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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:16 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Susan,

Quote:
One parent of food allergic children told me, "It is easy for officials to silence parents with suggestions that their children are a burden on the school or that meeting their child's needs somehow detracts from the school's obligations to "normal" children. For me, placing parents in the false position of choosing between community interests and their primary obligation to their own children creates a chilling atmosphere of intolerance."

Quote:

Many school officials still do not understand safety to be a disability discrimination issue.


From this web site:

http://www.healthy-kids.info/faqdetail. ... precords=9

It looked like an interesting site (american, but relevant) and offered some good quotes about legal obligation, discrimination and the fact that if schools fail to provide a safe environment (from the allergen, and the emotional trauma), they are failing in providing educational opportunities to ALL kids.

For me, here in sask with no laws, talking to the "would have been future school" was pointless. They would "try" and "encourage parents to send allergen free treats" blahh, blahh, blahh, but bottom line, the danger of being around allergens and the "democratic approach" to every parent having an opinion (and vocally sharing it with their kids, my kids classmates) about how critical it is to have my kids allergens in their classroom as "special rewards and treats, and because other kids don't eat a proper breakfast and need milk at school" was physical and emotional trauma waiting to happen.

For you susan, you have a law to protect your daughter. Use it and don't for a second feel like you are overreacting or unreasonable. I agree with you 100% that it is time to pursue legal intervention...

_________________
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: Fri Jun 23, 2006 8:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Susan, you're paving the way for others. If you pursue this legally, it will make the schools stand up and take notice that this is serious. This is exactly what Sabrina's law is for. They have an obligation to make your child's environment safe.

Saskmommy, I feel sorry for you, I hope that there will someday be a legislation like Sabrina's law in your province. In the meanwhile, can you perhaps print out the Halton protocol and give it to your school to show them how seriously we take it here? Perhaps they can model something after our protocol?

I know, you get tired of fighting, but don't give up because someday, something will click with somebody, hopefully! :D

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Nicole,

We actually chose to homeschool. I think it is pretty common knowledge on the board after SIl attacked me over the decision.

I actually do not feel sorry for myself, and our position we are in in regards to school...however, I have MAJOR concerns for other kids who may not have a parent able to give up an income for 15 years to homeschool. It is quite a sacrifice the school should not be requiring of those of us with allergic kids. If I was a single parent, or lived in a large communtiy with a higher cost of living, I would be totally screwed!

Definitely, the school situation may have been managable for my peanut/nut allergic daughter. It was pretty unbareable in regards to the school *trying* to feed her treats, and the constant reminder that she was different...and all so the class could have jelly beans or cupcakes. Pretty unnecessary picking away of her self esteem! With my milk allergic kid...the situation looked 100 times worse! I just could not bring myself to believe that school would be in their best interests from the "self worth" point of view. Maybe the sitauation would be different with laws, but right now all teachers here seem to have this idea that "the handing out of junk food treats" and reminding that allergic child that they are different is acceptable. When the system dismisses the feelings and emotional development of a child so many kids can have junk food at school...it does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling that my kids will thrive in that environment.

I don't want to hijack this thread, which is so important, for a homeschool discussion. I just sit in the position of creating a positive environment at home for my kids, but still actively trying to make things better in the schools for other kids with allergies.

_________________
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: Fri Jun 23, 2006 8:50 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Warning, this is long!
0845 arrive for the year end JK/SK concert which starts at 0900. The principal, "I want to speak with you.". Well good, I thought because I want to speak to you too.
She leads me to the room furthest from the foyer and closes the door. She stated that my e-mail sounded like I was implicating the other teacher. I pulled out the package I faxed to the Superintendant including the fax cover letter, which had the statement that I felt it sounded that way and clairfiying by name which teacher gave her the popsicle.
I suggested the principal make a photocopy for her file. I told her that I was very angry when I sent to e-mail but it didn't go through and I had to fax it.
I told her that this was the end of the year and it was still happening.
That our daughter informs me that there are no paper towels in the classrooms and haven't been for sometime as they "haven't gotten around" to replacing them. (not a phrase we commonly use at home)
That the school policy "acknowledges the need to reduce the risk of exposure" but in no way states how they intend to go about that.
That what she gave me as proof of the teachers being trained on the EpiPen was not compete documentation (a form on which was scrawled "All staff trained October 2005) that it should have included what the training session was called, the date, who the educator was, that persons' credentials and if the statement "all staff" be used that an attendance sheet accompany the form. I told her that I worked in health care and am quite aware of proper documentaion and that what she gave me woud not pass an audit.
Apparently the teacher thought I had said she could feed our daughter any popsicle except the purple one. :roll: What I said was that we had never given her popsicles and had not researched them. If they felt that they had to give har a popsicle, then to please tell me what brand they planned to give so that I might investigate the ingredients etc. That I would like our daughter to be able to have something similar but that I would need to determine that. I had also said that we gave her the No-Name freezies with the exception of purple as they contain caramel and we have not determined if the caramel is sugar based or milk based.
I suggested that in the future, all communication be done letter format or e-mail. That way we both have a paper trail of exacty what had been said. To this she agreed.
I told the Principal that her reality is different than our daughters and that what is only sugar water on a stick to her is potentially deadly to our child. That our child is bright and figured it out all by her self, she knows she could die. That we have at our disposal the means to deal with the medical situation that can arise from their behaviour but that we have no magic drug to erase the psychological damage that her school is inflicting. Our daughter is bright and I fully expect her to go far in school but that this year has been her first experience with school and it has not been a good experience.
I left her then, to attend the concert but told her first that I was really trying not to be agressive, that we would be attending this school for a long time to come, that we purchased our home last fall because of the school, the library, the sportsplex and the daycare. We weren't about to change all of that. That I wanted to keep the lines of communication open and to move forward towards a goal of zero incidents.
I took the opportunity during the picnic after the concert to speak to the teacher mentioned in the e-mail to appologise for any harm that she might face as it did sound like I was accusing her. I told her to see the Principal to see what I wrote on the fax cover letter.
The other teacher did not speak to me, although she was present.
After lunch I recieved a call from the Principal profusley appologising. I ignored her appology stating that at this point I only wanted to change their policy to protect our child in the future and to estabish ground rules that could be followed. I suggested that she speak to her Superintendant about what the other school under his guidance were doing. (I heard at a recent Ottawa Allergy Support Group meeting that a sister school was much better). I told her that I wanted to be at the EpiPen training session nfor the upcoming year and that it shoud be before the school year started to be able to protect the children from day 1. I also said that it woud be beneficial to have a follow up session mid term to allow for any concerns on thepart of the teachers to be answered and that (while I was on a roll) we should have a speaker talk on this subject at a School Council meeting.
We agreed to mee,t my husband and I, herself and the 2 teachers for the new year a week before school starts to ensure that everyone is understanding of what we need to do.
I told her that I expected a call from the Superintendant that afternoon and I would convey the gist of this conversation to him. She asked if I still needed him to call me and I said, "Yes.".
She acknowledged that I have lost all sense of trust in her and her school and I replied that I was not concerned with that. That I was only concerned with our daughters physical and emotional well-being.
I received a call from the Suiperintendant who advised me that he will be meeting June 27th with the school board to discuss revisions to their policy. I asked for a copy and was told it would be on their website.
He alluded to our previous conversation when I broke of his sentence with, "We have never spoken before, you did not contact me regarding my last communication to you."
I told him of my concerns regarding the continual feeding of treats from the teachers, the lack of supervision of grade 6 helpers regarding the handing out of treats, the lack of supplies for basic handwashing in the classroom. I told him that many parents of children without food allergies are dismayed at the amount of junk food offered in the classroom. He started with "the other parents bring it in at Christmas...", I told him it was the teachers using marshmallows as space markers during Bingo, red licourice as a reward for fire drills, Kindersurprises as a reward for fundraisers. I told him that I might have to start asking my daughter to not comply as I don't want her rewarded in such manners.
He seemed genuinely surprised by this.
I advised him that St.L's seemed much better able to deal with this issue and he told me that they had more children with food allergies. I got a bit offended and told him that our daughter was every bit as important as those children and that I fully expected this school to comply just as the other school did under his jurisdiction.
I then called the MInistry of Education and spoke to the Education Officer for this school board. He basically told me that as this was now legislated, it was a law and to enforce it I would have to contact a lawyer. I asked him just what his job was. He stated that he was a liason between me and the school board. So basicaly, if it happens again I can ask him to "liase" for me and then decide if I want to pursue legal action. (I could also ignore him completely and pursue legal action)
I will next contact my Employee Assistance Program person and arrange to meet with a lawyer to see how to proceed. I am still working from the premiss that it will happen again and want to know in advance what I need todo to move forward as I know that one of these days we may not be so lucky as we have been. If I had to do all of this from a hospital or worse, I might not have the energy.
They have aroused that part of me that loves a good fight and I can not think of any better than fighting for my child's life! Did ya figure out yet that I'm Irish??

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Susan... a big, no make that a HUGE, pat on the back to you!! Well done!

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:09 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Whew! You know I feel so much better for having done this much. I really did need the day off work to do it.
I'm not done yet. I'll keep you posted.

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Well done Susan! I am so impressed with how you are standing your ground. Definitely keep us posted.

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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 218
Location: Ontario
Wow Susan - what a great job you're doing! Kuddos to you.

_________________
4ye old DD allergic to sesame, peanut, raw egg , and mulitple environmental & seasonal allergies

2 yr old DS -no known allergies!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:19 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Susan in the process of fighting for your daughter's rights and health and safety, you're helping all other current and future allergic children attending her school. As frustrating and time consuming as it is, know that you are making a real difference!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Good for you Susan, good for your daughter too and good for all the others who will follow.

When the superintendant said "They have more allergic children", that brought MY irish up and I'm not even Irish! One allergic child, 20 allergic children, it doesn't matter, the rules are the same.

If a school had only one wheel-chair bound child and another school had 20, does that mean they would make that school wheel-chair friendly but not the one with just one kid?

Same difference!

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Wow, Susan, that is impressive! I have the impression that the principal was at a few points trying to make the conversation personal...i.e. in mentioning that you were implicating the other teacher and in indicating that you had lost all sense of trust....Thanks for keeping us posted on this!


Last edited by Helen on Mon Jun 26, 2006 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 919
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Susan, I am also SO impressed with everything you have done! You are helping your daughter, and the entire allergic community with children attending schools across Canada. Thank you.

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:11 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
The school board is having a meeting Tuesday June 27th in the evening. I am requesting to have the opportuninty to speak during the rate payers session at the beginning of the meeting. One of the items on the agenda is the anaphylaxic policy. I have never done this before.

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Susan, if I were in town, I'd offer to come with you, but unfortunately I'm not. You'll do great, I'm sure. And we'll all be thinking of you.

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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:39 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Susan, you go, girl! :wink:

_________________
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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