when to keep a child home

Posted on: Sun, 10/22/2000 - 10:55am
chantelle's picture
Joined: 08/19/2000 - 09:00

we have an agreement with the school that they will wash the tables and hands of the kids in his class after they eat. (He is in a class of 5 with 5 adults) When I went in after 5 weeks they were not doing this (however they said they were but I was there!)

Now they swear they are doing this but Friday he received someone else's lunch and opened a package of peanut butter crackers. they said they caught him before they opened the contents. I do not feel that my son is in a safe environment and don't want to send him back until we can come up with a workable solution (maybe a different classroom?)

What do you guys think?

Posted on: Sun, 10/22/2000 - 2:11pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Chantelle, I checked your profile to see if you were American or Canadian, because, as you know, school policies are different in both countries, but it doesn't mention a location. I would keep your child home until you come up with a workable solution to the very obvious problems the school has with "getting it". Have they been educated enough about your child's PA? Are there any other PA children in the group of 5 children? What type of school is it where there are only 5 children and an adult with each one? Is it possible for you to keep him home but ask the teacher to send his homework home for each day? Last year, when I had my interview with Jesse's teacher for him to enter JK, she basically told me that he would be sitting in the classroom right next to a kid that may be eating a pb sandwich! I nearly flipped. I had thought that when I registered him in April, so six months earlier, and put down that he was PA, someone somewhere along the line would "get it" but it was obviously missed. And, I have learned that the key with schools is provide them with as much education as you feel they need to give your child the education they are legally entitled to. I left the meeting thinking, "Okay, Jesse doesn't have to legally go to school until he's six years old". Fortunately, I had a 20 minute walk home and a stop at the donut shop too in which to think about the situation. I thought, no, this can't be right. There has to be some kind of policy in place re PA. By the time I came home, I called the school board and was given the name of the document to have the school look up and sent a copy of it myself to have a "peanut free" classroom implemented for my son. However, because this required sending notes home to all of the parents of the children in his class and the children in the alternate class, we were asked if Jesse could start one day later than he normally would have. I gladly obliged. This year, I went about things in a totally different way. Instead of focusing on the emergency plan and what to look for in a reaction, I focused on educating the educators re PA and so far, it seems to have worked out fairly well. But last year, I didn't know that I had to do that. Then, late in August, I thought, oh no, don't tell me that means he has to start school late again this year. No, I called the school and the parents were being informed before the school year started that my son's classroom would again be "peanut free". I'm sorry to have gone into such a long rant. However, it does depend on where you are, but from what you posted, the school is not following the agreement that they made with you! I know that Jesse's classroom has to be specially washed with bleach (now, I can't confirm if this is done all the time) and I do know that no peanut products enter that classroom. Should a child bring a peanut product item into class, he is removed from the class (I feel kinda sorry for the kid when it's obvious the parent is at fault) and a letter is sent home clearly stating that this happened and should not happen again. I would keep him home until this is resolved and see if you can get homework for him to do at home. Also, I would find out how PA is covered for where you live - if in America, does it fall under 504 or are you in Canada where it falls under a specific school board policy. I know that if it is in Canada, the school board policy MUST be adhered to and very quickly despite whatever objections anyone may have. Where I live, the school board policy allows for a "peanut free" classroom but it is up to the principal whether the school is "peanut free" or not, so that is something I have to feel comfortable with for now. I know that your son, despite whether he's American or Canadian is legally entitled to his education, but I'm not sure how the American 504 plan works. Please let us know what happens. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 10/22/2000 - 8:21pm
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Chantell, Yes I would find a different class for your child. That is absolutly rediculous. My son has always been in with 24 or so children and never has anything like this happened. They had 1 teacher. How can a child get the wrong lunch. This is so crazy! Also maybe you could get your child a lunch box that no one else has and put a sticker on it so that at least your child can get the right one if the teachers can't remember. My son always got a lunch box after we found out that no one else was carrying the same one to school. I would put a sticker on it just because kids can always pick out something that has special markings. This makes me so angry that grown adults are this neglectful. They obviously are not going to respect your ways if they let them go right in front of you. Also if they really were doing this when you weren't there then the children would automatically do it out of habit. Good luck and please keep us posted. Claire

Posted on: Mon, 10/23/2000 - 5:54am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Chantelle, is your child's classroom supposed to be "peanut free"? I just re-read your post and noticed how your son got the wrong lunch box. Apparently, my nieces, in Grade 2, not anywhere near where I live, but their lunch boxes are all put in a big bin and the kids have to go at lunch or snack time and find their lunch boxes. Often, they can't and certainly not on a timely basis. In Jesse's class, each child has a little drawer with his/her name marked on it where they put their lunch bag. My other point re the lunch bag was that in Jesse's class, so 20+ students, the teacher is required to check the lunch/snack of each and every child to make sure there are no pb products in there!
What is going on where you are? Best wishes!

Posted on: Mon, 10/23/2000 - 6:30am
ColleenMarie's picture
Joined: 03/04/2000 - 09:00

Two ideas that might help...
As mentioned above, look for a unique lunchbox. Try ebay.com. I found about 10 lunchboxes I thought my son might like, let him preview them, and he picked two designs that are no longer available. He is 5, and he chose an old Smurf lunchbox!!!! He's probably the only kid in the state with this lunchbox. He also chose a dolphin lunchbox no longer made. He uses that one for now and the Smurf one is a backup in case the dolphin one gets lost (or for days he forgets to bring his lunchbox home). I also attached a neon green "Smart Tag" to the strap (check Office Max).
Second idea is to buy a few Sharpie markers and write your child's name on every item you pack (It actually takes very little time). Every morning, I jot Alan's name on all packaged items, on the handle of plastic spoons, and even on his napkins. It was required at the preschool he was in last year (he's in kindergarten now), and the habit is worthwhile.

Posted on: Mon, 10/23/2000 - 6:55am
DMB's picture
Joined: 02/22/2001 - 09:00

A Smurf lunchbox!! I am dying laughing! That sounds like something my son would do. What a great idea! I'll have to remember that when my son gets into grade school. Deanna

Posted on: Mon, 10/23/2000 - 11:08pm
Sue's picture
Joined: 02/13/1999 - 09:00

I made labels for for just about everything that goes to school. I put theses labels on her water bottle (she doesn't drink from the fountains at school), her snacks, her information forms, school trip forms, everywhere!
Our daughter's lunch is not put with the other lunch boxes. She has a seperate cabinet to put her lunch box in.
There is a full time lunch monitor at her "peanut free" lunch table that monitors all food before kids sit down at "her" lunch
The labels I make are printed on Avery labels. I buy lots of different sizes, even the full sheet label so that I can make the labels any size I want.
I went to a printing company and had them make water proof labels for her water bottles so they didn't fade when they were washed or got wet. The company put her favorite little graphic on the label (a picture of a cat and mouse) and the warning:
DANGEROUSLY ALLERGIC to peanut products. I cannot eat or touch them. If I eat anything with the tiniest trace of peanut product I MIGHT DIE.
I buy the picture frame key chains and put her picture on one side and the warning on the other side. She has one on her medicine pack and one on her lunch box.
I used my computer to print out an iron on transfer that has a peanut with the red circle and a line through it. I took pictures of her with this shirt on and gave one to the school nurse, the teacher, the bus driver and the fire station along with her emergency plan.
I know some may think this is extreme. Please remember that we all do what we think is best in protecting all of our kids. This has worked wonderfully FOR US. The school likes the reminders because of sub teachers, sub bus drivers, roommoms "for a day", and aides all add a chance of new peanut product exposures.
Our daughter is in first grade -
Sue in Sunny Arizona

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