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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 27
Ok here's one for you.
The principal called my husband and I in to talk.

3 parents in my sons kindergarten class are complaing "Why does one set of parents get to dictate what the whole class has to do?"

Since its only K, we (parents, teacher & admin) decided that for parties, the teacher and I will decide on a list of safe foods and parents can donate. I bring whatever is left or still needed.

So for Halloween they were mad they didnt get to bring whatever they wanted. And one parent was mad that my husband was double checking the treat bags. (you know how it is, some parents dont get it, so we had to make sure that what was brought in was safe)

They actually complained to the principal about it.

I have to be with this same group next wednesday for a Thanksgiving party. They really have no clue about food allergies.

The school actually wants us to sit down with some of these folks and explain my son's situation. I really dont think that is appropriate.

Any thougths?

Thanks,
Gina

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Gina
Mom to 6yr old mfa's milk,wheat,egg,peanut,treenut,sesame
www.allergymoms.com


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
Hi Gina,

I'm so sorry you had to go through that. On the positive side, it sounds like you have a very supportive school. I often wonder how those lucky "non-allergy" people would react if it was their child.
I feel it is more appropriate that the principal sit down first with these parents and firmly tell them this situation is not up for negociation. The sooner the better because these problems tend to pick up steam and you may find there are more parents jumping on board as word spreads.

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daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:56 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Kanata, Ontario
I agree that the situation needs to be made non negotiable.

We have a parent at our school who tells her story of over hearing parents complain about that 'allergy kid.' While I do not feel you should be defending yourself, perhaps if you met them and put a face and a story to the reality of allergies, the parents might be a bit more positive and understanding?

I want my son to be more than the allergy kid - but I also want awareness and knowledge out there!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Hi Gina,

This is indeed where you need a principal who will step up to the plate and who will establish safety rules and guidelines. You will need to work with the principal closely.

Please see the following thread, about a letter our principal sent home. It makes it very clear that treats and junk food will no longer be accepted at school, not only for the benefit of anaphylactic children but for the good of all the children:

http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/vie ... php?t=1453

I love that approach. These parents think they can control every aspect of their children's lives and they need to learn that there are rules out there and they need to accommodate children with disabilities. School is for learning and not eating and partying. Parents get so concerned with food and snacks, one parent in my daughter's grade 7 class was all worried that her daughter wasn't getting any time for an afternoon snack and could the teacher give them 10 minutes to eat something? :roll: I was thinking to myself: "Your child will be home in another hour, she can eat then! They already have so little time to learn (compared to other countries), don't take more time away!"

_________________
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: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
I agree that the Principal needs to explain that this is the school policy (if you're in Ontario, it may be part of the schools policy to live up the the legislation of Bill 3 "to reduce the risk of exposure"}. In this case, you are acting as a volunteer with expert knowledge in reading the labels.
Can you discuss this with the principal in advance of the meeting? Maybe explain that you can be there but that you maybe you intend to put the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the principal. Maybe you could bring several food labels and ask the parents to choose which labels are "safe". Ask them to concider that if they make a mistake even once their child may die. Ask them if they wouldn't rather have safe snacks provided.
Good luck.

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Moderator
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: Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Hi Gina, I agree that you speaking to these parents shouldn't be about defending your actions or position with regards to what happened in preparation for Hallowe'en. But I also think what a great opportunity this would be to help educate them about your son's allergy. You could explain why it is so important to have a caring school community to help you and your husband keep your child safe. I understand your frustration when you're faced with ignorant and selfish attitudes about food but if you appeal to the caring and loving parent that they all are towards their own child(ren), I 'd hope that they would meet you half way with compassion for your child. Oftentimes people just don't know that food allergies are a matter of life and death and they speak before they know the facts -- once they have time to hear your family's story and how living with food allergies has changed the way you live, ask them what they'd hope other parents would be willing to do for their child's safety if they were in your shoes. Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 27
Thank you so kindly to all of you who responded.

It seems like I should address these parents and maybe hope for the best. I'm so reluctant because they are already mad. I'll give it a shot though if the administation is able to set things up. With only 3 or 4 parents complaining, I am wondering if they will really show up to meet with us.

I'll keep you all posted.

Take care,
gina

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Gina
Mom to 6yr old mfa's milk,wheat,egg,peanut,treenut,sesame
www.allergymoms.com


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
I am always amazed at the attention given to complaining parents when it comes to allergy issues. The families with allergies "need to understand everyone's rights" yet the parents that complain about the inconvienience of the requests get a sit down meeting with the principal that can threaten the whole policy in place for our kids.

Nevertheless, this backlash comes from people who don't completely understand the issue of allergies and the requests that are made to help keep kids with a serious medical concern safe at school. I think this is an opportunity to raise awareness of allergies. I would not go in and meet parent to parent -- I would try to find a nurse/allergy dr or another health professional to explain it in non-emotional terms the importance of the procedures that are place in your school. No one is trying to 'dictate' anything -- but rather parents of kids with allergies and members of the school community need to be vigilant to prevent a life-threatening reaction. As mentioned, any parent in the same situation would request the same policies to protect their child.

Caroline

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 27
Caroline,
Youre response was music to my ears. I agree with you. I really do.

How can snacks and classroom party treats compare with my sons life and health?

That is actually a good suggestion and the nurse at my son's school is a terrific one. Perhaps she can explain.

Wouldnt it be nice if all birthday celebrations were automatically food free?

Thanks again for your input.
Gina

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Gina
Mom to 6yr old mfa's milk,wheat,egg,peanut,treenut,sesame
www.allergymoms.com


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 9:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Gina wrote:
The school actually wants us to sit down with some of these folks and explain my son's situation. I really dont think that is appropriate.

Any thougths?

Thanks,
Gina


I think the school/principal should take on the responsibility of informing all parents about allergies. It seems to me that the principal is not informed about allergies and wants the parents of the allergic children to do it on behalf of the school. Don't get me wrong, I encourage schools to seek input from parents of allergic children, but in this case, it looks like the principal doesn't want to deal with the angry parents and is passing the unpleasant task onto you. Not fair. I agree with the others here. The principal needs to meet with you and obtain information about allergies, which he/she can then pass on to the complaining parents. I don't think it's appropriate for him/her to let you face the angry parents.

Are you in Ontario? If so, you and the school have Sabrina's Law on your side.

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16-year-old son: peanuts, nuts, raw egg whites, asthmatic
Self: allergic rhinitis, fragrance/chemical sensitivities, oral allergy syndrome


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 9:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Niagara region, Ontario
Gina,

Since these parents sound selfish, here's a way to appeal to their selfishness. Tell them that it would be very traumatic for their children to witness an anaphylactic attack, and then perhaps have to deal with the guilt that their snacks may have caused it. Anaphylaxis doesn't only affect the child experiencing it.

Wishing you strength and good luck as you deal with this.

Soccermom


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Gina, I reread your post and I resent the fact that they used the term "dictate". Perhaps you should indicate to them that you are not dictating, but rather trying to prevent. Your intention is not to control what goes on in the classroom but simply, as a mom, to protect your child.

You should add that it's really easy to avoid peanuts and peanut products, if you give them a long list of safe snacks, perhaps they'll realize that.

Also, try to appeal to their sense of compassion, that you only want what's best for yu child and that you don't want him/her to feel excluded.

Hopefully you will get through to them. :)

_________________
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 Nov 23, 2006 10:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 27
I went in yesterday for a Thanksgiving party. Most of the moms were there when I got there including one of the ones who is complaining.

I said "I want you all to know that I am very grateful that my son has been safe in school this year. He is one of the ones with allergies and I know that some of you are unhappy about parties, and birthday treats and snacks. I want you to know that I wish I did not have to ask for any special accommodations. However my son's allergies are life threateing, we just spent Halloween in the ER, and he deserves to be safe in the classroom.

The Moms could not have been NICER!!
One hugged me (I was crying a little)
One said "I would like to bring in snacks and birthday treats,but there is NO comparison between that and a childs health'
Another said "who is complaining? that would pretty shallow if somebody is actually complaining over that."

It went on for awhile. And then several of the moms came up to me to say more during the party. The complaining mom (the one that I know of) said nothing the entire time. she wont even look at me.

I didnt plan it but it turned out to be a good thing to do! Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions on this!

Take care,
Gina

_________________
Gina
Mom to 6yr old mfa's milk,wheat,egg,peanut,treenut,sesame
www.allergymoms.com


Last edited by Gina on Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:33 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
That's wonderful news!

See, most people do have a sense of compassion. :D

I'm really happy for you.

_________________
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 Nov 23, 2006 10:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
I'm so happy for you Gina! I'm glad things went so well. I truly believe that most people, when they get to know the person or family behind the allergies and have an opportunity to learn more about why we need certain accommodations, are supportive. Appealing to the loving parent in all of us, shows us how much more we are similar than different. We all want what's best for our kids! :)
PS -- Happy Thanksgiving!


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