We need school laws!!!

Posted on: Thu, 01/13/2000 - 2:07pm
Chris PeanutAllergy Com's picture
Joined: 04/25/2001 - 09:00

This post came about from a reply I was writing on a thread on the Main Discussion Board. I thought it should be on the School Discussion Board under it's own thread so it would do more. Let me know your thoughts on this issue, it starts out with me suggesting that you get as much education about this allergy as you can, then goes into me mentioning that we need school laws.
This would help us when we wanted to move (or had to move for work or personal reasons etc.), which of course is now a problem because we need to find a school that will deal with the allergy before we can buy a home or even think about finding (or taking) a job. This can be very difficult as it often takes a lot of time to prepare a school >>>

If you have the resources (money to attend) go to everything you can and learn all you can. Education helps you to stay safe!
You may learn something which helps you now and in the future!

The school issue is very important, and may seem far off, but it is not to early to start preparing yourself. You need to have the
knowledge to work with the school when the time comes and to be sure the school handles it well, and if the school does not
then you will need the education to show them why they must make the changes you request. Remember that becoming
educated and experienced with this allergy does not happen overnight! It is a learning process. I would not put off an
educational opportunity such as this if you are able to attend, especially if you have not attended any of this type before. Many
people who are on this site have attended many of the FAN conferences and many other educational meetings put on by other
organizations and groups etc.. Some go every year (or try to) and others go once in a while to certain ones.

Our school, which Erica now attends, took about two years of work. It took constant insistence by us. We knew from others
experiences that it could take this long to prepare a school (and sadly many people failed to get their schools to cooperate), so
we started about two years before she was to start kindergarten to prepare the school. Can you believe even with this much
preparation time we still didn't even know for sure, even a few days before, if she was going to be able to attend? We were
contacted by the Superintendent of Schools (for our city) who wanted to have a meeting only days before Erica's first day
because he wanted to be clear on what was going to be done, this was after we thought everything was all set and had worked
with the principal of the school, the head nurse of the school system , the school nurse (part time), teachers etc.! This is very
stressful, we wanted Erica to be there on the first day of school with her classmates (and had worked hard for this to be able to
happen), and even a few days before we were not sure if she would be able to attend (or if we would have to fight or go
through it all over again preparing another school). This should not be something that all of us should have to deal with, schools
should have plans in place and be educated to deal with this allergy. We (as parents) should not have to fight with a school to
do what is needed when it comes to keeping a child safe. I understand that it is best if parents can work with their school to
obtain the best environment for the child, but sadly many of us end up having to fight with our schools because the school will
not do what is necessary. It is a very emotional, stressful situation when a school is resistant to do what is needed. I am glad
we learned what we did (became educated about the allergy) before we had to work on preparing her school, we had some
bumps in the road with some of the school system's staff etc. and our education about the allergy helped us to educate them,
win them over, and put in place what otherwise would not have been done.

Stay Safe,


Posted on: Sat, 01/15/2000 - 9:55am
cautious mom's picture
Joined: 03/07/1999 - 09:00

We are in Maine and have talked to many schools to see where we would feel safe for our son to go to school. We also started last sept, Jeffery will not start school until sept 2001 but we also felt that we needed to find out what we would be facing when the time came.
We have a wonderful allergist and he will go to any school to train and educate the staff about food allergy (at no cost to the school or to us) and has told us that he has called and offered at all the area schools but none have taken him up on his offer :-(. He did train the staff at Jeffery's nursery school but they were willing to learn.
When speaking with the nurse at a local school we said that we did not feel that what she proposed for a plan was not very safe as it focused on the fact that she will never be out of her office, this is just not realistic. The nurse told us that it was to bad that we felt that way but she was required to have a plan, and she was confident with it and what we thought really didn't matter.
When we asked her what would happen if she were out sick for a day and our son had a reaction her response was, "How likely do you think that is that he would have a reaction on 1 of only a few days that I am not here?" We said the risk may be low but the result could be death and we are not willing to take any chance, no matter how slim that chance is.
It is pretty much the same ot all the schools we have contacted. There are only so many schools that are in the area that we could move to without Dad leaving his job. This is really not an option either.
Needless to say we are still looking for a safe environment. Our non PA daughter goes to a small parochial school and they have PA children that attend, but even they said that Jeffery must prove that he can give himself the epi alone as they have no nurse (by the way this school is directly across the street from the hospital, peditrician, and allergist's office as the doctor's offices are attached to the hospital).
I understand the risk of liability and the CYA rule that lawyers advise schools to take but if children with numerous other heath issues can be accomidated in a safe environment why is this so hard to get them to deal with?
We are at the point of concidering homeschooling for our son. We have a great number of home schoolers here in our area and there are the resources but this also disqualifies these children from participating in school sports ect.
Our great concern with home schooling is that our son already feels "different" and we are worried that this will add to that. Why should we feel that our children should stay home to be safe?
Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated :-)
Stay Safe Jackie

Posted on: Sun, 01/16/2000 - 10:13pm
Dana's picture
Joined: 12/26/1999 - 09:00

Could you give more information on what the CYA law is?

Posted on: Mon, 01/17/2000 - 12:35am
kristene's picture
Joined: 09/27/1999 - 09:00

I *think* she is referring to Cover Your Ass.

Posted on: Mon, 01/17/2000 - 1:53pm
Momma Kitty's picture
Joined: 04/04/1999 - 09:00

This is a very HOT topic for me right now... We just moved to Slidell, Louisiana from Southern California. A big change to begin with. My daughter will be 5 in March and is very ready to be back in a preK program. The schools here are not what I'm used to and have been searching for one that met my standards in term of academics,cleanliness, etc. Additionally, it's a small town and not much to choose from. The preschools are either missions of the various churches (private organizations) or daycares. I finally found one that met my expectations but initally they were very concerned about having our daughter. After about an hour of discussion they have agreed to meet with me further to see if they could accomodate.
And this is just for a preK for this spring not to mention me starting all over for Kindegarten next fall! There is concern over the quality of the public school and the parocial school may not have to cooperate and also seem very luke warm about having my daughter.
I considered home schooling also but for many reasons don't think it the best option for our family.
I agree whole-heartedly with you Chris... we NEED and deserve a national set of "school laws" regarding our pa children. Parents, Mothers, like myself should NOT have to go through what we do just to afford our children the opportunity to go to school! They deserve a safe environment to grow and learn like a normal child. We MUST band together to make a change on a national and state level. I feel so strongly about this.
A basic and standard protocol for every school in this country (other counties) to follow backed up by medical and legal experts must be created and put into action.
Chris, please feel free to email me regarding this issue and we can set up a meeting via phone to figure out a plan to bring this to light. I am so ready to make a change! One has got to be made.
If our situation was as simple "just don't eat it" we wouldn't have a problem but because of touch, smell, cross-contamination, poor labeling, etc. we have a big problem.
[This message has been edited by Momma Kitty (edited January 18, 2000).]

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