Ontario school not peanut free at all

Posted on: Sat, 10/11/2003 - 9:51am
Sandie's picture
Joined: 08/25/2000 - 09:00

I need help trying to change our school to help my dd. She's 10, has a learning disability and picked on by many of the kids. Anyway, the school has no accomodations for PA kids. She will sit near kids who eat peanut butter, sometimes these kids walk around with their sandwich during lunch. The room is supervised by maybe one mom (responsible for 3 classes). The only people in the office are two kids (10 year olds relieving the secretary). I have asked the board to move my dd to another neighboring school and they refused. The epi-pen is located in the office and dd isn't allowed to wear it. Not that she would be able to adminster it in an emergency - she would need adult help to judge the situation first.

Is there anything I can do? I was hoping we would be able to ride out this final year but reading about the poor child in Pembroke, really rattled me.


Posted on: Mon, 10/13/2003 - 10:16am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Sandie, are you with the Toronto District School Board? I posted a document on the board regarding their stand on food allergies in schools.

Posted on: Tue, 10/14/2003 - 2:19pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Sandie, welcome! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
I checked your profile and see that you are in Mississauga, Ontario.
Catholic or Public School board?
If within the public school board, your PA child has the *right* to a "peanut free" classroom (you may have a battle on your hands as I found out surprisingly this year, but I stand by what I have always known, your child has that *right*). No, if, ands, or buts.
Could I ask how she has been able to be in school up until the age of 10 without you requiring a "peanut free" classroom for her previous to this?
I understand why the death in Pembroke would change what you previously require and now require.
However, your daughter does have the *right* to a "peanut free" classroom (not school).
I have posted my written school plan for Ontario, Canada under the Schools section of this board. It was written by another PA.com member.
You need to call your school board and ask them to give you a copy of their policy re anaphylaxis. They are all basically the same throughout the province of Ontario. But by asking them for that piece of paperwork/document, it shows that you know what you're talking about.
E-mail me if you need some further help.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 10/14/2003 - 4:00pm
MapleLeaf's picture
Joined: 02/26/2003 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]However, your daughter does have the *right* to a "peanut free" classroom (not school).
Is there a government document or website that says children have the right to a peanutfree classroom? I have never seen this anywhere. It would be so helpful to be able to photocopy this document to support the attempts at peanutfree classrooms

Posted on: Wed, 10/15/2003 - 1:53am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

MapleLeaf, no, there is not a government website that specifically says your child has the right to a "peanut free" classroom throughout the Province of Ontario. All public school boards in Ontario are basically working with the Anaphylaxis Handbook for Schools (the title of that may be incorrect). It is extremely important to get your actual school board district's policy on anaphylaxis. Some are quite comprehensive, and some, like mine, are open to interpretation (unfortunately, this year, for the first time in 5 years with my PA son in school I had a principal that chose his own way of interpreting school board policy).
However, basically, they all really do say that your child has the right to a peanut free classroom even if the language is really wishy washy.
In having difficulties getting my son into school in the same school district we have been in for the past two grades, in September month (outlined in the Schools section of the board), I had to call the Ontario Human Rights Commission. The gentleman I spoke with there was very strong in his language about my son's rights and how there should be a peanut BAN (a word that no one seems comfortable using). He did use this language though in speaking with the superintendent of the school board district.
I believe arachide posted the link to the Canadian Handbook that I'm speaking about. This is the document that you really need if you're having difficulty with your child's school. I believe it is 74 pages or 76 pages long. I'll re-raise her thread under Schools.
However, you have to use this in conjunction with your own school board district's policy on anaphylaxis (you call the school board and ask them to send you a copy of their policy on anaphylaxis in their schools).
I have seen many from throughout Ontario and they're all basically the same.
To become even more pro-active re protecting our anaphylactic children in Ontario, when dealing with difficult school administrators (as I am this year for the first time ever [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ), please also check out Katiee's thread under Take Action re the Anaphylaxis bill that we are trying to get passed in Ontario and hopefully will with our new Liberal government. I'll re-raise that thread as well.
Hope this helps. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 10/15/2003 - 3:59am
Sandie's picture
Joined: 08/25/2000 - 09:00

DD 10 has been at this school since kindergarten and no one seems to care much. In grade 3, she was put over by a window away from the other kids - lunch room supervisors used to tell me that it was a sad sight. They would go over and sit with her. I try to volunteer on her school trips to be the extra eyes for peanuts for her. One trip, I was alone with 30 kids in a big room and the kids walked around with their peanut butter sandwiches. No real supervision, I guess.
My dd would probably be against a peanut free room though, because she likes being with the other kids and most of them bring p.b. sandwiches. The principal assures me that they are careful.
I called neighboring schools and found they were really vigilant with p.a. so I requested a move to a nearby school and the board, the field office reps and principal (it was IPRC - special Ed meeting) all turned me down. No way - they were not budging on this .
Anyway, dd has only 8 months more to go and I'm sitting tight counting the days here. But that Pembroke case rattled me. My dd isn't like that girl; mine is ADHD, has a speech problem, is immature and in special ed because of a learning disability. That poor girl in Pembroke was mature and responsible and look what happened.

Posted on: Wed, 10/15/2003 - 6:20am
MapleLeaf's picture
Joined: 02/26/2003 - 09:00

Thank you Alternative to Mainstream.

Posted on: Thu, 10/16/2003 - 12:28am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Maple Leaf, not a problem. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] If you ever need district specific information, please feel free to contact me, I may have read the policy already. But basically, that document that arachide posted the link for under Schools is what you need along with your own school board's policy. And a principal that is willing and able to work with you (which I have found most are).
Sandie, I understand that you are freaked out because of Sabrina Shannon's death.
You indicate that your daughter only has 8 months left of school. I assume that this is before she goes into high school or junior high?
Has your daughter managed to remain reaction free while at school all of these years surrounded by pb and peanut products?
Yes, your school is very backward in it's thinking but if you don't need them to change what they're doing for your PA child, they're not going to. You really have to decide if you want to change or not. You have indicated that your daughter wouldn't feel comfortable having a peanut free classroom. Yet, you have also indicated that your daughter has some other difficulties which might influence her ability to make such an important decision regarding her safety. Do you know what I mean?
I understand you being shaken up. I am shaken up as is, I believe, all of the PA community.
However, if what has been done at your daughter's school (no "peanut free") has worked since JK 'til now and you say she only has 8 months left at the school (again, why is that?), then why change things now?
On the other hand, you do have the *right* to request to change things now but I believe it will be difficult for you because the school will not understand why, all of a sudden, after all these years, you're requesting something that you have never requested or felt your child needed before. That is not to say that you can't request it. But you may meet resistance. To simply go in and say that you require a "peanut free" classroom for your PA child now because another PA child died in Ontario is not going to work for them, especially when they are as backward as you say they are, especially compared to other schools in your area.
With an IPRC in place, you *should* be able to have your daughter transported to another school where there is a "peanut free" classroom. It's simply because you have the IPRC in place because of other challenges your child is facing.
I was thinking at the beginning of this school year to request an IPRC for my PA son solely based on his PA, but it would be precedent setting in Ontario and to tell you the truth, I'm not up to precedent setting right now. But it would have given me the ability to send my child to another school which I do not have now because I don't drive and cannot physically transport him to another school.
We're all here to help you, Sandie, and there are a great many people in Ontario that are members here.
But sit back, take a deep breath, recognize that you are upset about Sabrina's death, and then decide what, if any, changes you feel you need for your daughter's school.
I am willing to contact your daughter's school re the liability waiver (I'll re-raise my thread re that under Schools for you). I am willing to speak with you by phone to help you get this sorted, but you really have to sit back and figure out what you need/want and why.
I would say that if your daughter has been reaction free since she started school, is around pb all of the time, would object to a "peanut free" classroom, you're dealing with a backward school, you may be better off leaving things be (except for the liability waiver).
I hope you understand what I'm saying. I have been thinking about this thread since I read it yesterday and wondering how your daughter managed to stay safe in school without a peanut free classroom up until the age of 10 and why you now want a change. It's really important, especially when dealing with school personnel, to be really clear and I can help you with that, as well as other people, I'm sure. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]


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