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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 12:07 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
I asked the associate superintendent why there were children monitoring other children at lunch time and this is the reply I got:

"Lunchtime supervision ,  while children are eating ,  is conducted by adults who are circulating and looking into the classroom on a regular and consistent rotation over the 15 minute time frame. These adults consist of trained "duty" workers as well as the principal and vice-principal. Just as there are supervising adults placed strategically on the field and circulating while the children are playing, these adults also circulate while the children are eating. Lunch "monitors" (the older students) are trained to go to an adult if there is a situation that requires one, as their purpose in the classroom is really to help with opening food containers etc."

Is this a usual thing for schools that eat their lunch in the classroom? And, I must say that my 11 year old daughter is a lunch monitor and she said she was not really aware of these adults, except to they stick their head in if it is noisy. (And, interestingly enough, all the lunch monitors are getting epi pen training on Monday -- yup, 10 to 12 year old kids ready to jump to aid anaphylactic kids. I can't decide if this is a good idea or not -- they will also be spoken to by the health nurse on food allergies.)

So, what I want is adult supervision in classrooms that have anaphylactic children where also the allergen is allowed in the room. Right now we have that kids can bring peanut butter and there is this combo of kid and fleeting adult supervision. I don't think this is enough, do you?

Caroline
(who is on the path to change things....)

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:14 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
I think you should do everything in your power to change the fact that your son is eating lunch in a classroom with other children who are allowed to eat peanut butter and other nut products. That is a ticking time bomb in my opinion. Peanut protein is so potent that even the most miniscule amount is needed to cause a reaction. My son is severely allergic to peanuts and recently had an anaphylactic reaction to what I believe were residual amounts out in public. This is not a safe situation for your child - I've also heard of stories on this board of allergic kids being "teased" or "bullied" with PB sandwiches. I think the lunch supervision issue is secondary to this.
I don't have my child in school yet so my comments aren't based on how things are necessarily done here but based on what I feel I would be comfortable with. In classrooms where there are allergic children, it only makes sense that there is constant adult supervision. And supervision by adults who have been trained on anaphylaxis and how / when / why to administer epinephrine. If the school wants to include the 10-12 year old lunch monitors in the training - great - but they should not be given the responsibility of having to administer or of notifying an adult of an emergency. This is an adult's responsibility. I know how unsure I felt when I recently had to administer epinephrine to my son - I would never give that responsibility to a child.
I don't know how comfortable you are about doing this - by why don't you team up with the school nurse and together you could give presentations to all the teachers and students in the school (or at the very least your child's classroom). Others on this board have spoken about how great their child's classmates have been about wanting to help keep their child safe. Your child's friends can be his best allies. Let us know how it all turns out!


Last edited by ethansmom on Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I agree with you! As I understand it if any student gets injured on school property, the principal/school board is liable. If you are having difficulty negotiating with the school, this is one avenue of questioning that might get results.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
I am amazed they are permitting PB in the lunchroom where anaphylactic kids are present.
Blown away.
I think your principal needs a huge wake up call.

Sorry to not be more constructive.....
I would definitely not accept the situation.

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


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Caroline2, I am extremely appauled by that situation. It seems your principal is aware of your concerns but not willing to accomodate him. Have you contacted your school board? Maybe they could help since the principal isn't doing a good job here. You OBVIOUSLY are not okay with the situation (and shouldn't be), but the principal may not be taking your concerns seriously because your child is still being left in their care.

I do think contacting a lawyer is a good idea. Even though there is no sabrinas law...schools still have laws about the safety of students. Maybe a lawyer could help you piece together your rights under your current law, and if "truency" by reason of unsafe school would help open some eyes to the danger.

A school in my city has a MAJOR bat problem. Yes...you heard that correctly BATS! I overheard some teachers (one from the school) talking and the bats are everywhere. They had caught 39 the first week of school...just imagine how many you don't see. Since bats are nocternal...they were not *necessarily* flying around the school during the day. Well...just imagine the air quality because the little critters poop all over the school at night. The teachers were fighting the school board to spend the $ for an exterminator and "bat proofing" the old building with no luck. The school board is not legally allowed to ignore kids legally truent. The teachers were baffled by all the parents who still drop their kids off each morning dispite possibly disease ridden poop all over the school. They were wishing some parents would pull their kids out by reason of unsafe conditions in order to force the school board to deal with the problem.

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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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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
How is a child supposed to find the adut if the adult is wandering around the school checking on other classes?
If eating at school is the trend then appropriate space and supervision should be made.
When are these rooms cleaned? I say every student bring the smelliest lunch alowed on some hot day! Lots of cantaloupe and banana peels! :P

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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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 Post subject: thank you again
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Thank all for the support you have afforded me. I really appreciate it. I have so much work to do!

I will soon be posting the arguments the school board and the principal give me when I try to get a stronger application of the policy. I would love it if you could look at them and give me your counter-arguments -- I have read a number of publications on this issue, but I would like your take as well.

I will be addressing the parents on Monday night at the first meeting. It will be especially important because my principal forgot to mention them in the first newsletter home. GRRR.

more soon, thanks again,
Caroline

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
I'm new to this forum and to allergies. I'm trying to read up on recent posts and was extremely shocked to hear that children are not being supervised directly by an adult for lunch-allergies or otherwise. I am a teacher and in my School Board, it is my understanding, that children must always be under the direct supervision of a qualified teacher. I have a very experienced Educational Assistant in my class as well as a regular volunteer who is a retired teacher. They are not to be left alone with the children because if something were to happen, I am legally responsible ( this has been my understanding during my 14 year teaching career). You may want to look into this with your school board. If the teachers and principal are legally responsible for the safety of the students, they may not be so quick to line up children to supervise other children.

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daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 924
Location: Oakville, Ontario
My 7 year old daughter (without food allergies) has just entered grade 2. Her school does not have adult supervision during lunch, except for the 6 lunch time supervisors who pop their heads in and out of each classroom during lunch. I was absolutely shocked and upset to see that constant adult supervision does not exist in the classroom. My daughter's best friend in the class last year had a peanut allergy, and still did not have an adult in the classroom - and this was when they were only 6 years old! I witnessed this many times because I volunteered in the mornings at both my daughters and sons schools (different schools). After seeing this, I feel that my son will not likely stay at the school for lunch until he is old enough to manage this situation on his own. One option we are considering is having our daughter sit with him at lunch when he enters grade 1 - she is extremely responsible :D . We still have 2 years before this happens, so we'll see.

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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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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:13 am
Posts: 28
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta
I know that this is coming late. My daughter just started school this year and k-6 all eat in the same room there is one adult there with grade 6 students monitoring the kindergarten class but that is to only make sure that they eat their lunch. I have had a discussion with my daughters teacher about the kids sharing lunches but from what i've noticed the adult supervision is more on the older children's side of the lunchroom and not the younger childrens side. Whether this stuff can change or not i'm not sure but i do not beleive that this is a good way especially when my daughter is anapylatic to cashews and pistachios but i have not let her have any other tree nuts because i am scared of what a reaction might be.

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Daughter Ana to Cashews, Pistachios


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:31 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Paisley, ON
Hi! My 5 yr old SK son who is anaphalatic with a peanut allergy. We live in a small town near lake huron. There are only about 180 stsudents, all who eat in their classes with gr 7 & 8's monitoring lunches & either the principal or a teacher wandering the halls checking in the rooms regularly. Am I happy about this? NO!!!!

However I have no idea how to get a teacher or adult in his class as we have suffered a major staff cutback, and all the political crap that goes along with that. Both my dh & I work or I would offer to go up there or bring him home for lunch. Then again i probably couldn't do that unless a teacher was in the class with me, right!

Not sure what to do. Suggestions?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
Is it possible to get a support worker to supervise in the class? In my area they are called School and Student Support Worker (SSSW) or Special Education Assistant (SEA) or Teacher's Assistant (TA). They usually work in classrooms supporting kids with special needs. Their Union contract has more leaway to allow the school flexability in assigning them duties. I know one milk allergic child in Burnaby who has been assigned a full time SEA who supervises ALL day, as the school still allows milk.

If it is a safety issue the school will have to address it as long as it is brought to the attention of the principal/school trustees/superintendant.


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