what would you say

Posted on: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 11:21pm
mom135's picture
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Joined: 08/24/2007 - 09:00

If your school said to you that they cannot "legally" ban peanuts in your child's classroom,

1. what would you say to them and...
2. how would you prove that they can.

Posted on: Fri, 11/02/2007 - 3:58am
Jillch's picture
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Joined: 10/11/2007 - 10:41

Would the school allow a gun or knife in the classroom? Would they allow poison in the classroom? Peanuts are deadly poison, and the SD needs to understand that. Your child's student handbook should have policies on these issues. Is there any legal precedent for equating these things? I would say not. You might also see if they have any policies on food allergies or bee sting allergies (ones that need epi's) in their bylaws. Ours does not have a policy on FA, but does for bee sting allergy b/c of a staff member. If you can't get anywhere with the admin., go to a school board mtg. and bring up the issue. You also might try your state's dept. of education for ideas.
I'm sorry to hear that you are in this position with your child's school. You can bet if a teacher had a PA, there would be no peanuts in the class.
Okay, on to a more positive approach. How does the teacher feel about peanuts in the class? You could take a more direct approach and ask him/her to help you handle things with the class. This is what I have had to do. Also as I've stated in another post, educating your child's classmates about food allergies usually goes over better than trying to talk to adults. The kids in my DS' class are pretty great.

Posted on: Fri, 11/02/2007 - 4:48am
stephklem's picture
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Joined: 02/03/2006 - 09:00

What I have said to parents is that we don't allow peanuts/tree nuts in the room. If the parent chooses to send a snack with a nut product, it is not allowed in, it is sent out with the lunch boxes to have at lunch, and one of the classroom nut free snacks is provided for the student. You can't legally ban them from sending the snack, but as a school rule, they can be kept out of the classroom. Don't let anyone tell you they can't do it, because it is out of sheer laziness. It is not hard to keep a room nut free.

Posted on: Fri, 11/02/2007 - 8:48am
maphiemom's picture
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Joined: 12/01/2005 - 09:00

I do understand your concern,and frustration, but they can not ban peanuts and nuts, they can raise awareness, and tell parents due to the seriousness of these food allergies that they are NOT to send peanut and nut products, and be a nut aware school. No school wants to say they ban a food because they can not control all the families, mistakes happen and since the can't guarantee a school to be allergen free than can only ask. Hopefully they can insist that parents abide by guidelines for the safety of the students with such food allergies.
I find that most people don't understand peanut allergies , most think if you don't eat peanuts that is it, well there is trace, cross contamination that are serious management issued for us, they don't get it , educate the staff on this allergy , don't assume that they know and are being ignorant. I would do your homework, don't threaten or become aggressive they will just shut you down, instead, compile factual information, stories of children and situations where hidden trace amounts have caused deaths , this is what you are working against not only the obvious but hidden dangers.
Due to my concerns of families donating homemade playdough , because of trace amounts of allergen in most homes, my childrens school no longer allows outside playdough unless a home is peanut free, like mine, I have made a lot of playdough, no one thought of it until I brought it up.
Good luck , try to work with them , educate the school there job is to teach your children acedemics , yours as a mom of an allergic child is to educate the school staff on this anaphylaxis.

Posted on: Fri, 11/02/2007 - 12:36pm
wenrace's picture
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Joined: 08/20/2007 - 09:00

In my dd school they have not banned peanuts or any other nut for that matter, and although the classroom has a sign stating p/tn free allergy aware, and even with the nurse writing up a great letter and sending it home with all the kids the other parents are constantly sending in their children with pb snacks and some of the kids according to dd "refuse" to wash their hands... (dd didn't want to tell me this as she didn't want me to be nervous, she's 6!). Luckily some of the kids are very concerned for her and refuse to bring in pb and others don't care... many parents just don't get it, or just don't care and i have gotten, "but he/she won't eat anything else".
the school attempted to request that it be peanut free a few years ago and parents threatned to sue, their rights yada yada. Seems like in NJ one would have to go to the school board basically, unfortunately above the principals heads. Seems like the principals only have so much they can do. I am lucky to have a great principal in dd's school and the superintendent as well, they have checked into and removed soaps with nut oils, same with alerting teachers about wipes and sanitizers, i was also able to get the pb&j removed from the "cold" lunches served in the school. Can't stop parents from sending in pb but at least the school is working well with me in the areas they can. Unfortunately a few in the PTA don't quite get it but the school personnel are trying in the areas they can... i think in NJ there is a line between what the administrators can do and what the school board can do.
if you figure out how they can legally ban peanuts from the classrom please send me a thread.
hope some of this made sense... hectic week.

Posted on: Fri, 11/02/2007 - 12:43pm
gufyduck's picture
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Joined: 10/21/2007 - 22:52

What about introducing the kids and parents to sun butter or soy butter? When teaching my students about my food allergies, many would ask about the "peanut butter" I was eating. My solution was I let them try it. Many honestly preferred it to regular peanut butter.

Posted on: Sat, 11/03/2007 - 3:02pm
qdebbie1's picture
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Joined: 02/10/2005 - 09:00

I agree...educate
My school said the same thing. They told me my son would eat lunch in the principals office and he would sit in the hall for outside food and parties. Oh yes, they did.....
Now, no peanuts products are served by the cafeteria, his room is peanut free including GT and related arts. I have to "clear" any food brought into the classrooms.
The school now views me as an advocate for my child, not a crazy demanding parent. It got ugly at the end,(filed an OCR claim) but that was after months of educating. If a parent of an allergic child does not request a plan,(you know, the parents of allergic children who think its no big deal) they use mine as a generic standard and require it. They like it!
Do your homework, get letters from your allergist, know your rights and present it to them. They might surprise you.

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