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Does your elementary school have constant adult supervision while children eat their lunch?
Yes, in room with children 64%  64%  [ 9 ]
Yes, wandering between classes 29%  29%  [ 4 ]
No 7%  7%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 14
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
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Location: Toronto
Poll requested by Caroline2.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
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Location: Toronto
Normally my son's school has students in two rooms with adult supervisors in both. That's what I selected in the poll.

Occasionally when the rooms are not available the students eat in their classroom with the supervisors in the hall wandering between them. I'm not sure how often that happens, maybe about two weeks per year. As an exception I don't object to this, but I wouldn't be happy on an every day basis.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Right now we are dealing with SK so the snack is supervised.
I have told the principal that I will focus much attention to this mid-term in preparation for next year. She might as well prepare now. :P

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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: Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
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Location: Gatineau, Quebec
We are very fortunate in that the majority of kids in our school are also part of the in-school daycare, and the daycare teachers supervise the kids - one supervisor per class.

Those few who are not part of the school daycare and who eat at school do so in the gymnasium, I believe, with adult supervision.

I cannot imagine NOT having adult supervision AT ALL TIMES in a room where children are eating. What are they thinking??? I know that funding is tight, but these are children's lives. Whether it's the risk of an allergic reaction or choking or whatever, there is a very real risk when kids are eating.

This really sounds like some kind of topic for W-5 or something!!

K.

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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: Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:53 am
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Location: Fredericton, NB
0ur school has a separate lunchtime for K-2 and 3-5, and each shift eats in the cafeteria with adult supervision.

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Heidi
SAHM to 2 boys, ages 5 (anaphylactic to peanuts) and 1


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
At my school grades 1-3 eat in their classrooms with a teacher in each room. Grades 4-6 ( approx. 80 students) eat in the gym with 3 teachers supervising.

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daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
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Location: Ontario, Canada
I have to amend my response. :oops:
There is only 1 teacher this year in the gym with the grade 4-6 students because we have had a drop in enrolment. I'm in the kindergarten so I'm not involved in lunch duties.

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daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia
So, I don't think our supervision is constant with 3 adults walking past 16 classrooms. Is this really the norm?
Caroline

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
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Location: Ontario, Canada
3 adults to 16 classes is unsafe. Besides the fact that there is at least 1 severely allergic child involved, I would be concerned about choking. Sorry, I don't mean to stress you out even more Caroline2 !

Are other parents at your school concerned about this issue?

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daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
What do other responders mean when they say that there are adults moving from class to class? Is this different from my situation?

I have found out that this situation is the norm in Victoria schools. Kindie doesn't eat lunch at school; grades 1 -3 have 2 older grade students as 'lunch monitors'; grades 4-7 self monitor. The three adult duties who walk around the halls checking on classrooms as they make their rounds. They are now wearing vests since I asked about this. However, I do not count this as constant adult supervision in my book! I should answer NO for this poll. Ahhh...yes, the stress continues!

Caroline

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
Caroline2,
I can't answer this poll because my son is not in school yet, but once again want to SUPPORT you and say this is NOT ACCEPTABLE, you shouldn't have to accept this. It seems like (from your other threads) your school principal wants you to feel like you are over-reacting. You are not over-reacting. I don't think most parents on this forum would be happy with the lack of lunchtime supervision. If it happened to me, I would go to the board immediately.
It seems like maybe other parents haven't complained about this situation? Well maybe they have but they received the same brick-wall response from the school principal. And even if they haven't complained, doesn't mean it's ok. And even if other parents think it's ok, it's not ok for YOU.
I can't imagine the "older grades" CHILDREN who are watching over the younger grades have been trained to recognize what breathing distress looks like, or choking, or a seizure, or hives. Are they supposed to curb bullying too?

Did anyone see that documentary on Newsworld recently ...the Human Experiment. Some of it was a bit difficult to watch. However, It showed that when confronted with a bad situation, sometimes nobody in a group will respond. Sadly, lack of response encourages more lack of response. But when just 1 person responds, others are more likely to respond too. I guess we know this anecdotally just from living life. But, it has been psychologically proven! Something for food allergic people to remember when they need to advocate for themselves. Maybe we are not alone with our discomfort in our particular situation, but we won't know until we speak up.

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6-yr old son: anaphylactic to peanuts; asthma
1-yr old daughter: No known allergies


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Thank you, Catherine.
I have been composing a letter this weekend to send to the associate superintendent, the principal and the health nurse to say that my husband and I do not agree that my anaphylactic son is safe eating in an unsupervised lunchroom where peanuts are present.

I have become even more disheartened, though, when I found out that this supervision is standard thru Victoria schools. Now that there is 'allergy awareness' coming through the ana policy instead of 'allergy avoidance', it seems now other schools are bringing in the policy that all kids in the same classroom must eat together, no matter if there are allergies or not (they will NOT ask parents not to bring them in). I am really really worried for so many kids -- and they need to know that, don't they.

Caroline

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
Yes they do.

I'm surprised to hear that "allergy awareness" does not include avoidance of a specific food in the classroom, when that food is known to cause life-threatening reactions to specific students.
You are doing the right thing advocating for your child and the other kids too.

Remember allergysafecommunities.ca:
"The most successful board policies cultivate understanding and enlist the support of the entire school community."

I forgot about this report but found it again tonight, maybe you have already seen it, we may have talked about it previously (?), it's from the Cdn School Board Assoc,: http://www.cdnsba.org/pdf/anaphylaxis_eng.pdf
Hope you can review, specifically pg 27 talks about the rights of parents to feed their children vs the rights of life and safety as greater, and pg 31 talks about Avoidance in the Classroom!:
"Eliminating allergens from areas within the school where the anaphylactic child is likely to come into contact with food may be the only way to reduce risk to an acceptable level"
It is a large document, I have not read the whole thing but I would think it speaks the language that school boards understand.
You are doing a great thing!

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6-yr old son: anaphylactic to peanuts; asthma
1-yr old daughter: No known allergies


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:25 am 
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Yes, that is the document my school board uses. Unfortunately, they are very focussed on the legal obligations, and have even 'filed' the policy under "Legal and Financial Policy." They are prepared to adminster the meds, and to act in an emergency but not to limit the allergen in the classroom. Particularly, I hear over and over again what is on page 16

Quote:
Modifying the school environment
Provincial human rights legislation generally imposes an obligation on institutions such as school boards to accommodate individuals with disabilities. This obligation is mirrored in the Constitution of Canada and, in particular, s. 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which provides that: “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on ... physical disability.”2 It is arguable that humans rights law, when coupled with the provisions in provincial education legislation respecting students’ attendance rights, would require school boards to adapt the school environment to accommodate students with medical disabilities in the school setting.

Despite the foregoing, there is no legal obligation to eliminate all risk. To date, the courts to date have refused to accept the general proposition that a school board is an “insurer” of all risks potentially confronting its students. Rather, a school board’s duty is to exercise reasonable care and skill to see that students are kept reasonably safe. Numerous cases interpreting the provincial human rights legislation and s. 15 of the Charterhave applied a roughly analogous standard holding that, aside from any duties prescribed by other legislation, school boards have an obligation to make reasonable effortsto accommodate students with medical disabilities. The standard of accommodation is not one of perfection but of reasonableness, short of undue hardship. No school board should ever assume responsibility for providing a completely allergen-free environment.

The duty of accommodation also places some responsibility on the affected individual. Students with medical disabilities are expected to co-operate in the accommodation process. This may well mean that the student and/or the parent/guardian must advise the school of the student’s medical condition and work with the school to determine what medical accommodations are necessary and appropriate.

Implications for school boards
The duties imposed on educators by provincial education legislation are typically couched in broad language. Such legislation does not specifically impose an express obligation on educators to administer an injection in response to an anaphylactic emergency. For example, the Memorandum mentioned above does not prevent Ontario educators from administering injections in an emergency, but neither does it impose an obligation to do so. Nevertheless, it is clear that school boards cannot prohibit anaphylactic students from attending school because of their medical condition. Based on human rights legislation, it is very likely that a court would hold that educators have a legal duty both to administer an injection in response to an anaphylactic emergency and to be prepared for that possibility.


I hear again and again how they cannot guarantee and allergen free environment which would create a 'false sense of securtiy' in the classroom and school. I ALWAYS reply I don't want a guarantee -- I want to REDUCE THE RISK -- and tell them that I have a REAL case of insecurity with the way things are. They will not hear me or move from their guarded, legal position. I feel slightly insane for having to deal with this again and again... but, by now, I think you all have figured that out. :wink:

Caroline
(who does not want to dream about this situation tonight....like all the other nights....)

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
If you don't get anywhere with the school board you may have to request an EA (education assistant). It can be argued that your child's condition requires constant supervision particularly when eating.
http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/policy/policies/funding_special_needs.htm
This is when the very real concern is greatest.
Your school does not seem to be/or to want to be supportive enough in this.
Do they understand that the major rule of food allergies "No EpiPen/Twinject = No eating" is still in effect at home? Do they get that unless you grow the food yourself, there is a possibility that it come in contact with an allergen? Do they get that even a mild react can cause some swelling in the tongue and throat which can cause an increased risk of choking?
Are the parents of the older students, who truly are supervising the lunch time, realise the level of responsibility placed on the shoulders of their children? Are these students trained to recognize the signs and symptoms and how to respond? Do they know where the medication is kept?
Good luck!

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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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