Peanut Free vs Drug/Gun Free Statements - How different are they?

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 12:03am
anonymous's picture
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This question was prompted in another thread, I felt the respectful thing to do was to start it's own thread rather than clogging up the thread it was questioned in.

Quote:Originally posted by Mommabear:

Peanuts and Drugs.

Apples and Oranges?

Currently, certain "drugs" are [i]illegal[/i]as well as non-prescribable, and may have the potential for incarcaration just because one would have them in one's possession. I will also note that certain legal drugs require a "prescription" to obtain or use. I *personally* believe that among the general population, peanuts are not considered as "distasteful",or carry the moral and ethical implications, as do "Drugs".

The term Peanut free has been discussed many many times on this board and some peoples opinion are they it is not possible to create a totally free environment of peanuts therefore they prefer the term *Reduce the Risk* over peanut free...that is the point with Drug free and Gun free statements as well.

Yes, drugs are illegal, alcohol is also illegal to minors...but the poisonous and toxic effects that alcohol and drugs have on children and adults, should they consume [b]more than their body can handle[/b] are the same effects that my son can have should he encounter peanuts...death....therefore, IMO, its not an apples and oranges comparassion.

Besides the whole reason it was even mentioned in the other thread was not comparing the end results of this vs that, it was given as an example of how the school can not guarantee the environment is totally free of guns, alcohol and drugs but they still use the terms Drug Free and Gun free...why would the peanut free term be viewed as anything different.

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 12:22am
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Very good thread.
I would like to see everyones opinion on this.
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 1:03am
Gail W's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by Cam's Mom:
[b]...it was given as an example of how the school can not guarantee the environment is totally free of guns, alcohol and drugs but they still use the terms Drug Free and Gun free...why would the peanut free term be viewed as anything different.
[/b]
First, thank you Lana. I've been frustrated w/ the boards and lost my cool. Thanks for helping me out.
As sarah (williamsmummy) posted today in another thread:
[i]"I feel uncomfortable with nut bans, for nut bans we need nut inspectors!" [/i]
[b]Who are the drug and gun inspectors?[/b]
Our government. The school has a higher authority who regulates guns and drugs through licensing and laws. To declare themselves "drug free" or "gun free" doesn't take on any [i]added [/i]liability because the law places that repsonsibility elsewhere.
[b]Who are the "nut inspectors"? [/b]
There are none. Since no governmental regulation exists re peanuts (as w/ guns and drugs), the school would be assuming this regulatory role (and the liability) if they self-proclaimed a "peanut free" status.
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 06, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 1:06am
Gail W's picture
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sorry, double post.
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 06, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 1:21am
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Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b] First, thank you Lana. I've been frustrated w/ the boards and lost my cool. Thanks for helping me out.
As sarah (williamsmummy) posted today in another thread:
"I feel uncomfortable with nut bans, for nut bans we need nut inspectors!"
[b]Who are the drug and gun inspectors?[/b]
Our government. The school has a higher authority who regulates guns and drugs through licensing and laws. To declare themselves "drug free" or "gun free" doesn't take on any liability because the law places that repsonsibility elsewhere. Schools aren't compelled to take on a regulatory role because our already laws do.
[b]Who are the "nut inspectors"? [/b]
Since no licensing or law exists re peanuts (as w/ guns and drugs), the school would be assuming this regulatory role if they took on the "peanut free" claim.
[/b] HALLELUJAH
[b]HAAAAAAAAAAAAALEL-LU-JAH!
HAAAAAAAAAAALEL-LU-JAH!
HA-LEL-LU-JAH!
HA-LEL-LU-JAH!
HA-LEEEEEEE-EEEEEEEL-LUUUUUUUUUUU-JAH![/b]
[url="http://members.aol.com/nonstopny/easter/messiah.htm#hear%20it%20live"]http://members.aol.com/nonstopny/easter/messiah.htm#hear%20it%20live[/url]
Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Merely humming to myself. Loudly.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited May 06, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 1:29am
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Gail, so are you saying that the school can say gun/drug free because their are govermental laws protecting their liability?
In other words, since there are laws restricting age/minors possessing guns/alcohol and laws saying drugs are illegal, that keeps them from being liable?
Since the law states what it does, they are allowed to "ban" guns/alcohol/drugs from the school?
I'm trying to clarify what you are saying. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 1:36am
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I'm saying that proclaiming "gun free" or "drug free" doesn't take on [b]additional [/b]liability. Schools are still responsible for enforcing laws when they are aware of violations.
Proclaiming "peanut free" [b]does [/b]take on [b] additional [/b] liability for a school.
Edited to say: I suppose I should add that I'm no lawyer. This is my understanding from our school (who probably paid a sh**load for legal counsel) and from previous legal consultation. Just my *personal understanding*.
MommaBear and Lana, I think my antibiotics might be kicking in. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 06, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 2:07am
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I think I undertand what you are saying Gail W. but...
If the school policy is not properly adhered to or is not effective enough, would they be liable if a weapon came into the school, because of the term "gun free"?
Also, what of the legal drugs that they also try to keep out of the hands of students while at school. These can be ritalin, prozac, and even over the counter allergy medication. Is the school completely responsible for the legal drugs that come in but not responsible for the illegal drugs?

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 2:13am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Cam's Mom, I can see what Gail W. is saying. Sadly. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
This has something to do with drugs, guns and peanuts but probably doesn't answer your question whatsoever.
If a child brings a gun into my child's school, he has to pull the trigger to harm or kill my child. He can wave it in my child's face and although that would make my child nervous, it will not harm him.
If a child brings drugs into the school, he would have to sneak the drugs into my child's system in some way (via a drink, depending on the drug) to harm or kill my child.
Of course, that could be a very similar situation with a child that wants to harm or kill my child. He would have to sneak the peanut products into my child's system in some way (I'm talking ingestion of drugs and peanut products now) to harm or kill my child.
If a child brings a pb sandwich into my PA child's school, he simply has to wave it in my child's face to either harm and/or God Forbid (pardon me) kill him.
More and more in the Media (TV shows) we are seeing where food allergies are used as the way to murder someone (Many of us have posted about the shows extensively under Media). Also, more police departments are becoming aware that a child being threatened with a pb sandwich is being assaulted.
Torontosue went through a horrible experience with her PA child and the police had to be called.
There was a Canadian newspaper article about a FIL being charged with attempted murder after trying to kill his SIL with a peanut product.
Of course, that may all sound like silliness until you're faced with it.
Everyone remembers high school? Remember the stoners (or that's what we called them in the 1970's)? They were the druggies. I remember my high school distinctly because I was on the Student Council and wrote for the school newspaper. I also knew exactly where the stoners went to smoke their drugs every day.
I never saw a person with a gun in my school days at school.
But were the schools in the 1970's calling themselves "drug free"? If so, what about the laws about illegal drugs that could be enforced (as discussed in this thread) and why schools are able to call themselves "drug free". My high school certainly wasn't drug free and if any police officer had ever asked me where to find illegal drugs, I could tell him exactly where even though I was never a user. We all just knew where the stoners went.
So, have things changed that way in 30 years (or 25 actually) in that schools actually do pay attention now and notice that there are places where kids are going to do illegal drugs? No one at my school was 25 years ago. We never had the police at our school. We never had lockers checked.
I'd like to hope things have changed. I do know that there was probably a lot more going on than pot smoking (which I also don't agree with) where the stoners went at my school, but my soul, these days, I would be horrified.
(Sorry, Cam's Mom, I think I veered Off Topic, but wondering if I really did or not [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] )
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 2:16am
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Gail, thank you...
I beg to differ (respectfully, of course [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] )
If the school declares a PF classroom and another student brings in a pnut product and the teacher doesn't see the product, reaction occurs...the school can't be liable b/c it has done what it can to protect the student.
Same scenerio, but the teacher does see the pnut product but does not take action, reaction occurs...the school/teacher is grossly negligent, therefore, they are liable.
Now say Cam's school does not put the safeguards such as PF class and table that I've requested after I have advised them of the danger it poses, reaction occurs, he dies (cringe)...the school did not protect my son and therefore is liable, they were aware of the danger but did not take action to prevent his death.
Now comparing gun/drug/alcohol free stmts, I'll bite the bullet and put my own family in the pit: My step daughter quit breathing and almost died as a result of alcohol poisoning, which she consumed on school campus...She drank the alcohol in the parking lot, returned to her class (20 mins late) and was in that class for another 70 mins highly intoxicated. The teacher wrote her up for disruptive behavior, she held the referral until after class, then took it to the dean after the class ended. My daughter went back out into the parking lot and finished drinking the liquor rather than going to her next class, she was found unconcious when school let out. Now, had this happened any earlier in the day, rather than the end of the day, she would not be alive today. The teacher was grossly negligent, making the school liable because she knew she was under the influence of something but chose to ignore it rather than immediately taking action.
Editing here to add, that my daughter is totally responsible for her actions, and had she stayed in the parking lot, not seen by anyone employed by the school, then I'd have to say that they wouldn't be liable.
Also want to say that no law enforcement was involved whatsoever, should they have been, yes, IMO.
[This message has been edited by Cam's Mom (edited May 06, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 2:25am
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Quote:Originally posted by river:
[b] If the school policy is not properly adhered to or is not effective enough, would they be liable if a weapon came into the school, because of the term "gun free"? [/b]
I don't know. I would assume that a school would be held responsible to its policy. And if there was no policy, then responsible to law. When Mariah had multiple "contact reactions" a couple years ago, we used this information as evidence that the school did not have "effective" safeguards. But I'm not sure how I'd apply this to guns. I guess it might depend on evidence of a problem (like reactions for PA, or weapons found in a locker for guns) in order to show that current practice was ineffective.
[b] Also, what of the legal drugs that they also try to keep out of the hands of students while at school. These can be ritalin, prozac, and even over the counter allergy medication. Is the school completely responsible for the legal drugs that come in but not responsible for the illegal drugs?[/b]
Parents at our school are informed us of the district's policy that the school nurse oversees all (prescriptive and OTC) drugs. This came up in our meetings and (just for an example) we were told that should Mariah have an after-school event where she needed to take her meds, she would drop them off w/ the nurse as she entered the school, and then picked them up before leaving school. I don't know the parameters of "completely responsible", but I'd say that our district has a policy/system in place and has properly informed parents of it.
Does that answer your questions?

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 2:35am
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Lana, I have to run and pick up Jessie. I'll come back here tonight. I guess on first read I agree with you, and I don't understand where our differences rest.
If staff are [b]aware [/b]that a policy (or law) is violated, then they are liable. Our school district made the decision that it was too difficult, burdensome, and impracticle for a staff person to "be aware" what foods possed risk due to nuts. Which is why we are very happy with our "food free" classroom.

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 2:38am
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Cindy,
You didn't veer off at all. I do see how the laws of illegal drugs and age restrictions can come into play, but even then the age restrictions in Florida for guns are 16 for rifles. And we don't have anyone policing the school, thats a big problem, the administrators KNOW who is selling, using and suppling the drugs/alcohol, but they look the other way. Just as the case w/my daughter, they knew she was intoxicated (they thought she was on drugs), my question to the principal was "Is the school so over run w/drug use that you are that complacent about it when you suspect a child is under the influence?" There is no excuse for what happened, because they were AWARE of the student having something that was against their policy, not too mention illegal.
As for pnut products not being harmful to a PA child unless milicious intent was involved...how about the residue that the product unintentionally left, that its self is the danger PF status controls, just as the drug/weapon free status controls the presence of drugs and weapons, if action is properly adhered to (as River was saying) then it can control and limit the incidents.
I may have to edit after i re-read this...Cam wants something to eat and I'm rushing here. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 3:48am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Is there such a thing as Drug/Gun Free Schools? Here we have Zero Tolerance. What that means is they have, well, zero tolerance for anyone bringing drugs/weapons into schools. Also includes bullying, assault (physical/sexual/verbal).
If caught a student could be reprimanded, suspended, expelled. The school may call parents or police. Depends exactly what happened.
As for peanut free schools - I think schools and school boards are shying away from that term. I spoke to the principal at my son's school and she very plainly stated that calling her school *peanut free* means she is guaranteeing there are no peanut/peanut products in the school. This [b]to some people[/b] could even mean no trace amounts of pn. If the school calls itself pn-free they could be liable if someone brought in pb or even a choc-chip cookie made on a shared line. Even if no staff member saw it.

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 4:06am
Gail W's picture
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Lana, How would you propose the school implement your request for a PF cafeteria table and PF classroom?

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 4:16am
Gail W's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by AnnaMarie:
[b]Is there such a thing as Drug/Gun Free School?[/b]
Good point to check out this premise/assumption. I hope we all look to see if these statements/claims do, in fact, exist.
I cannot remember our school making such a claim. Anyone? If so, can you post a reference to a school stating "gun free" or "drug free" self-proclamations?
Thanks.

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 4:33am
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Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b]Lana, How would you propose the school implement your request for a PF cafeteria table and PF classroom?
[/b]
Gail,
I find myself asking similiar questions:
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000946.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000946.html[/url]
Only early afternoon, and I'll bet you're exhausted already. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]
MommaBear

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 4:35am
Gail W's picture
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Link to "Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994":
[url="http://www.ed.gov/legislation/ESEA/sec14601.html"]http://www.ed.gov/egislation/ESEA/sec14601.html[/url]
or try: [url="http://www.ed.gov/pubs/gunfree/"]www.ed.gov/pubs/gunfree/[/url]
This is not a school claiming gun-free status. It is an act stating that schools are to be in compliance with [b]state laws [/b](re firearms) AND that schools shall report firearm [i]violations [/i]that occur at school.
It uses the "Gun-Free" title, but actually is the "zero tolerance" concept that addresses violations.
Edited to fix link.
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 06, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 4:36am
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Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b] Good point to check out this premise/assumption. I hope we all look to see if these statements/claims do, in fact, exist.
I cannot remember our school making such a claim. Anyone? If so, can you post a reference to a school stating "gun free" or "drug free" self-proclamations?
Thanks.
[/b]
OMG............just realized I was standing in the middle of the forest again. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
Thank you Gail. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 5:12am
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Gail, I don't think that are opinions are that different, either.
As to your question "How do I propose that the school imprement the PF room/table?" (may not be exactly your words, but same lines)...the same way they implement policy on these things:
1. No sleeveless shirts
2. No gum
3. No obscene, vulgar logos or advertisement of alcohol or drugs
4. No baggy pants
5. Shorts or skirts must come below your finger tips when arms at at their sides.
6. No confederate flag logos (here at our school and becoming prevelant in many schools nationwide)
These are just a few examples of the minor things that they can "ban", and they are implemented for the safety of our kids or b/c they are a distraction to some.
The gum rule is in almost every class/school for as long as I can remember, why was it implemented? Certainly has no danger involved, but they were tired of replacing carpets and desks that were damaged from inconsiderate gum chewers...so IMO, replacing desks and carpets are more valuable than my childs life? The schools say they can't [b]control[/b] what kids bring in as far as PB and pnut products...How in the world can a school [b]control[/b] gum coming in a class?
Not only will I address how they implement the PF class/room, but how will they handle the rule being broken...that seems to be as big of an issue as the status itself.
I realize that there are laws that affect the gun free status, but they still can't [b]guarantee[/b] (like you stated) the existence of guns, but they are still using the free status. Should we ask for a "zero-tolerence" status for pnuts?
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by Cam's Mom (edited May 06, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 5:29am
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so.
HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING:
If the term "Peanut free" was stated below the ingredient label on a package of cookies, and your pa child ate some and had anaphylactic reaction resulting in near death, what would would you do as a parent if it was determined the reaction came from peanut in the cookie?
Disclaimer: this post not intended as advice in any manner or form.

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 5:40am
Gail W's picture
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Is that school board policy? Have those rules been voted on by the school board? My hunch (only a hunch) is that these are the school "rules" not policy. Policy is legally binding, yes? Rules are not.
I can't very easily recognize safe vs. unsafe food. In fact, it's sometimes impossible. And my definition of safe may very well be different from your's, or your teacher's. And the liability is very great because of the potential risk.
I've gone though about 118 school sites and looked at their policies. I can't find any that state a gun-free or drug-free status. (That's still not to say that they don't exist...but I can't find them. I'm still hoping someone else can.)
I did, however, find a couple "tobacco-free" policies:
[url="http://www.wcboe.k12.md.us/mainfold/schoopag/elementary/wsepage/tobacco.htm"]http://www.wcboe.k12.md.us/mainfold/schoopag/elementary/wsepage/tobacco.htm[/url]
[url="http://www.auburnschl.edu/pdfDocuments/Policies/AUB-ADC.pdf"]http://www.auburnschl.edu/pdfDocuments/Policies/AUB-ADC.pdf[/url]
Both school policies sited a legal reference, which is because they are a controlled substance regulated by law.

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 6:02am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Cam's Mom, you caught something that I totally missed in this guns/drugs/peanuts discussion. The following:-
As for pnut products not being harmful to a PA child unless milicious intent was involved...how about the residue that the product unintentionally left, that its self is the danger PF status controls, just as the drug/weapon free status controls the presence of drugs and weapons, if action is properly adhered to (as River was saying) then it can control and limit the incidents.
I realize that all of the examples I posted were where other children with pb would be acting in a threatening/bullying/malicious manner towards a PA child. I completely forgot, and how could I, that reactions occur even when there is no malicious intent (cause in point would be my own son's anaphylactic reaction this year to residue outside of his peanut free classroom). I can't believe that that escaped my mind completely when I posted.
I've posted sparingly about what I'm trying to achieve at Jesse's current school, mostly because the discussions have been moving so slowing (not as slow as your 504 Plan discussions, Cam's Mom [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ), but what I finally found was that the school principal does not want to go "peanut free" (in my use always of the words "peanut free", I also mean "reduce the risk" and "peanut safe", whichever is the most politically correct to whoever is reading the post) as far as the whole school.
She is willing to look at the allergy protocol from the other school I posted here that really has the PA child's *right* to a "peanut free" classroom but then some very clear instructions on how the whole school community works to minimize the risk to the student, even though the PA student is still only in a "peanut free" classroom, not a "peanut free" school.
I had used wording from an e-mail I received from Anaphylaxis Canada and Jesse's reaction itself to try to convince the principal to have a "peanut free" school (of which there are many in Ontario at least). But still no.
Liability? Since there is no policy in place for say the washing of the walls or the washing down of the tables in the particular room where Jesse ate that morning, would I have had any recourse? I have no bloody idea.
I think the whole thing for me still remains really confusing when it comes to liability, etc. The school board, as I found out when I moved to this town, knows how to get on the phone to their lawyers pretty damned quick (I wouldn't sign the liability waiver in it's current form) and they must know something we, as PA parents might or might not.
Can I fault a school legally, liability wise if they do not proclaim themselves to be peanut free? Therein, of course, I've raised yet another question (perhaps someone could start charting when I ask 20 questions in one week and see if it is related to anything in the world [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] )
Jesse's reaction did not happen inside his peanut free classroom. And look at the shambles of his peanut free classroom and the year from he** we have had with that. Now, I do believe should something happen within his classroom, especially because things have been so bugged up this year at his school in the classroom, I might have recourse.
Bottom line now in my head - I had always thought the school was liable should something happen to Jesse. I don't know why I thought that. Did I read it here? Did I just think it up (that is quite possible)? Is the school liable should something happen to Jesse?
Damn, I'm going to have to raise another question or perhaps someone else could do so.....
Again, Cam's Mom, I completely missed your excellent point about residue, etc. and all of my examples were malicious ones. Why I missed them, I don't know, but I'm glad you didn't.
Also, interesting, Off Topic, all the Moms back to talking to me after school to-day. I swear people are downright strange. ALL the Moms. Weird.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 6:15am
Gail W's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
[b]Is the school liable should something happen to Jesse?[/b]
Isn't that what this whole discussion is about?!!
Yes, I *personally* believe they are liable if they are not following school policy. In my opinion, absolutely they are liable. That is the basis of this discussion as well as many others. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Edited to add: Mariah reactions at school 2 years ago were not from ingestion or from anything directly given to her. They were from residue contact (e.g. hand rail, computer, who knows where). This was what precipitated our discussions w/ the district to formalize policy (e.g. liability from not having such policy, etc).
Edited again: The school reduced their liability by 1.) removing all nuts from the lunch program and all food provided [b]by the school[/b], and 2.) URGING parents to voluntarily refrain from sending it in to school and 3.) providing an absolutely food-free classroom and 4.) having emergency care instituted by a full-time RN. They provided these safeguards in lieu of a ban since they could not monitor it.
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 06, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 6:27am
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lana:
loved your examples. seems schools DO regulate what they deem important enough to regulate, doesn't it? how can the length of someone's shorts be more important than the presence of something that could cause anaphylaxis?? our school tells me it would be "impossible" to limit peanuts and peanut products and yet they feel that it is serious business to keep kids from bringing toys into school (even on show and tell day) because "toys are distracting." hmmmmm? you have got me thinking about my school and where they place their priorities. i KNOW my kids' lives (two of the four are PA) are far more important than the length of someone's shorts or the message on someone else's t-shirt. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
thanks for the post - it really made me stop and think about WHY my school keeps telling me they have no control over peanuts in school when they have so much interest and control over so many other much less serious issues. i intend to use your post when i discuss this with them.
joey

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 6:44am
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Quote:Originally posted by joeybeth:
[b]
thanks for the post - it really made me stop and think about WHY my school keeps telling me they have no control over peanuts in school when they have so much interest and control over so many other much less serious issues.
[/b]
specifically: [b]"when they have so much interest and control over so many other much less serious issues."[/b]
Do they really?

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 7:00am
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Thank you Joey!!! I'm so glad that someone else could see my point of view on what the school [b]wants[/b] to control.
Gail, to me, it shouldn't matter if it is a rule or a policy...the words are the same, whether its a school rule (policy) set by the principal or a district policy (rule) set by the school board...the only difference is who is enforcing the rule, if its school policy, the principal is the enforcer and maker, if its a district policy, then the Superintendent is the enforcer...Its all in [b]how[/b] its enforced and how infractions are handled.
But they still enforce and discipline the students who break them whether its school or district policy. If they bring cell phones or beepers to school (this is a state policy in Florida), they confiscate the item and face punishment for breaking their policy, if they where a shirt that is inappropriate, (a school/district rule) then they have to take it off, and face in school suspension. My point is, they pick and choose what they want to control, and their stmts of [b]can't control[/b] is really I don't [b]want[/b] to control. IMO, its all political bull, and that is why it is such a battle.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by Cam's Mom (edited May 06, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 7:34am
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Cam's mom
You go girl!!!!!
Don't stop now.
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 7:54am
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Lana,
I do see your point. And I lived it during our 4 years of "working with" our school. It's frustrating you that schools put their effort (value) in to other more trivial concerns. I know and understand the frustration from the their inconsistency and hypocracy.
I suppose by raising their inconsistency with your school may offer them some perspective, and that definitely has value. But in terms of making [b]change [/b], my guess is that it's moot. As we all have so pointedly stated before, it comes down to law. The school can put forward these clothing/flag "bans" (what is what they are, right? bans), but they are baseless without the backing of the law. Schools can find lots of things to ban or attempt to control, and they can have a jolly time doing it, but I don't think they always hold up when challenged by law. Book bannings, flag burnings, hair styles, etc have certainly been challenged by parents/citizens excercising their freedom rights. Seems that these types of bans don't always hold up under legal challenge.
But it seems bans on firearms, tobacco, or drugs are upheld by the law. I would be interesting to know what Reed Martin would say...
I think schools are like sheep. They follow.
So....be a leader, girlfriend. Help create the law. Perhaps this is your destiny????

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 7:59am
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Quote:Originally posted by synthia:
[b]Cam's mom
You go girl!!!!!
Don't stop now.
Love this site
Synthia[/b]
This is still friendly, right? I'm getting the feeling that there are opposing "sides".
This is about the content, the ideas, right? Not supporting a "candidate"...
I'd really like to know what ideas you like or not like, synthia. I value your opinion.
I absolutely wish you all the luck in the world getting what you want with your school Lana. You know that I support you and have tried to help you in your efforts... even tho they are not what I have strived for myself.

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 8:05am
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This thread is about how peanut bans are like or not like gun/drug bans, right? Not if we personally favor a school peanut ban or not, right?
Have I ever said I "oppose" bans? I don't want one for me, but I don't think I've ever said I oppose them because I don't. On the contrary, I've been quite vocal in my disappointment w/ FAAN due to their opposition to peanut bans.
Just getting that paranoid feeling that I may be being misinterpreted. Again. Sorry. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 8:24am
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Synthia, you going with me?? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
Anna Marie, I'm glad that you did raise the question as to whether or not there is such a term gun free...I'm glad that you pointed it out. So maybe we should re-phrase everything to a "zero tolerence" in regards to pnuts [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Gail, I didn't mean to imply that no one but Joey got my point, sorry, it did sound that way. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
My reason for raising this thread was to compare the difference of how people interpret one thing w/the "free" status, how it reduces the risks no matter what it is and the liability that goes along w/it. But in it I also wanted to point out my opinion of how the school can ban what they want and hold to it. Yes, the confederate flag here at our schools has raised a major uproar, has for months, and probably will continue until Cameron goes to school and they have a new item to have an uproar about, lol. But all joking aside, that is what will happen IF they declare a peanut free status for the classroom.
It may be petty comparing gum, beepers, phones and logos to peanuts, but in all reality only one of these that I mention can actually cause harm to a student, so why is it that the administrators freak out when a parent asks for such a little compromise.
I do plan taking this to the state and proposing Statewide guidelines, after I get my little man in a safer environment, simply so another parent doesn't have to endure all the pain, frustration and emotions that I'm (and other FA parents) going through today because Cameron has a life threatening allergy that no one outside the FA community wants to accept.

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 8:25am
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Quote:Originally posted by Cam's Mom:
[b]
If the school declares a PF classroom and another student brings in a pnut product and the teacher doesn't see the product, reaction occurs...the school can't be liable b/c it has done what it can to protect the student.
[/b]
No. I don't think so. I think they could be held liable. We held this contention to our school for Mariah's contact reations...that they were liable (tho we danced around that particular word) for them.
Lana, Why do you think they would not be liable?
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 06, 2003).]
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 06, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 8:28am
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Gail, you forgot to take your anti-paranoia pill today.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
My opinion is how we view the things mentioned here, IMO, its not about supporting not supporting bans.
But that is JMHO! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 8:41am
Gail W's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by Cam's Mom:
[b]Gail, you forgot to take your anti-paranoia pill today.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
[/b]
You're right. I'll have to remember to start taking it before coming here!
Of course another popular alternative would be for you to "re-direct" me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 8:41am
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33 postings in this thread alone since 10 am today? wow..
In case anyone wonders why I have posted less recently.. there's so much to read it is hard to find time to post ... I'll have to catch up sometime [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 8:43am
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Gail, You sure have my head spinning today...hehe, love to get that brain working.
I don't think they would be liable b/c they have took action and made a reasonable attempt to provide safety...the same goes for the alcohol incident, the school can't be held liable had they not seen it. Because they made reasonable efforts to keep it out as best as they could.
Maybe I should re-phrase my words from can't to shouldn't, I'm not a lawyer these are my viewpoints entirely.
We could use any liability issue/cases as examples...last year when a grocery cart rolled and dinged my car, I wanted them to pay to have it fixed, we talked to someone who is a lawyer and b/c the grocery store has cart holders, they are not liable, had the store not had the cart holders or an employee was in control of the cart they would have been liable. But they can't be responsible for other peoples negligence even though its on their own property.

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 8:59am
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Quote:Originally posted by Cam's Mom:
[b]I don't think they would be liable b/c they have took action and made a reasonable attempt to provide safety....[/b]
Our school maintained that it is [b] not reasonable [/b] (or practical, or possible) to expect parents or staff to determine what was safe. They used this same scenario came to the opposite conclusion: they believed it *increased* their liability if they allowed anyone other than the FA child's parent to make a determination about food safety.
Hence, their creation of a "food free" classroom.

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 10:34am
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Gail W You did not misinterpreted this thread
Cam's mom has raised a very good point.
The schools can say no gum,or beepers and many other items,but to protect a life they can't or won't ban peanuts or even try to make a (reduce the risk) school or class room with out parents having to put up a fight or unless they are forced to.
Or unless we the parents scream loud enough or fight long enough.
The issue is a CHILDS LIFE is at stake.
We the parents should not have to FEAR for our childs life while in the school system.
Lana YES I will go with you!!
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 10:59am
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Lana, synthia, anyone?
Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b]Lana, How would you propose the school implement your request for a PF cafeteria table and PF classroom?
[/b]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 11:01am
Gail W's picture
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Also wondering about this:
Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b]so.
HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING:
If the term "Peanut free" was stated below the ingredient label on a package of cookies, and your pa child ate some and had anaphylactic reaction resulting in near death, what would would you do as a parent if it was determined the reaction came from peanut in the cookie?
[/b]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 12:17pm
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gun-free school does not allow guns in the school (but students could still try to sneak them in)
drug-free school does not allow drugs in the school (but students could still try to sneak them in)
peanut-free school does not allow peanuts in the school (but students could still try to sneak them in)
so sounds similar to me...

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 12:28pm
erik's picture
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and if there is so much added liability that classrooms can not be peanut-free, how is this possible in Canada?
maybe it is different here? maybe in the USA people sue each other more often?
it seems that peanut-free classrooms are quite common here and haven't heard any liability issues in Ontario schools
maybe Canadians are too submissive to sue everyone? I just wonder why it seems so easy to have peanut-free classrooms here in Ontario, while it seems most of the Americans posting here seem to think it won't work due to liability issues..
just some personal thoughts from me.. which may not make any sense at all since I just typed them out without thinking first as in a rush at this moment.. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 1:11pm
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Gail,
Your question on the previous page: "How would I have the school implement the PF class/table?" The same as they implement other rules and policies, or are you looking for a different type of an answer from me?
As for the question regarding a packaged food...I would consider them liable, but IMO, it's not the same comparasion and heres why (imo, of course):
The company is labeling their own product without the reliability of others. They manufacture, package and sell the item with the full intent of targeting people who will be consuming their peanut free food. The school is a building placing safeguards with the peanut/gun/drug free status. They can't guarentee that its 100% PF, gun free or drug free like the cookie company can b/c they are relying on outside contributors the cookie company is relying soley on itself.
We could also bring up Drug Free workplace. How many know of people who do drugs but work in a drug free workplace? I think that its more of the "zero-tolerence" Anna Marie mentioned...so again, do we ask for zero-tolerence classrooms where peanuts are concerned?
But this is why I brought this up, I don't expect the school to guarentee the room is 100% PF, no more than I expect it to be drug and weapon free...What I do expect with a PF status, is the same expectation I do with Guns and Drugs...to enforce the rule and handle it immediately.
Erik, you are correct in assuming that Americans are sue-happy. The liability and the political reasons are why American schools have heart failure at the mention of pnut free anything.

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 1:30pm
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Quote:Originally posted by Cam's :
[b]Erik, you are correct in assuming that Americans are sue-happy. The liability and the political reasons are why American schools have heart failure at the mention of pnut free anything.
[/b]
Yes.. I am surprised at the fact that so many Americans think a peanut-free classroom is not a realistic goal. Here in Canada, we know "peanut-free classroom" does not mean it is 100% peanut-free. It means that everyone strives to make it as close to 100% peanut-free as they can, knowing there is no absolute guarantee.
[This message has been edited by erik (edited May 06, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 2:29pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Gail W., sorry, I must have misinterpreted Cam's Mom's original post (and I think I pretty well said that when I made my original post in this thread). I didn't know that we were speaking about liability in this thread. I didn't know that that was the *issue* of this thread. I thought the *issue* of this thread was comparing how schools call themselves "gun free" "drug free" and why the he** they can't also call themselves "peanut free". I understand where liability would enter into schools calling themselves any of these things, but I didn't think it was part and parcel of me having to understand liability (and my son's school's liability should something happen to him at school PA related) to participate in the discussion.
And yes, after reading many posts after my last one, where I was confused about liability NOW, I still am. School board districts in the Province of Ontario give the PA child the *right* to a "peanut free" classroom. There are some words written in school board policy about how to deal with anaphylaxis in the schools and each school board within the province develops their own little interpretation (which is basically the same throughout the province) using the Anaphylaxis Handbook (I think it's the Anaphylaxis Handbook for Schools).
But there are no point by point written guidelines for a school to follow to ensure the safety of the PA child. There are no point by point written guidelines on how to run a peanut free classroom.
That was why I was so thrilled when I came across the allergy protocol of the other school in my town where the school actually had written guidelines on how to deal with a peanut free classroom (even if I did think it was for a *reduce the risk* school). I was thrilled. I had never seen a school with written guidelines.
The only written guidelines I have seen that are comprehensive and used in my son's school are the ones that Peanut Trace wrote up for her PA child and kindly amended to meet my requirements for Jesse at school as well. It is rare, although becoming more common, for Canadian parents to have written school plans for their PA children because when we first start out we think, hey, they have a policy re Anaphylaxis, we're cooking with gas, when, in fact, we're not.
That's why I raised the question a month or so ago asking people to provide me with copies of their school's written guidelines, particularly if they were a "peanut free" school. These things are rare.
What I have found in advocating for other PA parents in Ontario is when I call a school board and ask for their policy on Anaphylaxis, I receive basically the same policy that every PA parent in the province of Ontario receives (again referring to the Anaphylaxis Handbook). But again, that does not show the school point by point how to effectively have a peanut free classroom.
And having said all of that, perhaps it's just to-day, perhaps I need to contact my lawyer and sort it out with him rather than looking like a stupid idiot here, but all of a sudden, the question of liability is looming in my head.
I know that Jesse's written school plan is not considered a legally binding document. I know the steps that I would need to take to have it considered one only to also know that the school board's lawyers would NEVER sign it.
So here, in Ontario, does the Anaphylaxis Handbook period, with really no point by point guidelines on how to run either a peanut free classroom or peanut free school give the school enough information to be held liable should something happen to a PA child? That was my point.
I still think that my raising the topic of liability veered off from the original topic of drugs/guns/peanuts in the schools, but again, as I posted in my original post in this thread, I think I was kinda confused by it all anyway.
What I would like to do is contact my lawyer and also contact the superintendent of the school board to see what their answers are for my particular situation - i.e., my son has a "peanut free" classroom period. What happens if he has a reaction outside of the peanut free classroom (which he did)? Etc.
I enjoy Cam's Mom's threads and I wanted to participate in this one to-day and that's why I blundered in. Perhaps I shouldn't have.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 2:40pm
erik's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
[b]School board districts in the Province of Ontario give the PA child the *right* to a "peanut free" classroom.
[/b]
Yes Cindy.. I think that is a good point.. In Ontario Canada a peanut-free classroom is a reality.. it is not something that is an impossible dream.
I guess it is a cultural difference between Ontario Canada and the United States maybe?
There are many peanut-free classrooms/schools in Ontario and I never heard of liability problems occurring.

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 2:45pm
erik's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
[b]I enjoy Cam's Mom's threads and I wanted to participate in this one to-day and that's why I blundered in. Perhaps I shouldn't have.
[/b]
Why shouldn't you have ventured in? I think we all welcome everyone's points. I ventured in with my opinions and who knows if anyone will agree with them.. all our opinions are welcomed. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] It is good you added your points.
I also commented on the comparison of gun-free, drug-free, etc..
[i]
gun-free school does not allow guns in the school (but students could still try to sneak them in)
drug-free school does not allow drugs in the school (but students could still try to sneak them in)
peanut-free school does not allow peanuts in the school (but students could still try to sneak them in)
so sounds similar to me...
[/i]
night owl Erik [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 2:47pm
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Quote:Originally posted by erik:
[b] Yes.. I am surprised at the fact that so many Americans think a peanut-free classroom is not a realistic goal. Here in Canada, we know "peanut-free classroom" does not mean it is 100% peanut-free. It means that everyone strives to make it as close to 100% peanut-free as they can, knowing there is no absolute guarantee.
[/b]
It must be late.
Eric,
Did you just state one thing and then immediately contradict that statement in the next breath, er, two sentences?
Maybe it's just me? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]
If, indeed everyone is privy to the undertone of "Peanut Free" in Canada, as you so state, then how could the term "Peanut Free" possibly "send a stronger message"? If, indeed, everyone has the "insider perspective"?
If, indeed everyone knows "peanut-free classroom" does not mean it is 100% peanut-free," then why not use the term "reduce the risk"? What motivation is there in asking for "Peanut Free"? Is the term "Reduce the Risk" is educational in itself?
I have stated in earlier posts today:
[/b]"How "educating" can the words "peanut free" be? If indeed it is a "relative term"? If you take the definition literally, what method is in place to formally achieve this? Does "education" on a subject serve as a more useful tool to "encourage certain forms of behavior"
Still *personally* leaning towards an environment that extremely limits any and all "unnecessary food" from the classroom as well as indicating snack time and meal time to take place in an environment outside of the "classroom" since it indicates in itself how hard certain substances that promote life-threatening allergic reactions can be to remove from an environment or contain. (Again, based on the "institutional", classic, educational settings I am familiar with.)[/b]
If, indeed, a parent is trying to achieve a "risk reduced" classroom and not a 100% guarantee by instituting the label "Peanut Free Classroom" (you indicated:[i]"It means that everyone strives to make it as close to 100% peanut-free as they can, knowing there is no absolute guarantee.[/i]), why institute a label that proverbially speaks out of both ends?
Hypothetically speaking, if we were going to institute "Free" labels in any form, would a "Food Free Classroom" be more effective, reduce more risk, and theoretically easier to monitor than "Peanut Free Classroom"? (Considering your interpretation of "Free", as you indicate in the last two sentences, lol, not meaning a "an absolute guarantee")?
As long as we're travelling the high road here, and not just asking for "lip service".
I have an ethical caveat against asking of persons things I *personally* deem ineffective to the ultimate end of those requests. Even if it does make *me* feel validated.
Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. My words not intended as such in any manner or form. Merely seeking clarification of ideas put forth in discussion.

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 2:55pm
erik's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b]If, indeed everyone knows "peanut-free classroom" does not mean it is 100% peanut-free," then why not use the term "reduce the risk"? What motivation is there in asking for "Peanut Free"? Is the term "Reduce the Risk" is educational in itself? [/b]
Using the term [b]reduce the risk[/b] doesn't say what it means... by saying [b]peanut-free[/b] it will emphasize the goal which is to keep the classroom peanut free.
Reduce the risk could refer to anything... car accidents, etc.. by saying it is a peanut-free classroom we emphasize what the goal is.
And on Ontario we have many peanut-free classrooms. And many smoke-free restaurants (which people may occasionally sneak ina cigarette and smoke) etc....
Peanut-free is an adjective to describe [b]the goal[/b].. as [b]the goal is the be peanut-free[/b]
We could say the goal is to be reduce the risk but doesn't emphasize what we are trying to do.
Yes.. it is late.. time for my frozen waffles topped with merlot while I watch my Star Wars DVD to put me to sleep.. may the force be with you! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 2:59pm
erik's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] What motivation is there in asking for "Peanut Free"?
[/b]
"Peanut-free" is the [b]goal[/b].
Our goal is a peanut-free classroom. But there are no guarantees. Just as a gun-free zone (ie: a courthouse) occasionally erupts in gunfire.
hmm getting late for night owl Erik... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

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