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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:45 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
I have read your forum on the noted subject however, I am interested in asking Storm what school in Ontario does her child attend? I am in Ottawa and I'm looking to change the ways of my school and I need a school to model after. Let me know if you are able to provide me with any help. Thanks, Kathy.


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 10:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Hi Kathy,

I don't think there is one "model school" out there, as things tend to change from year to year. My son's school has a new principal this year. There are still bans in individual classrooms on foods and his new teacher is allergy aware.

However, I am a bit disappointed with my son's school this year (and I don't know if this has to do with the fact that there is a new principal) but in March, the school organized a field trip to Cadbury, which excluded all peanut/nut-allergic children and parents. I don't know if the exclusion was a good thing and showed allergy awareness, or a bad thing because it excluded children with allergies. As much as my son understands that he can't always participate in activities (like bake sales, even though the parents are requested to bring in peanut/nut free treats), he was upset that he had to stay in another teacher's class that day and do school work while all the other kids were out having fun. He felt as though he was being punished for something he has no control over. I know he is the minority and the majority of children could go... but more thought could have been put into the feelings of the children who were excluded, like planning another fun activity while the other children were at Cadbury's, such as watching an educational movie. Anything but making them stay in a classroom and do work.

I don't know if your child is allergic to dairy but my son's school also has Pizza Days every month. My son is not allergic to dairy so I can't comment how this makes the parents of dairy-allergic kids feel.

Generally, I have found all of my son's teachers to be allergy-aware. They have never hesitated to call me and ask about a particular food. Last year, the Grade 8's sold ice cream as a fundraiser and they specifially chose Chapman's so all peanut/nut allergic children could participate.

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


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:45 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
I realize this is an uphill battle but I am trying to educate parents who are clueless to at least being aware of how life threatening these allergies are. I just want to say to them all " How would you feel if the food you sent your child into school with today caused a death in the school?" Is this what it's going to take, as if Sabrina's Law doesn't say it loud and clear!

My son is allergic to peanuts. The principal and some others teachers are quite aware of this. He is not the only child in the school with an allergy, there are others with nut/dairy etc. allergies as well (they are older mind you) but this past week they had a muffin breakfast to celebrate Education week and offered me to organize and monitor a peanut/nut free table. My question was " Will there be other peanut/nut muffins also in the gymnasium at the same time" to which the reply was "yes!" How dare they be so stupid, if I may say. I explained that the cross-contamination factor was too high and that I would declilne based on that. They actually were surprised. So the education process not only needs to go out to the parents but to the principal and staff too! My friend attended the muffin breakfast the next day and was blown away by the amount of Tim Hortons boxes that were there, including ones visibly with walnuts!

I contacted the superintendant of the Catholic Board only to get a textbook version of their policy. How fast do you think things would gets changed around in the board if one of theirs had a life threatening food allergy? The superintendant wouldn't give me the name of the school in which one the children had an oral allergy to peanuts/nuts but told my principal to contact him instead. I want to see how that school handles these issues so that I may attempt to incorporate some of the same guidelines.

I also attempted to go through Parent Council and they feel that they have doing it this way for years and it hasn't been a problem so far. What Twits! Right now I have it good I'm told as JK and SK are the best for checking foods being bought into the school. What's going to happen next year? Sorry for venting but my frustration level is rising with each attempt I make. Thanks for listening.


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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 11:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:13 am
Posts: 28
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta
I agree with your frustration and your venting is needed at times. I have had my own issues with my daughters school. Her teacher is very helpful with trying to make sure that my daughter is safe but the principal is not. They were doing a fundraiser for the school, it included chocolate covered cashews and almonds. Cashews are a major allergen for my daughter. I talked to the principal about possibly sending a notice home to parents to please not send these products into the school he informed me that we could not do that because they were allowed to have it there all year. My daughters teacher sent a notice home to both kindergarten classes explaining that if these products were sent to school that it was life threatening to my daughter. Even with this notice one of the parents in my daughters class sent in the chocolate covered cashews for lunch. My daughter said right away that she couldn't have those and she let the teacher know. I was happy my daughter noticed this and said something but i was upset that even with the notice it was sent in. So I am not to worried about the may contains at this point i am more worried about the actual product coming in.

_________________
Daughter Ana to Cashews, Pistachios


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 7:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
I too feel your frustration.
I have been trying to explain to our school that events such as you describe should encourage a sense of community and build school spirit but when you plan activities which obviously put students on edge or ineffect ostracize a student, this goes against what they are trying to accomplish. Unless you live with the threat of deadly reaction each time you eat, you cannot appreciate the anxiety that goes along with it. I have told our principal that my daughters reality is different from hers. The principal needs to accept that and work with it. I really want school and academia to be pleasant experiences but I am not finding it to be so.
I was at the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board with they accepted their revised policy.
http://www.occdsb.on.ca/policy.php?poli ... ShowPolicy
I told them that the new policy did not meet legislation as it puts the onus on the principal to create a plan to reduce exposure to allergens and to diseminate information. This is the responsibility of the school board under Bill 3.
The responsibility of the principal is to develop an individual plan for each student.
I told them that this will create an inequality within the school system as some schools will be safe and some won't.
http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_ ... nID=38%3A1
Quote:
2. (1) Every board shall establish and maintain an anaphylactic policy in accordance with this section.

Contents of anaphylactic policy

(2) The anaphylactic policy shall include the following:

1. Strategies that reduce the risk of exposure to anaphylactic causative agents in classrooms and common school areas.

2. A communication plan for the dissemination of information on life-threatening allergies to parents, pupils and employees.

3. Regular training on dealing with life-threatening allergies for all employees and others who are in direct contact with pupils on a regular basis.

4. A requirement that every school principal develop an individual plan for each pupil who has an anaphylactic allergy.

5. A requirement that every school principal ensure that, upon registration, parents, guardians and pupils shall be asked to supply information on life-threatening allergies.

6. A requirement that every school principal maintain a file for each anaphylactic pupil of current treatment and other information, including a copy of any prescriptions and instructions from the pupil's physician or nurse and a current emergency contact list.


I think it's quite clear.

Quote:
The superintendant wouldn't give me the name of the school in which one the children had an oral allergy to peanuts/nuts but told my principal to contact him instead.

I think it's disgusting that they won't deal directly with you. I am starting to think that we need to use their own policies regarding safe schools on them. It is a form of bullying and/or harassment (although unintentional) on this they have zero tolerance but for food allergies...grr.
Can you contact each school principal and generally ask how their school deals with this issue? It's not as if you are asking for confidential information.

_________________
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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