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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:57 pm 
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Location: Ottawa
Our daughter told me today that at school they have played on at least 2 occasions a game similar to Duck, Duck Goose where they used candies. Once involving the regular teacher and once involving the supply teacher.
I've been pouring through the school policy whiuch she brought home. Most of it revolves around ensuring the parents sign off on their documents.
I'm preparing a wish list to discuss with the school so far I've got:
1. Less emphasis on junk food in the classroom
2. Healthy alternatives when food must be involved i.e. fruits and vegetables
3. 72 hours minimum notice of events (celebrations, lesson plans etc) in the classroom involving food.
4. Our daughter is not to be actively involved in garbage clean up, she may however be involved in team spirit building, handing out of garbage bags and other activities which d not bring her directly in contact with the garbage.
5. A note placed where the supply teachers will see it advising to these requests.
6. The school policy of classrooms being combined during snow days is revised and parents be advised of this policy when school plans are being developed.
7. Record of annual school staff in-service of anaphylaxis and emergency use of epinephrine auto injector pens be properly completed as per the document to include names of those who took the in-service, dates, the person who delivered the in-service and their position.
8. A system is created to track which supply teachers have been given the above mentioned training.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:44 am 
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Location: Canada
as you know, i don't have experience dealing with schools. but this wish list sounds thorough. the fact that you've had to ask for some of these things though really points to the fact that the school is not doing its job. (it actually involves your child in garbage cleanup :!: :?: )

you mentioned elsewhere that you are going to the superintendent which I think is the place to go since the school has been negligent....what about a two-pronged approach? would there be any way that you could call other parents in your class to see if others are also concerned and about the prevalence of junk food in the classroom? i'm thinking that if other parents also want change on this front that might help. (then again, calling up other parents might be awkward....people are pretty sensitive about issues like food. i.e. if they don't care about nutrition and transfats they feel defensive when other people do.)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:55 pm 
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Location: Ottawa
We plan on speaking to the superintendent as soon as possible. (he was out of town last week according to the principal) we will call his office Monday to arrange for an appointment.
As far as we can see, the policy has no strategy for reducing exposure so we may be able to make some changes there. They refer to a supporting document but the ideas there are merely suggestions and aren't implemented.
From what we gather it takes some time to effect a change in a policy as the changes have to pass many desks.
As for the garbage pick up-many schools use student labour to remove debris from the school grounds in the name of school spirit. One of the sugestions from their supporting document states the allergic student avoiding this activity. From this we can assume that there is a likelyhood that this activity might happen.
We have stopped assuming that our child is safe and are now working from the premis that if it can happen, it will. :(


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:14 pm 
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Location: Canada
_Susan_ wrote:
We have stopped assuming that our child is safe and are now working from the premis that if it can happen, it will. :(


That's probably the safest assumption especially given your history with the school.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:03 pm 
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Location: Ottawa
Lisa wrote:
Quote:
....what about a two-pronged approach? would there be any way that you could call other parents in your class to see if others are also concerned and about the prevalence of junk food in the classroom?


According to one parent of an allergic child, another parent of a peanut allergic child had ok'd the candies. The parent who ok'd them (parent B) has admitted that she give may contain peanuts to her child.
The first parent (parent A) has in the past expressed concern about the amount of food/junk food in the classroom however she didn't feel there was a problem with these candies because the other parent ok'd them. Parent A allowed her child to eat the candies.
Also parent A watches parent B's child after school.

I think we'll wait to see how it goes with the superintendent. If we need to, I'll approach parent A and try to figure out who the parents of the other allergic students are.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:28 pm 
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Again...I am getting so tired of this. I sent an e-mail off to the Superintendant and Principal. I know that I'm supposed to be nice and sound understanding but I didn't. I basically said you have one rule, "Don't feed our child" , why can't you follow it?
Our daughter is angry at her teachers, scared of getting sick, ashamed that she "let us down", frustrated that this is happening, confused about what happened to her treat box and that is just what I got out of her tonight. That is too much for a 4 1/2 year old to carry around. The way she kept tearing at her kleenex whie she spoke made me feel so sad and powerless.
Why can't they just stop feeding her? They have treats that we have sent. What is their problem?
:twisted: :roll: :cry: :x :? :shock: :( :!:

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Susan,

I get so frustrated seeing that you still have to contiually post about this...I mean this topic is already on page 5. It just keeps happening. I was there too with my daughter, the tears, the feeling she let us down, the fear she would get really sick from making a mistake at school. It sucks! And the one rule "don't feed our child" that is not being followed. Then it all comes down to the child being hurt emotionally, if they survive the physical danger...and for what? So kids can eat junk at school.

Sorry this keeps happening.

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 6:51 am 
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Location: Ottawa
Thanks for the support. You know is was "just a Popsice" this time. You know, from the makers of Creamsicles, and Fudgsicles and on what production line and if the same, how is it cleaned....I don't know, we haven't tried them as we have been content in our world of Freezies and homemade popsicles.
She really lives in a reality different than those around her. When the world is an ever-expanding shmorgusboard of possibilities to her classmates, she sees it a a dangerous place full of unexpected situations popping up just when you've relaxed. She sees those in positions of authority encouraging her to partake in risky behaviour while paying lip-service to keeping her safe. (It was another fire drill reward -reward for being safety concious is something that may or may not kill you)
I will now re-inforce the statement that will henceforth be known as the "get out of jail card" She has been given the freedom from having to stand up to authority figures, now she has, "My Mom and Dad won't let me".
I really should have thought of that before. :?

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 8:48 am 
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Location: Canada
This is really frustrating....sounds like you've hit a brick wall. Seems like you've tried diplomacy and it hasn't worked. Have you carefully documented all of this stuff? If you aren't satisfied with the way the school board is responding to your latest letter, and if your child is offered food or candy again, you might consider raising the "Sabrina's law" flag and threatening to start legal proceedings...if you're willing to go that route. Sometimes people who are being obtuse and who "aren't getting it" suddenly get it when the prospect of a legal battle is ahead.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:17 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
I am truly amazed that someone in charge of the most vulnerable children in the school system can't this one thing straight. I feel so sad for your little girl. Whoever handed her the unsafe treat really owes her an apology. Looking back, my son was lucky. He went to a small rural school and everyone seemed to understand very quickly that he didn't get treats. He missed out on food but they made up for it with pencils, fancy erasers and often went out of their way to stock in safe treats kept just for him. I won't say every teacher was perfect, but as a whole, it was a good environment. Will your daughter be with a different teacher next year or is it more of a school-wide problem?

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Mom of 21 yr old son with peanut/nut allergy & environmental allergies


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Susan,

Being in Ottawa, you can certainly find an appropriate quote from Sabrina's law to maybe "jolt" their consciousness, like "Sabrina's law requires school boards to establish and maintain an anaphylactic policy that includes strategies to reduce the risk of exposure to anaphylactic causative agents in classrooms and common school areas."

The law is the law.

Does the school board have an anaphylactic protocol? The anaphylactic protocol for Halton states the following responsibilities for classroom teachers (this is only a partial list) :

- Where possible, organize celebrations and activities which are focused on activity and not food.

- Establish procedures to ensure that the anaphylactic student eats only what has been approved by parent/guardian.

- Refrain from bringing in food items to the school/classrom that "may contain" allergens. Baked goods from doughnut shops that may contain allergens as a result of cross contamination from other products should not be brought in.

- When buying food products to bring into the school the food ingredient labels must be read.

- When ordering foods from a comemrcial source, request a list of ingredients. Do not bring in food items where the commercial source cannot guarantee that the food is allergen free.

- Ensure that anaphylactic students are not involved in school/classroom garbage clean-up days.

This is an excellent protocol. If your school board doesn't have one, you could suggest that they model it after Halton's. You can see the complete protocol by going to www.hdsb.ca and search "Anaphylaxis".

This is also a link to the Anaphylaxis : A Handbook for School Boards
http://home.cogeco.ca/~cmr/hapg/.

Even with all that, it is frustrating to see that people still don't get it. What more can we do?

Don't despair however. My daughter's high school geography teacher, the one who took the kids to a fudge shop on a field trip, the same one who brought candy in the class and told my daughter that this brand was safe (Regal), to which my daughter replied "Did you read the label?" and when the label was read, the candy turned out not to be safe, finally got it on the last day of school. Monday, she brought Chapman's popsicles for the class!!!!! :D

So you see, don't give up!!

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:53 pm 
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Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Oh Susan, I'm so sorry. I get a sort of full-body ache for you guys just thinking about this. I really feel for your little girl, and for you. As you know, I will be in your shoes next year with my youngest, and have already dealt with it this year with my oldest. (They fed him candy twice in two days - and unfortunately he was only too happy to take it. Which gave him the dangerous message that since he didn't react, it was safe to eat...) I was lucky enough that once I reiterated our message, they smartened up and have gone out of their way to tell me that they have NOT fed him "whatever" when it was served in class, and have instead given him a treat from his treat box.

It really does sound like you have to move this up the food chain. I would follow Dave Levac's advice in the latest Anaphylaxis Canada newsletter and go one level up from where you've gone. It really does sound like an accident waiting to happen, and the emotional cost to your child is totally not acceptable. You idea of "My mom and dad won't let me" is a good one. I will use that next year. Maybe I'll even make some little business cards for Xavier to hand out. Maybe that will help drive the point home...

Do you drop your daughter off in the mornings and get to see whoever is in charge of the class at that point? I know school is almost over, but I wonder if you repeat your message EVERY MORNING next week that she is not to be fed food from outside the house if it might sink in. And maybe for the week to come (which being at the end of school will most likely be a feeding frenzy) you could just make sure she has a treat sent with her "just in case". Just some thoughts.

Isn't it horrible that we have to be come pains-in-the-butts (for lack of a better term) because others aren't doing their job and following the required protocols?? That's really what I resent the most. If people would do their jobs (and do it pleasantly), we wouldn't have to become broken records (or worse). My daycare director is so wonderful: she just does her job, keeps the kids safe, does what we agree upon, all with a smile... it's heaven. (But we're out of there soon. Waaaaaah!)

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 7:52 pm 
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Location: Ottawa
Quote:
Inappropriate behaviour of teacher
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 20:47:20 -0400

If you recall, I wrote to you April 17th 2006 informing you if the 3 occasions of which I am aware were a teacher gave unauthorized food to R.
I am very disappointed to have to e-mail you to say that once again a teacher has fed our daughter, who has life threatening allergies to egg and milk, something which was not approved by us. Today, R informed us that there was a fire drill today and she was given a popsicle for doing a good job. I had previously informed M that we had not tried popsicles on R and I did not know what was in them.
Each time she was given an un-approved treat, it caused her extreme anxiety as she was torn between listening to the person in charge and listening to her parents. R, although only 4 1/2 is quite bright and knows that there is a slim but very real chance that she can have an anaphylaxic reaction. She knows that she can die.
I have tried to intercede by providing the school with 2 treat containers clearly labeled so that each teacher, M and D, have at their disposal suitable treats. So that, should they feel that they must offer junk food to the students, R has a safe alternative. I was led to believe that St. 's school was in agreement with this and would comply.
I have attended each Allergy Support meeting and am willing to work with the school but I have one simple request.
Please do not feed our daughter unless it is food that we as her parents have determined to be safe.I can not understand why this request is not being followed. I would expect that with the legislation currently in effect, your school would try harder to reduce the risk of exposure. I do not understand why there is such a desire to reward children with junk food.
I am requesting that you respond to this e-mail. I want to know how we can stop this from happening. I want to believe that we can send our daughter to school and believe that the school is trying to keep her safe. I do not feel that I am being unreasonable. I fully expect the adults in charge to be able to follow this rule. I do not believe in placing the brunt of the responsibility on the shoulders of a 4 1/2 year old child.
I have read your policy regarding student with anaphylaxic food allergies, I don't think you are living up to your policy.
Please contact me during the day at my work ***-****. Friday I will be at St. 's Elementary school attending the year end picnic.

Sincerely,
_Susan_


I have been venting at work all day. One of the nurses suggested that I contact the Ontario Ministry of Education asd it was they who passed the Legislation. They would be very interested in knowing if schools are not complying. I contacted their general inquiries ine and was given a number to call. I will call them tomorrow after I have spoken to the Superintendant who did not call me today. In truth it is very difficut to contact me at work. I am on the phone constantly.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:25 pm 
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Location: Canada
Susan, I'll be interested to see how they respond to your letter. It's really good--it *should* get their attention. I hope things improve for your daughter...I remember how it felt when I was a kid to be torn between not wanting to reject food from an authority figure and doing what is safe.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:48 pm 
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I'll be at the school tomorrow morning. I will contact the Superintendant in the afternoon.
I am insisting on a meeting with the principal to iron out these problems before the school year starts in September or I will not be able to keep her at this school. They have tolld me all this year that they will do as we say but they haven't.
I will contact the government and ask about how this legisation is enforced.
I will contact a lawyer through my company's Employee Assistance Program to see what can be done that way. I am afraid that the only thing that will make them sit up and take notice is if it has repercussions on them.
There has to be some responsibility taken by the professionals.
Thank you all for your support. I can't believe that I am in Ontario and having to go through all of this. It simply is not right.
They are not honouring Sabrina.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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