print.
Let no bad deed go unpublished! I have very strong feelings on this issue and no one is going to back me into a corner.
Hmmm...I definitely got "attitude" this morning.

Posted on: Tue, 09/14/2004 - 5:11am
crazydaisy's picture
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Joined: 11/14/2003 - 09:00

I am with you on that one ryan's mom!
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Posted on: Fri, 09/17/2004 - 10:30am
travelplus's picture
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Joined: 04/18/2004 - 09:00

If it's such an issue why do you go to school? IBy law churches/synagogues should follow the 504.

Posted on: Mon, 09/20/2004 - 6:13am
Stacy's picture
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Joined: 10/11/2000 - 09:00

I had an interesting Sunday also. They made those pinecones covered in pb and rolled in bird seed. I had no idea they would do this since I was told that all of the teachers got together and discussed my daughters allergy. By the time she got home her eyes were almost swollen shut and her face was swelling. We spent three hours in the er. The teachers thought that if she would wear plastic gloves to do the project she would be fine.
I am going to post something explaining her allergy on the wall stating that she is not to be in the room if anything nut related is there. We practiced saying no and telling the teacher to read the sign stressing the importance so that this can not happen again. We also called her teacher and will talk to the Sunday School again.

Posted on: Mon, 09/20/2004 - 6:26am
turlisa's picture
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Joined: 08/29/2004 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Stacy:
[b]I had an interesting Sunday also. They made those pinecones covered in pb and rolled in bird seed. I had no idea they would do this since I was told that all of the teachers got together and discussed my daughters allergy. By the time she got home her eyes were almost swollen shut and her face was swelling. We spent three hours in the er. The teachers thought that if she would wear plastic gloves to do the project she would be fine.
I am going to post something explaining her allergy on the wall stating that she is not to be in the room if anything nut related is there. We practiced saying no and telling the teacher to read the sign stressing the importance so that this can not happen again. We also called her teacher and will talk to the Sunday School again.[/b]
[i]The teacher thought.[/i] Evidently she didnt. As I read some of these posts now I am so glad my children dont have life-threatening allergies. I really dont know how I could contain myself with so much ignorance around.
Yes, I changed, but reading what all of you go thru on a daily basis, I dont even know how you put up with me in the beginning.
I read this last post and all I wanted to do was go b*tch slap this so called [i]thinking[/i] teacher.
How is your daughter doing Stacy?
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[b]Allergy Patrol[/b]
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Lisa, Mom of:
Samantha 6 yrs NFA
Robby & Becky 3yrs NFA

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