We are under attack - any suggestions on how to handle?

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 2:31am
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Due to leaks of some of the details of our son's 504, and some missteps on the part of our district, there is now a firestorm of controversy brewing re:my son's attendence at school.

This is not how one envisions making front page news. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]

Below are two articles from local papers, the first one is generally well balanced, the 2nd was written by an uneducated sportswriter who used inaccurate facts.

Contra Costa Times - [url="http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/6727529.htm"]http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/6727529.htm[/url]

SF Chronicle - [url="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/09/09/MN79933.DTL"]http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/09/09/MN79933.D...

Needless to say, it's a pretty difficult day...

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 3:01am
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Update - I've been contacted by school and I will have to pick up my child early. The media will be camping out at the school later today, and they recommend that pulling him a little early will spare him from having to deal with the crush of cameras.
I reluctantly agreed.

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 3:07am
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I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. I am very upset for you. I am glad that you will pick up your child early, as the media being there would be a pretty scary event for a five year old. I don't have a lot of time right now to write, but I just wanted to send some support. You will be in our thoughts today.
Maggie

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 3:17am
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I am so sorry to see this is you. I live in Mill Valley and am fuming from the front page article this morning. Alice radio was making fun of the child with peanut allergy and I came home this morning crying because I was so frustrated by the ignorance from which the article and the radio station was talking. There was nothing in the article to explain how serious a PA is or back you up. My dh wrote already sent an email to CW Nevius that I hope raises his consciousness at least to write a more educated follow up.
This article fuels the hysteria and ignorance of those who don't understand this isn't just "an allergy" and comes from the perspecitve that searching food for nuts is stomping on our rights. It was the perfect opportunity to present the seriousness of PA and Nevius chose instead to write a one-sided report fueling the fire.
I hope my dh's letter is published tomorrow and ideally that a followup article is written.
And again, I'm so sorry you are going through this.

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 3:24am
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I just finished reading these articles and I cant imagine how you are feeling right now. It saddens me to read about parents being so insensitive about something that is a life or death situation for a small child. If that isnt parenting at its best!
Last I checked a 504 plan doesnt need to be approved by every parent in the school district.
How are the principal and superintendant handling this? Will they back you up 100%? Hopefully they will not cave to the pressure.
Im so sorry you are going through this, it must break your heart. My ds just started school too and whenever I say hes the one with the peanut allergy I get "OHHHH, hes the one!". So I know that many of them were saying the same thing about homeschooling.
Hang in there and stick to your guns. These people are disgusting. Keep us posted.

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 3:59am
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Be strong
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 4:46am
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What bugs me most about these articles is the quote from the allergy-specialist-physician who says that there have been a "couple" of cases written up about airborne and contact reactions. Why do medical professionals refuse to acknowledge what every person here knows to be true? And I'm not speaking as a parent of a child who is airborne or contact sensitive, because as far as we can tell, she is not. But there are far too many stories on this site about those kinds of reactions existing and being very serious. This makes me crazy! And it encourages laypeople in their belief that we are all just hysterical and overreacting. Good luck to you, and stay strong. Hopefully this will blow over soon.

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 5:17am
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Wow! I am so sorry that you are going through this! Know that you have tons of support here! {{{{{hugs}}}}}
Keep your hopes up - maybe this will turn into something very good. You will be in my thoughts and prayers!

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 5:55am
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Count me in as one of your many supporters. Can you think of anything we could do to help??? Do you want us to write letters to the editor? Send your principal a letter of support? Have you contacted FAAN?
Please don't hesitate to offer your ideas on what we might be able to do that would be helpful. I'm sure you'll just want to cuddle your little one a little extra today...
{{{{{{Big Hugs!}}}}}}}}

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 6:04am
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I'm furious! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] I can't understand the other parents' reaction. They seem so inconsiderate and selfish. What makes the life of one of their children better than yours? Obviously, those parents have never experienced their young child near death in a hospital emergency room.
I can't believe that comment to "home school" the child! Why isolate our kids so much, when we are trying to make them as normal as possible. I suppose they want you to "lock him in his room", too! I had someone say that to me once! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]
People now have to be more careful "where" they eat PB/nuts. In their own home is the best place! THat's what I tell the parents at my dd's school. I'm not asking you to give up PB, just eat it at home, away from my child! There are many other things to eat and stay healthy! Just ask a person with PA!
We're here for you! I hope things work out.
[This message has been edited by Linda-Jo (edited September 09, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 6:27am
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Wow! I'm so sorry to hear how difficult the parents are being. Hang in there.
Did you know this story is now on the AP? Every now and then I do a search at [url="http://news.google.com/"]http://news.google.com/[/url] for peanut allergies or food allergies ("sort by date" for the latest) and this came up around the US - your name is even mentioned as far away as Florida.
Again, I repeat - hang in there and know you have our full support in your efforts to keep your little guy safe.

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 6:48am
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If you want to send letters to the editor, by all means feel free to do so. We are going to lay low for the moment and see how things develop today. I'm concerned that an emotional response may hurt us, and I want to see how the school/district will react.
It sounds like about an hr. ago, the Superintendent of Schools issued a statement standing by us and the plan. It's been reported so far just on local radio.
[url="http://www.kcbs.com/pages/kcbs/news/news_story.nsp?story_id=41517376&ID=kcbs&scategory=Computers"]http://www.kcbs.com/pages/kcbs/news/news_story.nsp?story_id=41517376&ID=kcbs&s category=Computers[/url]
Your support and good wishes mean a lot during this difficult time...
[This message has been edited by Nutternomore (edited December 26, 2005).]

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 7:11am
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I am just speechless.
I'm so sorry to hear what your family is going through. Please know you have lots of good vibes coming from this board. If you want us to hold off on letters to the editor for now that's fine, but if anything changes please let us know what we can do.
Amy

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 7:24am
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By all means, please feel free to send letters.
We now have television crews camped out in front of our house. Our hand may be forced to go outside and at least issue a statement.
In this era of sound bites, we'll need to just calmly make about 3-5 key points. I like the idea re:"where to eat PB" vs. "can't eat it".
Any ideas are welcome, since we're pressed for time (and my wife has to leave for an hr to take my son to an appt)...

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 7:25am
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Gary - I'm sorry, but I read that article and just saw red. I dashed off a response, and heard back from the writer within 30 minutes. I know it's emotional, but I'm a Texan who's prone to going off half-cocked. I don't want to hurt our cause, but I think the PTA/people circulating the petition need a reality check. Will you let me know if my e-mail is published in your paper? My thoughts are with your family, and you can always count on plenty of support from the PA.com community!
From: "cw nevius"
Subject: Re: Peanut allergic children
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2003 13:17:38 -0700
Thanks for the note. Good perspective. I will pass it along to our letters. CWN
----- Original Message -----
From: Mike and Tracey Jackson
To: [email]cwnevius@sfchronicle.com[/email]
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 1:18 PM
Subject: Peanut allergic children
I am writing in response to your article about the peanut-allergic child. Peanut allergy can cause death. Hello??!! Dead, like the kids at Columbine who were shot to death? Hey, parents, could you please not pack peanuts for 5 of your child's 21 weekly meals? It could kill my child just as surely as a weapon.
If your kid "won't eat anything else,"' then you'll have to excuse me for not breaking down in tears on your behalf. I will, however, cry over your insensitivity toward this already-suffering family.
Tracey Jackson
Austin, TX

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 7:37am
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Tracy,
Love the letter. Remember, the writer normally covers the sports beat, so this is foreign ground to him.
Also, it might be helpful if you could convey that this is nothing new; that your school or district has had (or has) these types of accommodations in place and it's working...once parents realize that childrens' lives are at stake...

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 8:27am
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I am in shock........I just wrote a response to the sports writer in support of the PA childs parents. I mentioned that it's a deadly allergy and that I am so grateful that our schools here in Newfoundland , Canada are peanut free. I also mentioned that I am appalled at the other parents insensitivity.
I hope everything works out for you guys....dont give up or give in.

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 8:31am
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I am totally distressed by this situation. I am disgusted by this pack of parents who compare peanut allergies to dust mite allergies and who feel that your little boy should be home schooled. It's hard to imagine that they have chosen to spend their energy on petitions and the planning of a school boycott.
I was heartened to read the quote from your superintendent, however, about the worth of a five year old child. He comes across as a humane individual, thank goodness.
I am waiting to see the "fall out" in our neck of the woods: 60 miles (or so) east of Walnut Creek. I am prepared to bite the head off of anyone who dares to criticize the steps your school is taking for your son's safety.
I was disgusted by the tale end of a local radio program I tuned into this morning (Ronn Owens on KGO 810, a.m.) Somehow they found a lot of people who called in claiming to be the parents of pa kids who did not approve of Valle Verde's "peanut reduction" policies.
I am truly sickened to see that all the hard work, time and energy that you and your wife have put in has come down to this.
Please know that your family has my support. I will be staying tuned.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] Miriam

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 8:32am
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I wanted to share the letter my dh wrote in response to the article, and the reponse he received from CW...
To:
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 11:37 AM
Subject: Peanut Ban Article: Everything a Pulitzer doesn't stand for.

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 9:08am
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Sending strength vibes...

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 9:10am
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Since the camera crews refused to leave our neighborhood, we decided to have my wife make a prepared statement so we could have some peace.
NBC and ABC had camera crews on-site...
The statement was very close to what follows.
-----
Like all parents, we shared the excitement with our child as he started elementary school last week. He

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 9:14am
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The Superintendent's statements this afternoon were wonderful... exactly what I would have hoped he'd say. I think that is very, [i]very[/i] encouraging.
You have a wonderful opportunity to make some positive statements and educate a viewing audience. I'm sure that's stressful, and you are wise to pull back and think on it...
Maybe you could consider saying something to the media about "compassion".... and express your [b]sadness[/b] about the response from some of the parents. Could you respond specifically to the dust mite comment by saying that if a child had a [b]life-threatening[/b] allergy to dust mites that you'd support the school making whatever changes were necessary to save her child's life. That's part of teaching our children about compassion and living in a world where not everyone is the same.
It truly is sad to hear the ugly and uncompassionate statements made by parents in the article. I hope you will tell them how hurtful it is for you, and how difficult it will be to become a part of the school community now. I hope that you can try to express the hurt and sadness without the intense anger that you must understandably feel.
Show them your heart and that you are an intelligent and reasonable person. You will win them over by sharing [i][b]your compassion [/i][/b] toward these uneducated parents who have made such ignorant and hurtful statements.
Hang in there,
Gail

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 9:17am
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We posted at the same time.
Bravo!!! Your statement was fantastic! Thank you for so eloquently speaking about the needs of our children!
You have my gratitude.
Gail

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 9:29am
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Leslief - please thank your husband for an awesome letter.
Gail W. - glad that you found our statement to resonate; let's hope it does so with others. Only had about 30 minutes to write it [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]
I thank all of you for your support, even if I neglected to mention you. Things are CRAZY here right now, but slowly calming down. For those in the Bay Area, stories will be on KGO (ABC) during 5PM news, and NBC11 at 6PM.

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 9:47am
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Tracy,
Love the letter. Remember, the writer normally covers the sports beat, so this is foreign ground to him.
Also, it might be helpful if you could convey that this is nothing new; that your school or district has had (or has) these types of accommodations in place and it's working...once parents realize that childrens' lives are at stake...

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 9:47am
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Strength to you and your family. I can't believe how selfish some parents are. Hopefully, when all is said and done those people who don't understand PA will at least change the way they view this silent disablity and be more compassionate and tolerant.
Dust mites.
------------------
Mom to:
Nina 1*31*98 - allergy and asthma queen
Jude 10*01*01 - asthma boy, but no allergies!
Baby W 2*07*04 - healthy baby...or else [img]/peanut/boards/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 10:04am
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perfect statement. i am sorry your family was forced into becoming the PA activists. Seems from the article that the school could have handled the stuation better but I am so glad that they've been completely supportive. I hope you have some support within the school as well.
How are your children handling all the hullabaloo?

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 10:19am
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Gary,
I am so sorry to hear what is happening! I know from speaking to you and Leore how strong and committed you are to keeping your son safe. The both of you strike me as the type to not be struck down by others ignorance and insecurities. You know what you are doing is the right thing. We spoke about you having to be crusaders and I guess we didn't realize to what extent. Please call if you need someone to listen.
Linda

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 10:34am
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A couple of quick thoughts:
Money is a false argument. School districts routinely spend money to accommodate special needs that vary from accomoding a child in a wheelchair, to providing paraprofessionals for children with a variety of conditions such as autism, ADD, epilepsy, etc., and to meeting the educational needs of many children with multiple physical and mental impairments. Why are some of the parents in this article choosing to single out a child with peanut allergy as undeserving of these funds? As someone already kind of pointed out, would these people question the need to provide ramps for wheelchairs or dare suggest that a child in a wheelchair be home-schooled? Our public schools are based (or should be based) on the philosophy that the needs of all children will be met. I do not believe that a public school can turn away a child based on how much it will cost to accomodate his or her special needs. I think if you look at any school you will find that, yes, there are children who do require accomodations that cost more money than it costs to educate a child with no physical challenges, but again, why single out the child with food allergies? In any case, a child's 504 plan isn't something that gets voted on by the public, nor should it be.
I'm struggling to understand this attitude that makes some people feel it is acceptable to mock food allergies. Would these parents or reporters or talk-show hosts think it okay to ridicule someone with diabetes or a congenital heart defect? If some of these protestors in the article faced a situation where their child developed a serious medical condition as a result of illness or accident and required special assistance, would they refuse it on the grounds that it would cost the school too much?
With crises in funding and achievement in education facing our public schools, it is indeed a sad commentary that more parents are motivated to attend a PTO meeting to defend their child's "right" to eat a PBJ than they are to discuss the quality of their child's education.
[This message has been edited by Joanne (edited September 09, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 10:43am
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Your statement was wonderful. You should be proud of how you are handling this situation, considering what you probably wanted to say to these people.
I hope your son is handling this ok. Good luck to you.

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 10:56am
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We were just discussing this.
Excuse me but this bears repeating
it is indeed a sad commentary
that more parents are motivated to attend a PTO meeting to defend their child's "right" to eat a PBJ than they
are to discuss the quality of their child's education.
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 11:30am
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Your statement was amazing. I have no idea how you have managed to remain so clear-headed and articulate. I'm quite sure I'd be frothing at the mouth.
Guess I'd better put on my educator's hat and write a letter...
Amy

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 2:18pm
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Gary - I cannot imagine the day you and your family has experienced. There truly was a reason why your son landed you folks as his parents.
You are going thru one of those character defining moments that life throws at us every once in a lifetime. I'm glad to have you in our company.
As for those parents, (including of all people - the pta safety chair (!) who saw the need to get their 15 minutes of fame by seeing their names in the paper,) their character also shone thru clearly in their comments to the press. They most certainly expressed their [b]Ignorance, Incompetence or Indifference [/b] with respect to safeguarding the life of a child. I honestly believe they will reap their deserved rewards for their efforts today - I do not envy their arrival when God at the pearly gates remembers "their efforts" in trying to petition others to stop the protection of a child life today.
Is there any way you could post the mailing address of the Mount Diablo Unified School District, and that of Valle Verde Elementary school? I want to send off a letter of thanks in the mail to the superintendent (Mr. McHenry) and the school principal (Mrs. Kreuscher) as from what I read, they have been nothing but supportive to you.
{{{hugs & prayers to your entire family}}}

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 2:26pm
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Quote:Originally posted by Syd's Mom:
[b] I honestly believe they will reap their deserved rewards for their efforts today - I do not envy their arrival when God at the pearly gates remembers "their efforts" in trying to petition others to stop the protection of a child life today.
[/b]
[i]arrival??[/i] In this case, I am not a proponent of [i]optimism[/i]. [b]LOL.[/b]

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 2:29pm
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Gary, I'm really impressed by the statement you and Leora came up with. Great job!!! I missed the News this afternoon but will try to watch it tonight.
I hope you guys manage to get some sleep tonight. I hope tomorrow will be a good day for your little guy.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 2:47pm
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What an ordeal! Hope things work out for you.
We went to our Meet the Teachers Night tonight - and found new signs on doors - ie;
in Ds's room "allergies to peanuts and nuts" DD's room "allergies to fish/seafood"- not sure where we are going next as the teachers didn't answer the allergy questions very well..
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 3:35pm
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I expected this. Jason (peanut allergic and at a different school, different district in WC) went to preschool with kids who ended up at Valley Verde, and I'm frankly not surprised at the attitude.
I'm glad the school district is standing behind you on this one.
Jason is not quite as sensitive as your son, but he is still contact allergic. Every time the phone rings during school hours I get a little scared, thinking that it may be the call telling me that he has had a reaction. I haven't pushed for a peanut free zone for him, although his first grade teacher has voluntarily created a food free classroom (for Jason, herself and other students with food allergies) because I'm afraid of being the center of a tempest like this.
Gary and Leora, please let me know if there is anything I can help you with. As soon as I finish this post, I'll fire off letters to the CC Times, the Chronicle, and whatever news station that DH is watching that is about to cover your story.
------------------
Cheryl, mom to Jason (6 PA/TA/other FAs and EAs),Joey (4 NKA) and Allison (11/02 dairy sensitive)

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 4:06pm
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Here's the letter I fired off to the Contra Costa Times.
--------------
I'm writing this letter in response to the article in today's Times, "School accommodates student's allergy with ban."
by Jackie Burrell
Under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, schools recieving Federal funding must make reasonable accomodations for students with disabilities. Life-threatening food allergies are covered under this law, as anaphylactic reactions affect more than one life system.
Asking parents to not send peanut and tree nut products in snacks, school lunches and birthday treats is NOT unreasonable. No one is asking these families to never feed their children peanut butter and jelly sandwiches ever again. They are simply asking them to keep them at home.
My son has several life-threatening allergies, including peanuts and tree nuts. In the past, he has had serious reactions merely from contact with very small amounts of peanut and tree nut oils, in one instance from playing on playground equipment that kids who had eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and did not wash their hands afterwards had played on.
We also live in Walnut Creek, although my son attends school in a different school district. Most of the parents and students at the schools we have dealt with have been very understanding and compassionate in regards to my son's allergies, unlike the protestors at Valley Verde.
Whatever happened to being compassionate? Whatever happened to teaching our children to be good neighbors and to be compassionate? Shame on these parents! It's just peanut butter, and there are many substitutes for peanut butter that they could send in their childrens lunches and snacks that they could use, and their children would probably not notice the difference.
Cheryl
------------------
Cheryl, mom to Jason (6 PA/TA/other FAs and EAs),Joey (4 NKA) and Allison (11/02 dairy sensitive)

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 4:23pm
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Cheryl,
Thanks for your letter to the editor and offer for help. Watched all the news reports tonight (all 5 major TV stations in the Bay Area had one). It will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]
Good night all, and thanks again.
Gary

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 10:09pm
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Quote:Originally posted by Syd's Mom:
[b]Is there any way you could post the mailing address of the Mount Diablo Unified School District, and that of Valle Verde Elementary school? I want to send off a letter of thanks in the mail to the superintendent (Mr. McHenry) and the school principal (Mrs. Kreuscher) as from what I read, they have been nothing but supportive to you. [/b]
Good idea. I am willing to do this too.
Link to their website with US mailing and e-mail info:
[url="http://www.mdusd.k12.ca.us/"]http://www.mdusd.k12.ca.us/[/url]
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited September 10, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 10:20pm
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I am so sorry that you are going thru this, it enrages me. My child is not school aged yet but that stage in his life is what terrifies me the most. I am praying for you and your family and hope you are getting the support you need.

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 10:23pm
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Words nearly fail me. You are holding up amazingly well under this pressure. This really illustrates our culture's love affair with peanuts. I will never, EVER understand. Never. Good job with your wonderful statement and grace under fire. Just remember, these other parents look like extreme fools and selfish twits. I hope they are very proud of themselves, especially the ones quoted in the paper. The whole nation can now see how their need for the convenience of PB&J is more important to them than a little child's life. I am amazed by the homeschool comments too. What's next? I am so disgusted.

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 10:25pm
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I'm sure Gary will have his hands full again today... would someone (rilira, perhaps?) be willing to post any links to what is happening in the media today?
Thanks,
Gail

Posted on: Tue, 09/09/2003 - 11:00pm
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

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Found this letter to the editor on SFGate.com
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ALLERGY DANGERS
Editor -- Thank you for this informative article on the peanut allergic student ("One 5-year-old's allergy leads to class peanut ban," Sept. 9). It sounds a tad dramatic, but just ask one parent who has a child with peanut allergy what it is like once an innocent exposure occurs. It can easily become a severe life-threatening problem.
How do I know this? I am a former R.N. now living with a life-threatening allergy to natural rubber latex and the scenario is the same. Unless I am in a latex-safe area, I can risk anaphylaxis if an innocent balloon pops next to me.

Posted on: Wed, 09/10/2003 - 12:01am
e-mom's picture
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Joined: 04/23/2000 - 09:00

I cannot believe that it had to come to this. Right now I'm pretty speechless.
I hope everything works out. Please keep us informed.
Sending you many hugs and I will be thinking of you and your family.

Posted on: Wed, 09/10/2003 - 12:41am
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Quote:Originally posted by StaceyK:
[b]Words nearly fail me. You are holding up amazingly well under this pressure. This really illustrates our culture's love affair with peanuts. I will never, EVER understand. Never. Good job with your wonderful statement and grace under fire. Just remember, these other parents look like extreme fools and selfish twits. [/b]
I posted in another thread:
""The following is ONLY MY OPINION, AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS NECESSARILY FACT.
The U.S. has a love affair with not peanuts, but liberty, individual freedom, and personal expression-------and THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. It is, to a great extent, what this country was founded on, and I *personally* would not have had it any other way. The irony is that while espousing these traits, and understanding the acceptance and tolerance that practicing them should give us for each other, is that it creates a lot of conflict, defensiveness, and division. Despite the recent infringements on many key liberties (that is all I will say) our country was founded on, we are still pretty much a "Me" oriented society. We should "Just Do It", and "Have it Our Way". As well as "Customize" just about anything and everthing. If something doesn't have an option within an option, it musn't be good enough. Just about every place I enter these days has a "Mission Statement", "List of (you fill in the blank)__________ Rights", and general air indicative of each of us being the absolute center of the universe. Mind sets that allow us to get in touch with our "Center" (ewe, yuck!) and fullfill our "Inner Child" (and I cannot say much about childlike behavior) have taken the place of "The Golden Rule". Maybe that is where the original focus got derailed. Liberty, individual freedom, and personal expression are no longer qualified under the "Golden Rule" as much, if at all, as they are under "How Does This Benefit Me?". As a country, I *personally* believe there is little indication that we truly understand that much of what we have and the standard of living we enjoy is dependent on a world of misery we have little, if any interest in, besides what benefit it is to us. However, I do hold hope that it is never too late for us to realize that what goes around eventually comes around, or at least gets stepped in. Again, just my *personal* opinion and nothing more.
MommaBear"
Is there a way to espouse [i]and[/i] respect the concept of individual freedom while standing in humble awe of what [i]it really means[/i]?
To me, it's one of those fragile things that suffers when hugged to tight.
Nutternomore, you and your family are in my thoughts today.

Posted on: Wed, 09/10/2003 - 1:27am
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Yes, we have a love affair with liberty, but I doubt they would be up in arms over their loss of liberty if they were told not to bring sauerkraut, instead of peanuts. Peanuts have SOMETHING to do with it.

Posted on: Wed, 09/10/2003 - 1:34am
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Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

I'm back. So far, today is a much better day. No incidents at school drop off - my wife indicates that the parent who started the petition high-tailed it out of there as soon as she saw my wife and son walking towards the school.
Two very good follow-up articles in the press today:
SF Chronicle (page A-15) [url="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/09/10/BA171952.DTL"]http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/09/10/BA171952.DTL[/url]
Contra Costa Times (front page) [url="http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/news/local/states/california/counties/contra_costa_county/6735468.htm"]http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/news/...nty/6735468.htm[/url]
I will pull direct contact information for the school district personnel and post it here sometime in the next few hours.
I think it would be a wonderful show of support and validation to give some positive feedback to the school and the district for doing the right thing. They would probably be heartened to hear from people all over the country.
As Synthia would say, "Love this site!"
Gary

Posted on: Wed, 09/10/2003 - 1:38am
rilira's picture
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Joined: 11/11/1999 - 09:00

I did a google news search and nothing new came up today. It was on the news stations here last night (San Diego).
It was the topic of conversation at my Bunko group last night. All the people there sent their good wishes and blessings to Gary and his family. All of the people have lived through five years of school with my daughter and feel their children are the better for it. They feel it has taught them to be compassionate and understanding of differences. It has taught them to realize people who are "different" are not less than they are. The bottom line everyone agreed on this is a five year old child's life we are talking about. It makes me grateful to know what wonderful friends I have and hoping that Gary and family will also make some wonderful friends from this ordeal.
I have always said that my daughter's nut allergy seems to bring out either extreme kindness in people or extreme cruelty- not much in between.
Linda

Posted on: Wed, 09/10/2003 - 1:46am
Nutternomore's picture
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Anyone who would like to provide a note of support to the district for standing up for my child's rights could address an e-mail to Mr. McHenry and cc: Dr. Browne, Mr. Bylund, and Ms. Kreuscher:
- Gary McHenry, Superintendent of Schools - [email]mchenryg@mdusd.k12.ca.us[/email]
- Mildred Browne, Asst. Superintendent, Special Ed/Student Services - [email]brownem@mdusd.k12.ca.us[/email]
- Roger Bylund, Asst. Superintedent, Elementary Education (K-5) - [email]bylundr@mdusd.k12.ca.us[/email]
- Carolyn Kreuscher, Principal, Valle Verde Elementary School - [email]kreuscherc@mdusd.k12.ca.us[/email]
If you wouldn't mind a bcc: to us (my e-mail is in my profile), that would be great!
[This message has been edited by Nutternomore (edited September 10, 2003).]

Posted on: Wed, 09/10/2003 - 2:22am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by StaceyK:
[b]Yes, we have a love affair with liberty, but I doubt they would be up in arms over their loss of liberty if they were told not to bring sauerkraut, instead of peanuts. Peanuts have SOMETHING to do with it.[/b]
no doubt, I'm just looking at [i]motivation[/i]. and the fact that liberty and personal preference might be highly connected. (Although I do love kraut---seedless) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
How to motivate someone to give up personal preference in order to afford someone else [i]liberty[/i]?
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

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