Going Too Far?

Posted on: Mon, 08/28/2006 - 11:55pm
BASP's picture
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Joined: 08/29/2006 - 09:00

I would like to hear others feelings regarding our school actually going too far in dealing with peanut and other allergies. We have two boys in our school, one in second grade and one in fifth grade that have peanut and other allergies. I do not know how severe either one of the cases is but it's my understanding neither one is susceptable to airborne nut material. I feel that our principal has gone above and beyond in accomodating the special needs of these kids and still the parents push for more. So far, letters are sent home constantly revising the "approved list" of snacks which was already VERY short, there is a peanut free table with a peanut free zone set-up in the cafeteria, teachers have to supervise the kids washing their hands when they get to school, the school carnival has to be sure not to use the two hallways that house the classrooms of these two boys and the very popular cake walk/junk food walk at the carnival has to be a carrot/fruit walk. Forget about the holiday parties because they're a joke. No eggs, no flour, no dairy or nuts allowed anywhere, ever. At what point is enough enough? I don't need my principal and his staff including teachers spending time taking care of these issues when they should be teaching and educating children. At what point do the requests get rediculous? These kids are old enough to know what they can and cannot eat. There's no need to mandate what the other 99.5% of the kids can do to facilitate the needs of .5%. The kids need to be able to take care of themselves. I just wanted to see what others thought.
As an aside, I do have a 4 year old that also has a peanut allergy and she knows what to eat, what not to eat and not to share food.
I look forward to hearing others thoughts.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 12:03am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by BASP:
[b] I do have a 4 year old that also has a peanut allergy and she knows what to eat, what not to eat and not to share food. [/b]
Have you read Emily's story? [url="http://www.allergykids.com/index.php?id=12"]http://www.allergykids.com/index.php?id=12[/url]
I wish the very best for you and your daughter.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 12:17am
luvmyboys's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

My school does many of these things for the sake of my son and the many other allergic children at his school. In fact 10% of the incoming kindergarten class has life threatening allergies (5 of 51 kids). It is becoming epidemic. We do have 3 parties a year which I will help plan for my class and attend to make as safe as possible for my son. They will be peanut and nut free. Other than that it sounds almost identical to your situation.
Regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, please recognize that federal law mandates appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities and this includes food allergy under Section 504 of the American Disabilities Act. If it is a public school, the allergic children are entitled to be and feel safe while getting an education.
While at first glance it may seem like an infringement of freedom, your child is not entitled to a junk food walk at a publicly funded school under federal law. Your child is not even entitled to eat his/her peanut butter and jelly sandwich in school under federal law, if the school feels this impacts safety for other students.
Luvmyboys

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 12:24am
BASP's picture
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Joined: 08/29/2006 - 09:00

I understand what you're saying but the fact that there is currently a law in place to force the schools to act a certain way doesn't make it right. Things like cake walks at carnivals have been around forever and I don't remember it being an issue when I was in school. Granted, they don't HAVE to have one, but why should they noy? There might be a few kids who can't participate but the VAST majority still can. My concern was more towards taking too much time catering to the needs of a few kids(and the mothers) and forgetting about the education.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 12:30am
Lindajo's picture
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Joined: 10/14/2003 - 09:00

Welcome! I must say I am very proud of your daughter! She knows what to eat, what not to eat and not to share food. That is a good start! I wish it were that simple.
There is a thread on here dedicated to all those, of different ages, who have lost their lives to an anaphylactic reaction. I'm sure they all knew what to eat, what not to eat and to not share their food. However, in reality it is a learning process throughout the allergic person's life. I think at 4, she knows these things because you have been a great teacher to her about it but she still needs to be guided. She learns from wathcing you and how you are dealing with it and what you teach her. My DD is 11 and I am teaching her how to deal with this every day. I don't think the world should be paved for her "peanut free" but if she can get some help along the way that is great!
I do think some schools go far out with their peanut free policies. There has to be some balance between the PA kids and the non-PA kids.
I would continue to teach your DD about her food choices because of her allergy. It is something she'll have to live with all her life unless there is some way to outgrow or prevent it medically (praying!). I always tell my DD, peanuts are in the world and you just have to avoid them as best you can.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 12:41am
BASP's picture
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Joined: 08/29/2006 - 09:00

I agree completely. I'm just trying to determine if our school is going too far or if they are on par with other schools.
It's always tragic when a child dies regardless if if it was for an accident, cancer or anything else. You can read any of those stories and your heart will be torn out each time. I lived through my friend dying of cancer in high school and it was the horrible.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 12:45am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

BASP -
Thank you for coming here to find out more information.
You mentioned that you don't know how severe the allergies are, and if the kids are sensitive to airborne allergens.
What about contact reactions? Peanut residue can be invisible, but just as deadly.
I totally understand your point about going too far. We've been walking a fine line after putting our son in public school, but it really can all be worked out, AND be fair to everyone.
I suggest you try to find out the extent of the allergies. Maybe then you'll understand why things are the way they are.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 1:00am
CVRTBB's picture
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Joined: 11/23/2001 - 09:00

If your child had anaphalactic reactions from pb residue then you would change your tune in a heartbeat! You would not want the halls filled with something that was deadly to your child. Many children are allergic to residue. My child wasn't till he was 6 or 7... so watch what you say- you may be the one fighting for the same accomodations one day.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 1:02am
BASP's picture
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Joined: 08/29/2006 - 09:00

Thanks you for your response and you made me remember one more question I had that I neglected to add. If the rest of the school is going to make special accomodations for a couple of children with allergies, are the other parents in the school entitled to view the medical records and doctors recommendations to determine of there is TRUELY a medical issue or if the parent is just being overly protective?

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 1:04am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by BASP:
[b] I'm just trying to determine if our school is going too far or if they are on par with other schools. [/b]
I'll share what our school district does. . .
Our carnival at the elementary school has a cake walk and parents voluntarily provide the goodies~ some safe and some unsafe. No overt peanut, but unlabeled foods and also 'may contains'. I didn't address it because the event is held [i]outdoors [/i], kids are not allowed inside, so there was little/no threat of contaminating surfaces inside the school.
We're now at the Middle School, and our 504 plan is clear that any food that is provided by the school or by the Parent Association for general consumption must be safe for my daughter. So that means that any parties organized by the PTA will only serve foods that my DD can eat. The school enforces/oversees this policy. For the lunch program, all the food on the 'line' is completely safe, and there is one basket of 'may contain' pre-packaged products that is labeled as such for those who are PA.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 1:10am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by BASP:
[b]If the rest of the school is going to make special accomodations for a couple of children with allergies, are the other parents in the school entitled to view the medical records and doctors recommendations to determine of there is TRUELY a medical issue or if the parent is just being overly protective? [/b]
Fortunatley, a child's medical and educational record is protected under FERPA and HIPPA privacy laws, so no, another parent does not have the right to this information. The school is prohibitted from sharing this information with you [i]verbally [/i]as well.
What makes you believe that these two parents are being overly protective?
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 29, 2006).]

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