Who should do this?

Posted on: Wed, 10/11/2006 - 5:50am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

First off, I should explain that in the scheme of things this is not a big deal. But I'm feeling sorta stunk in the middle of my daughter and the school, so I though I'd toss this out for feedback.

Mariah has been eating her lunch in the classroom with her teachers on occasion. She missed a day of school last week, so both Monday and Tuesday she made up work during her lunch hour with a teacher. Other kids are also present for similar reasons. Last year we integrated this into her 504, and the procedures for cleaning etc are followed. So no problems wrt safety issues.

The issue is that the cafeteria monitor wasn't aware that Mariah wasn't going to eat in the cafeteria as usual. So when she didn't show up on Monday, several staff went on a manhunt to find her. Completely understandable and what we'd hope would occur. I mean, she could be on the floor on a bathroom stall in the midst of anaphylaxis. So the issue is one of communicating to the cafeteria staff when Mariah is not going to eat in the cafeteria.

So. . . I suggest that when Mariah shows up in a teacher's classroom for lunch, that the teacher phone the front office to inform them. I see this as an sorta 'in-house' communication issue.

The school views it as a responsibility issue. They think Mariah needs to communicate to staff where she is going to be . . and be there. I see this point, and support it to an extent. I mean the goal here is for Mariah to become independent in a supportive environment.

It wouldn't be a big deal except that Mariah doesn't want to do it and has dug in her heels a bit. She thinks it's 'stupid' for her to walk down to the office to tell the front office staff this information, then walk back to the classroom. The teacher/students would all have to wait for her to return before work could begin. Her point is, why can't the teacher simply call from the room? It would easier for everyone. I see her point.

My antenea go up whenever I see Mariah feeling any type of unfairness or a sense of punishment. She thinks this is unfair, and not her responsibility.

Thoughts?

(BTW, Mariah is 12 and in 7th grade. She is certainly capable of this task. She just doesn't think she [i]should have[/i] do this task.)

Posted on: Wed, 10/11/2006 - 5:56am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

why not let her use the phone and call down to the office?

Posted on: Wed, 10/11/2006 - 6:04am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Great idea. If they won't allow this, can she call using her own cell phone?
If they are concerned about authenticating the information over the phone, she could set up some kind of code/password with office staff so they know it is her.

Posted on: Wed, 10/11/2006 - 9:23am
Nutternomore's picture
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Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]Great idea. If they won't allow this, can she call using her own cell phone?
If they are concerned about authenticating the information over the phone, she could set up some kind of code/password with office staff so they know it is her.[/b]
Hi Gail,
I second this approach. Makes sense to me without making it unduly burdensome for Mariah...

Posted on: Wed, 10/11/2006 - 9:51am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Nutternomore:
[b] Hi Gail,
I second this approach. Makes sense to me without making it unduly burdensome for Mariah...[/b]
odd thing is, any school I walk into in my district and my cell phone is [i]zip--el nada[/i].
No reception, difficulty dialing out. How well does her cell phone work *in* building? It's made me rethink a cell phone for my child strictly for use during school. I can't imagine him depending on it. I can't even dial out from the office foyer: "No Service".
That said, I haven't tried the government channel I can access on my cell... Less dropped calls, greater overlap, fewer "dead zones".

Posted on: Wed, 10/11/2006 - 10:45am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Thanks guys.
She'd love to be able to pull out her cell phone in front of her classmates to call [i]anyone[/i]. But MB, you are correct~ no cell phone service in the building. I asked her after school today if [i]she[/i] could use the phone in the classroom. She said she [i]could[/i], but that 'it's not her [i]job[/i]' so she [i][b]wouldn't[/i][/b].
So she's digging in on principle.
I guess it would be a non-issue if she *wanted* more responsibility, but she doesn't right now. In fact, she's [i]refusing[/i] and saying that she 'won't' do it. Her attitude is, "This isn't my responsibility. If the teacher doesn't want to call and let them know I'm here, then the monitors can run around trying to find me. I don't care."
<> . . . . not looking forward to these teenage years. . .

Posted on: Wed, 10/11/2006 - 11:43am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Strong-willed, isn't she? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Well, what can ya do, really?
I guess as long as she understands that there may be consequences for HER with the school if she chooses to make this more difficult for [i]them.[/i] I mean, there are [i]always[/i] consequences, even for adults. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Not that I'm talking about actual retaliation-- just that if she chooses to say "I'm not mature enough to have to be responsible for THAT too...." Well, then the school is probably going to take a good look at anything else (ie- discretionary priviledges) that might be a reflection of "maturity" KWIM?
(But that's the sort of conversation I tend to have with my stubborn as a mule DD. It is just the kind of mean mom I am.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) Unfair or not, the PA does come with it's share of necessity for additional maturity. I could see how allowing the lunch monitors to run around looking for her repeatedly could definitely lead to unwanted complacency about the situation later on. Crying wolf and all that. It's the reason you don't do fire drills too often in large buildings.

Posted on: Wed, 10/11/2006 - 11:52am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b]<> . . . . not looking forward to these teenage years. . . [/b]
I had to chuckle at that because I have said the exact thing.....and Drew is only 8!!!
She is so strongly opposed to this because it has to do with her PA, right? And no other students have to "check in" with the cafeteria monitors when they are eating lunch in the classroom, right? Obviously, she has a point.
I don't understand why the teacher won't simply pick up the phone and let the office know that Mariah is eating lunch in the classroom. What's the big deal with them doing that? I understand that she (as all of our children) needs to accept more responsiblity as they get older, but it is *SO* important to Drew (and I'm sure, Mariah) to be treated like everyone else. We all know that for their safety they can't always be treated same, but it is wonderful (for everyone) when they can be.
Would they (Mariah and the school staff) be willing to compromise? Maybe it could be her responsiblity to ask the teacher (quietly, beside the teacher's desk, not drawing any attention to herself or her PA) to call the front office and let them know where she is? Gradually transitioning to taking on more responsibility?
(That's great that they noticed she wasn't at lunch and checked on her!! Way to go cafeteria people!!!)
Good luck! Let us know what happens.

Posted on: Wed, 10/11/2006 - 11:58am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b]She thinks it's 'stupid' for her to walk down to the office to tell the front office staff this information, then walk back to the classroom.[/b]
Does she pass by the front office earlier in the morning? When she enters the school building? If so, could she just give a quick "I'm eating in the classroom today" message to someone then? I know that would still put it on her shoulders, which she is opposing, but not drawing so much attention to it by making everyone wait on her.
Just a thought....

Posted on: Wed, 10/11/2006 - 12:32pm
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Drew's mom:
[b] She is so strongly opposed to this because it has to do with her PA, right? And no other students have to "check in" with the cafeteria monitors when they are eating lunch in the classroom, right? Obviously, she has a point.[/b]
Yes. That's [i]exactly [/i]right Drew's mom.
We've been in a pretty good groove. Things have been going so well for a while now that I think she actually felt pretty much like everyone else. . . I know it may sound wierd, but there are times when we've sorta 'forgotten' about the peanut allergy. I mean, it hasn't made the top most important issues on our mind. KWIM?
To her, I think this was a reminder that . . . well, no, you're not like everyone else. <>
And yes, she is now strong willed. I think that mostly came from having been too 'compliant' about her PA and experiencing some painful exclusion. I think now she realizes that she was 'wronged' by well meaning staff that segregated her (in the past), and that she/we should not have allowed that to happen. So yes, she is resolved not to be punished any more for having a PA.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I am very proud of her ability to advocate for herself.

Posted on: Wed, 10/11/2006 - 7:47pm
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

I'm re-writing my original post. I had suggested to point out to your daughter that the teacher is giving up her free time and that your daughter could always choose to make up the work after school.
But then I re-read your post - the teacher is doing this for other kids, too. So your daughter is being singled out - even if she calls from the classroom, she'll look different in front of the other students.
At the same time, you don't want the monitors to start assuming if she's not there she's with a teacher.
How often do these lunch sessions happen? Do you know about them in advance? Maybe you could call?
Argh, but that would be doing the school's job for them.
Bottom line, the teacher should make the call, but I'm not sure if it's worth pushing for it.
[This message has been edited by Greenlady (edited October 12, 2006).]

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