We are making 1 of 3 kindergarten classes P/N free..

Posted on: Tue, 01/21/2003 - 2:54am
Ginger's picture
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Joined: 11/17/1999 - 09:00

I had reintroduced ourselves in the
"introduce yourself" forum.

I have a question and thought I would ask you for your opinion.

SITUATION:
My son is entering kindergarten in Sept 2003 and the principal and I have been working together on how to ensure the safety of my son and one other boy entering kindergarten together who both have severe peanut/nut allergy. We are making one of 3 classes peanut/nut fee. I am heavily involved in this school. My DD (allergy free) will be entering the 2nd grade so the school knows me quite well. I run many PTA committees and I am the creator and web master for our school website. All for the purpose of my voice to be heard when my son was to start school here. Now the time has come and they are listening [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
So far I have played my cards right and I want to keep it that way. I have already come across a few ignorant people stating their child will starve to death from them not having a PB&J sandwich if our state (NJ) were to make the schools P/N free. I had one mother ask me (because she knew of my sons allergies) if I had planned to ban peanut butter from our school. Because if I were planning that, she said she would be the first person in line to fight it! She said her son has rights too! This is what we have to look forward too.....

QUESTION:
I am running the PTA committee for kindergarten round up (registering all children entering the new school year). I approached the principal about asking during registration, with a check box at the bottom of the registration form, asking: May we place your child in a P/N free classroom?
He thought that was a fair way to make evryone happy.But now I am not so sure.
Even though we have not yet asked the question, I know of 5 yes responses, (who support me and are my friends) so we only need 13 more to have a P/N free class. Do you think I am asking for trouble with this approach or should we just make a class P/N free without having the parents choose. No matter what, there will be one class that is peanut free stated by our principal. I either show I am making an effort to make everyone safe and happy or just sit back and let the parents who are upset they did not have a choice challenge the school for banning p/n in thier child's classroom? I am either going to be viewed as trying to keep peace with the children that MUST have PB&J and keeping the 2 boys safe from P/N or I will be challenged every step of the way.
Please let me know what you think.....
Ginger

[This message has been edited by Ginger (edited January 21, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 01/21/2003 - 5:07am
river's picture
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

I've always found that's it's a difficult balance depending on the community that you are dealing with. Also because you are in the States, you are working with a different culture than I am accustomed to.
If the intention is to have P/N free class regardless, then the question should not have been posed. Instead, information should have been sent out to all parents of K children.
If there is really going to be no P/N free class than as long as you are prepared to live with it, that's okay. I'm also assuming that your child is the only PA child in the school at this time.
The good news is that at current count you have 1 she'll-burn-in-hell-for-sure bitch and 5 sweetie-pies who care. Here's hoping for another 8 of those sweetie-pie darlings.

Posted on: Tue, 01/21/2003 - 5:22am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Ginger,
My first reaction was, go ahead with the question.
But then I thought - what the school rules say, goes. If the school is 'behind you' then they would have to deal with the arguments, not you. Rules are rules.
I think the latter is the way to go.

Posted on: Tue, 01/21/2003 - 5:30am
Sandra Y's picture
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Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

I think you need to get yourself out of the line of fire. Work with the principal to have some input on what they're going to do to accommodate your child and then step back and let the principal do his job. Other parents should not be coming to you to complain. You should not have to be explaining, arguing, or defending. When someone says something to you, shrug and tell them they need to talk to the principal about it because you're not in charge. You really need to do this for your own peace of mind.

Posted on: Tue, 01/21/2003 - 5:34am
Kay B's picture
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Joined: 12/30/2002 - 09:00

Hi Ginger,
One excellent way a friend's school handles it is to give the parents an opt-out of a p-free class once classes have been assigned -- all the pains in the you know what opt themselves out and you are left with the compassionate, caring kind of parents.
We suggested the same plan to our principal but he wouldn't go for it. Some parents in our daughter's 1st grade class were bitterly resentful of having it p/n free (not including lunches) and created all sorts of misery for us -- and him. The hostility got so great, we dropped out of school. It was a complete fiasco.
I wish you better luck!
Kay

Posted on: Tue, 01/21/2003 - 5:35am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Make the school do it. Our preschool actually decided, after I gave them education and materials. I demanded a peanut free table, cleaning of all 3 year old hands and anything they would have touched with PB, and cleanup of all areas contaminated. The chose peanut free, realizing it is simply easier and safer for them!
I guess the question allows placement of children who do not mind, but I know our placement involves age, gender, mixing it up a bit and even skills needed in some versus others. I think your child should simply be placed in the best suited class, then it is the PN free one, since they are definately doing a PN free class. becca

Posted on: Tue, 01/21/2003 - 7:03am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I strongly agree with both SandraY and Becca. First of all, you should not be seen as being "in the loop" on this one. It's great that you are a known presence on campus, etc., but you shouldn't be taking direct comments from parents about the situation. When my dd was in kindergarten they made all four k classes pn/tn free, because they all shared a play yard. I'm sure this wasn't the most popular decision, but whenever any parent brought it up to me I was able to say "The district nurse insisted upon it. She said this is how they always handle it in the district." If it seems like a parental request it is sure to stir up trouble for you. Also, if the parents are given a choice and say "no", but then their child is put into the class the parents will have something to be upset about. (Their wishes were ignored.) And as Becca said, there are many other factors that should be taken into consideration, by the administration, when deciding upon classroom placement. I think your heart is in the right place but you could wind up getting caught in a big mess. Good luck! Miriam

Posted on: Tue, 01/21/2003 - 8:25am
cynde's picture
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Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

I've got to agree with Becca, Sandra Y and California Mom. If the other "burn in hell bitchy" parents think you are running the show they will be even more pi**ed off. It will give them ammunitition, and you don't want to do that. It is the principals decision, and he/she should be handling it. Our principal says "the buck stops here".
Although I was waiting the ignorant parents to approach me when our school was made PN free, none did. I honestly think they were too scared to, I'm six feet tall and a real mother bear. It was safer for everyone involved for them to complain to the principal.
------------------
Cynde

Posted on: Wed, 01/22/2003 - 2:20am
Ginger's picture
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Joined: 11/17/1999 - 09:00

Thanks for all your advice. I will tell the principal that I do not want to ask the question. I now agree with all of you and see your point. I have to try and stop trying to make everyone happy. I would be putting all the wait on me and I would rather it fall on the school.
I was hired the other day, for the following school year to monitor the lunch room with about 5 other moms.Peace of mind for myself and the school I assume. I am there everyday anyway for PTA nonsense, I might as well get paid! Even though my sons class will be down the hall (kindergarten eats in their own class room), I will be there in a split second if there were a problem....
I found out that in the state of NJ, only a nurse or principal are allowed to administer and epi pen. I told the principal that wasn't acceptable and he agreed. We have 2 schools that are connected and the nurse is in the other building and so is he. I am looking into how a teacher would fall under the "Good Samaritan Law." Anyone know just how that law fits for this type of situation?
With the teacher accepting the student and training of "why" and the "how-to" of the epi pen, she/he should fall under that law. Right??
Take care....
Ginger

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