New Member - can\'t believe stupidity of the school

Posted on: Wed, 11/05/2003 - 1:15am
gizmo's picture
Joined: 11/05/2003 - 09:00

I am new to this site. I have a 7 year old daughter with PB and all nut allergies, asthma, and exzema. Wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There was a total of 5 children in our school with this but only 3 of us worked on getting the school to become "peanut/nut safe" or as they are now going to call it "peanut/nut aware". It has been a long process that has taken 3 years of dilagent work and now 2 pincipals as they changed. It states that no food containing pb/nuts can come into the school etc.

On October 30 a child (in my child's classroom) brought to school a M &M's treat for the whole class (- hello what part of this don't we understand). The child was very good about this and made sure "V" (my child) did not get one. But the policy says that this is not to come to school. Two teachers knew about this - 1 substitute who has worked in that school and with my child for 1.5 years and the regular afternoon teacher. Their response to me was - "yes we read the package but we made sure "V" did not get one." This child's mother was there to p/u her child - none of the teachers talked to her about it??? Hellooooooooo do we not see a problem here. So I went up to the mom and very very nicely asked her not to send this stuff. Her reply was she didn't do it grandma did not her concern.

But the topper off to all this is - when I was driving my children home "V" told me that she had a treat bag from the teacher and that I had better check it. So when we got home I dumped out the treat bag this is the contents:

package of stickers
a chocolate that clearly stated that it "CONTAINED PEANUTS/NUTS"

Helloooooooooooooooo is there not a child in your class that has allergies????????????

If it hadn't been the dilegence of my child telling me to check her treat bag I may have told her to go ahead and eat it having put
complete trust in these teachers. I know that I should not trust anyone but I do make mistakes. Bless my child's heart and brain for kicking in. Sometimes I really don't know if she understands the severity.

Let me tell you I ran back to that school and dumped everything out onto the principal's desk and asked him very bluntly "what is this school trying to do kill my kid"? I told him to contact those teachers and get this cleared up. The afternoon teacher called me to "warn" me that there was an unsafe treat in that bag and that it was her that put it in there. She did apologize but again I also told her my first reaction was "what are you trying to do kill my kid".

I am now in trouble with my remarks - I am classified as a emotional mother who needs to take a deep breath befor speaking. Yes my words were harsh I will gladly admit that but is it not true - could this not have happened if she had of ate that treat on the way home??? Does no one see this??????

We have since had meeting with the principal and 1 teacher but it is like we are back to square 1 again. Okay we will do this and that etc. But all these "this/that/s" were in place to begin with. If things don't go well we will have to remove her and her sister.

Out of the 3 moms who started this whole thing with the school - it was me who put full trust in the school and kept saying to the other 2 relax they will get it together - trust the school and teachers.

Boy was I wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know this email was long but I needed to vent - they are expecting me to appologize for my harsh words but what is it going to take - my child to go into shock?????????????

There is a private school in our little town that is peanut/nut safe but they will tell you they do not gaurntee anything but are extremely diligent with it. Nothing like this would have ever happened there. Unfortuantely it is very costly - but I have decided that if things don't improve - I will go to Walmart and get a full time job if need be to put her and her sister in that school. One of the 3 of us has already gone over there. Again it is finances cause I have two children to get over there but I will somehow get there.

Was I over kill ????????????????
Do not trust your school - it may look like everything is okay but is it really.........

Posted on: Wed, 11/05/2003 - 2:10am
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Gizmo, I actually think you were absolutely right to go back to the school and use the words you did with the principal. Perhaps it didn't go over as well as you had hoped and next time (if there is one - which I hope there won't be) you can think of a more diplomatic way to talk with the principal and teachers. However, you certainly should not be made to apologize! That is ridiculous. You are totally correct: if your child had eaten the treats in her bag she could have had a life threatening reaction. Plain and simple. They risked your daughter's life.
Where do you live? If it is in the U.S. your daughter is entitled to a 504 plan which will legally protect her rights to a safe education. Everything the school has agreed to can be put into a legally binding document. Do a search for info. on 504 plans if you are in the U.S.
Good luck! I'm glad you found us. You will get a lot of support from us here.
Take care, Miriam

Posted on: Wed, 11/05/2003 - 2:17am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Since you need the schools cooperation for a number of years to come my opinion is you have to go at them slowly and in a calm manner or you get labelled and anything you say will be taken with a grain of salt.
Yes, the candy bar could have killed your child but maybe if you let the teacher know that in a calm way it would have made a bigger impact because now she can complain about your attitude and her mistake will get swept under the carpet.
Go ahead and offer them an apology, take the high road since you will be sending your child to them for a long time. Offer to sit down again with them and calmly discuss what is necessary to help keep your child safe. Forget the other PA kids, this is your child you are talking about.
And remind them that your child was the one who alerted you to the treat bag. Your child who was trained by YOU to keep herself safe did her job admirably. This will hopefully help them revise their nervous mother label.
Congratulations for raising a child who is alert and aware enough to ask you to check the bag!
Son 18 Asthma, PA, TNA, Milk, oats, soy, tomatoes, fish.

Posted on: Wed, 11/05/2003 - 2:17am
gizmo's picture
Joined: 11/05/2003 - 09:00

Thank you so much for your words.
Yes I will try to think befor speaking and choosing better responses.
They just don't understand that this could have happened.
In our meeting yesterday the principal even thinks that my child will grow out of this - hello - 3 doctors have told me no this will not happen.
No we do not live in the US - we are Canadians but there is a policy that states here in our district that the schools have to supply a safe enviroment for all students.
Thanks again

Posted on: Wed, 11/05/2003 - 2:27am
gizmo's picture
Joined: 11/05/2003 - 09:00

Dear Peggy
Thank you - yes I agree about all you said - on another hand tho we have tried to go about it calmly and it is a constant circle.
we will go with what they are doing but the trust is not there for me.

Posted on: Wed, 11/05/2003 - 2:47am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by gizmo:
[b]No we do not live in the US - we are Canadians but there is a policy that states here in our district that the schools have to supply a safe enviroment for all students.
I was not surprised that you encountered what you did and live in Canada. It wouldn't surprise me if you had said you lived in the US either.
I completely understand and empathize with your predicament. I will try to reraise this afternoon some threads I and others have posted over the last year.

Posted on: Wed, 11/05/2003 - 6:12am
gizmo's picture
Joined: 11/05/2003 - 09:00

Dear mammabear
thankyou also. I was at the school today as I am a noon hour supervisor due to V's problem and felt such an outcast.
Thank you all that have replied.

Posted on: Wed, 11/05/2003 - 7:29am
donnag's picture
Joined: 09/23/2003 - 09:00

Hi I been reading a lot of posts and was wondering if any of guys ever considered having your allgerist phone or even come in to the schools to educate them on the severety ( sorry really need sp check) of peanut allergies? My son is only two but our allergist already volundeered to come to our public school and educate them, when and if we needed him to. Donna

Posted on: Wed, 11/05/2003 - 8:04am
gizmo's picture
Joined: 11/05/2003 - 09:00

Dear Donnag
When we started all this with our school 3 years ago - there was a peanut/nut committee and we met once a month. Guest speakers were health nurses, respistory therapst etc. They just don't seem to get it. In our school we also have children allergic to pb but according to their moms all they need is benedryl.
This is not my child's case - 3 allergist, 2 gps have told me she is severe and it is life threatening. I purposly got her retested for the school - allergist thought I was nuts (pardon the pun) and couldn't understand why they did not believe me. He did the test for peanuts and every nut there could possibly be. I took the results to the school - "oh look she is severe" duh. One child in our school has supposedly "outgrown" his allergy and they keep thinking that this will happen with my child despite what the tests/doctors say. This pb subject is very controversal with the parents also - ie - pb is all my child will eat - I say who is the parent here?? But then again I am old fashioned.
All I can do is really educate my child while we are at this school and pray to god that there will be no slip ups. Why they don't believe is beyond me but .............
Thanxs for your support.

Posted on: Wed, 11/05/2003 - 8:16am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

When our son was getting ready for college we spent a lot of time educating the college about his PA. They had never heard of PA before.
One of the things we made sure they understood was comfort zones. I did not want to hear from them that they had a PA student that was not as careful as my son was. And make them decide we were the nervous parents.
I also let them know that my son has a very severe allergy, also indicating he has had a number of BIG reactions. Every case is different and your school should know that, I'm surprised they cannot figure this one out.
My son had a friend's mother offer him a PBJ in 4th grade telling him he should have outgrown the allergy by now. He called me and I blasted her and brought him right home. He never went to that house again.
Stupid is stupid, but stupid in school administrators that have a peanut committee is inexcusable.

Posted on: Wed, 11/05/2003 - 8:23am
gizmo's picture
Joined: 11/05/2003 - 09:00

Dear Peggy,
Thank you again, I just can't believe all this support and words of wisdom. To know that I am not alone in my own thoughts on this - is just wonderful.
That peanut committee was made up of principal, myself + 2 other pa moms, grade 1 & 2 teachers, coucilors, health nurses, etc.
and they still don't get it.
I have to be so careful - everything I do is watched very carefully.
Thanxs again.


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