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Daily Free Eating In Classroom?

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Does anyone have children that are in classrooms that are used for daily, unrestricted eating by all of the students?  We have enjoyed gluten free classrooms for years now, but our latest relocation has us in a school that allows students to freely eat whatever they want in their classrooms.  I would appreciate hearing about the classroom environment for other celiac and gluten allergic/intolerant children.  Thank you!


My super silly red siren is my guiding light. She has been a tremendous lesson for me in how gluten affects different people in very different ways. She is a super duper silly girl that was simply born that way. I have no idea why I am so blessed to have her guidance.

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This is a public school in the USA.  The principal stated that this free eating with no food restrictions in the classroom is standard procedure for the district and will not change.  We are meeting to discuss the healthcare plan requirements later this week.

 

It is simply astonishing to me the huge difference in accommodation between the Australian schools (government/public) we have attended and the American schools.  Australian schools couldn't understand why we had struggled in American schools.  Our older two children suffered from chronic, debilitating symptoms from classroom exposure in their prior American school.  Few concessions were made until we ended up with two hospitalizations.  I feel like I am starting all over again . . . but it is even worse because the last American school wasn't eating in the classroom on a regular basis (except for Kindergarten which did change for the second child after the first child ended up hospitalized).

 

We are now dealing with 3rd grade and 5th grade that allow daily eating by all students in the classroom.  I am trying to wrap my head around this practice!?  My kids understand the importance of handwashing (we'll see how actual handwashing allowance is supported and encouraged for them as the hand sanitizer appears to be huge here).  But it seems terribly insensitive to me that the children are expected to be on high alert at all times.  There is no "safety" in their school environment.  If there is an existing thread that steers me in the right direction for navigating this, please let me know.  We were concerned about the "challenge" of eating in the school cafeteria, as our two older children failed that challenge previously (we deal with gluten/wheat allergy issues in addition to celiac).  Australia made it seem so EASY (they easily accommodated gluten free classrooms, provided gluten free food with trained food handling from the canteen, etc), and my kids felt safe, secure, supported and CARED FOR in their Australian schools.

 

I would love to hear how your kids' classrooms are controlled (or not).  Why do kids need to be eating in the classroom at this age?  While the younger primary grades in Australia allowed snacks in the afternoon, it was limited to fruits or vegetables only (with specific further restrictions if a child in the classroom had an allergy, like to kiwi).  Why does safety of all community members seem so undervalued in the school setting here?  My kids just want to learn, have fun and meet some friends in a reasonably safe environment.


My super silly red siren is my guiding light. She has been a tremendous lesson for me in how gluten affects different people in very different ways. She is a super duper silly girl that was simply born that way. I have no idea why I am so blessed to have her guidance.

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My daughter's school is nut-free but otherwise allows kids to eat anything in the classroom. It is a private school in the U.S. with no cafeteria, so everyone eats lunch and snacks at their tables. The teachers assign places and marked each child's place out with masking tape early in the year, and taught them to keep their hands in their own space and not share food. At first they put her at a table with other gluten-free kids (though none with celiac, as far as I know - all their parents seemed unworried about cc). I also packed her a clean cloth napkin to use as a placemat, even though the teachers were great about washing the tables. As the year progressed they switched up the table assignments, but they always seemed careful not to put my daughter next to any of the "grabby" kids. She was in kindergarten last year.

This worked for us, but we were extremely lucky that one of her teachers has a family member with celiac himself, so he truly understood how important it was to keep her space clean. They always made sure they had a gluten-free cutting board to use for school parties with watermelon, etc. For birthday parties when other kids brough in treats, they knew not to give her any even if it was from another gluten-free kid's home, which was socially awkward but necessary because I knew from conversations with parents that their kitchen equipment was not gluten-free. We kept cupcakes and a stash of other treats at school for her. They did use gluten-free art supplies in the whole classroom.

These precautions turned out to be sufficient for my daughter. She did not seem to feel left out, but she did have to be vigilant all the time. While she's never ended up in the hospital from gluten exposure, her celiac antibodies took two years to fully normalize, and they didn't get into the normal range until we eventually eliminated even certified gluten-free products that were made in shared facilities. So she is sensitive to levels under 20ppm. Even so, her blood tests did finally normalize even while in this classroom with kindergarteners eating their own gluten lunches from home. Her teachers were really outstanding, which is the biggest reason she felt safe eating at school.


Daughter: Positive tTG-IgA, DGP-IgA, and DGP-IgG. Celiac confirmed by biopsy in June 2013, at age four. Clear gastrointestinal, behavioral, and neurological/sensory symptoms since very early infancy, even when exclusively breastfeeding.

Me: Diagnosed by GI with "presumed celiac" based on health history, celiac in family, and resolution of fat malabsorption and many other symptoms on gluten-free diet. Long history of eczema, chronic diarrhea, steatorrhea, ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, infertility, chronic insomnia, low cholesterol, vitamin deficiencies, and joint pain. Negative celiac tests after 15 years gluten-light and then a brief but awful gluten challenge. 

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So first off I would really consider a 504 plan.  It is a LEGALLY BINDING document and they MUST follow.  It's part of the ADA act and your kids are protected by it.

 

As for what accommodations they will agree to, I would try and get documentation from your Dr. that repeated exposure to gluten does/has caused significant issues for your children.  

I would try and come up with a few solutions. 1) Not free range eating (which is gross and yucky and not healthy in many many ways IMHO!!)  2)  Any child who eats in the class needs to wipe down their desk and wash hands WITH SOAP AND WATER immediately after they are done.  Now, between those, one seems much easier-doesn't it?  Hopefully the school will see that as well.

I agree that kids SHOULD feel safe at school.  They shouldn't need to be on high alert when they are trying to learn and it makes me sad when kids are put in a bad position for sure.  I also think that being really mindful of exactly how strict the classroom needs to be to keep them safe is really important.  You don't want to as for things to be more limited than they really need to me (that's also part of ADA law- least restrictive environment!)  So you DO have things that can help you.  You have to follow the process. It starts with getting a letter written to the 504 coordinator of your kids school asking for a qualification meeting.  They have 30 days to accommodate that.  I also included a letter from our Dr. detailing how ADL's (activities of daily living) are impacted by Celiac disease and allergies (things like GI issues and caring for ones self are on that list along with breathing with allergies!  Do you have epi's for them if they are IgE allergic?)   After you get that, think of things they NEED to be safe in the school.  We do things like cleaning his eating space before lunch, only food we provide and so on. Most of our accommodations have more to do with allergies though and not Celiac but they are very similar. 

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By free range eating do you mean that children are allowed to eat anywhere and any time in the classroom?  Or do you mean snacks at their desks?


Angela

Undiagnosed, but I'm positive that I'm the genetic link to celiac for my kids.  Gluten Free in solidarity of my girls!

Kid 1 (9 y/o girl) - DX celiac via blood in 9/2013 (age 7.5).  Negative biopsy in 10/2013.

Kid 2 (5 y/o boy) - DX as "latent celiac" via blood in 9/2013 (age 3.5).  Negative biopsy in 10/2013.

Kid 3 (3 y/o girl) - DX celiac via blood in 8/2013 (age 1.5) and 9/2013. 

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My understanding so far is that they literally have free range eating:  anything, anytime (within some limits) and anywhere.  This is standard protocol for this school district throughout elementary and middle schools at least.  We are bringing new pediatricians on board since we just made an international relocation, so the medical side for gaining accommodations that proved necessary the last time we were in US schools (different state, different doctors) is slow to revive . . . and we are back in the "prove it" phase (even with past medical instruction from two of our US doctors that the child requires a gluten free classroom from the last failed challenge).

 

It is amazing to me the stark contrast in accommodations made in Australia vs the US schools.  And in the US schools, I have to independently finance all of the testing, doctors, specialists . . . and last time we undertook this challenge, the hospitalizations and long term complications of these challenges.  In Australia where my kids healthcare was well covered and substantially less expensive than the US, the default is not to bombard food allergic kids with these types of challenges . . . especially given their past and family medical history.  All the same, this free range eating concept in the classrooms completely caught me off guard . . . just didn't see that coming!

 

We didn't have the same extent of challenges the last time we failed the American school challenge, so hopefully this challenge will fair better.  Perhaps I grew complacent while in Australia (we enjoyed gluten free classrooms without fuss and well accommodated childcares - some were entirely gluten free when my children were there).  Hopefully the time has helped them heal to better meet this next challenge.

 

The "safest" spot for my kids appears to be the bathroom sink . . . .which is shared with boys and girls!

 

How are you all fairing in the cafeteria?  And are they using flour in their kitchens/cafeterias?  Thanks for all of the info and thoughts!


My super silly red siren is my guiding light. She has been a tremendous lesson for me in how gluten affects different people in very different ways. She is a super duper silly girl that was simply born that way. I have no idea why I am so blessed to have her guidance.

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And, no, neither child in these conditions has an epi at this time.  Since the wheat allergy is generally seen as a "slow-acting" response, there is less urgency and care given to those that suffer from wheat allergy.  We have generally found that we are expected to drug and tolerate our allergy symptoms to accommodate the communities that we are entitled (and expected) to participate in.

 

Is anyone else seeing lip and facial swelling with allergy symptoms?  Because we have always been able to bring those in control before breathing is impacted (even though exposures have been low dose), medical doctors tend to assure us that wheat allergies are known to be "slow-acting".  Any ideas and experience on "slow-acting" allergies would be appreciated too!  Does anyone know of good wheat allergy resources?

 

Thanks again!


My super silly red siren is my guiding light. She has been a tremendous lesson for me in how gluten affects different people in very different ways. She is a super duper silly girl that was simply born that way. I have no idea why I am so blessed to have her guidance.

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In general- An allergy isn't slow acting.  An IgE mediated allergy happens within 2 hours (usually much sooner) of ingesting and includes things like swelling of lips/face/eyes, GI issues, breathing difficulty, hives and a lot of other things. If these happen, then your kids should be under the care of an allergist and really should have epi pens.  The thing with allergies is that one reaction does NOT predict what the next reaction may bring.  Lip swelling now could lead to throat swelling next time.

 

You shouldn't have to prove anything to the school.  If you have a written diagnosis from your Dr, that's all you need.  You take that to the school, let them know they need accommodates and work with the school to determine what is safest for them.  They CAN NOT exclude them (I'm sure you are not serious about suggesting the bathroom).  They aren't even allowed to make them in at the nurses office.  That's psychologically damaging and they can't do it. Your kids ARE LEGALLY protected.  If the school doesn't want to do that, you can fight it. 

 

My kiddo is in 3rd grade and has been eating in the cafeteria since starting school.  Snack in K was eaten outside the room by groups of 2-3 kids at a time.  They don't do snacks/in class food since then.  The kids are ALL to wash hands when entering the classroom when the get there in the AM and after lunch.   The place kiddo sits in the cafeteria is wiped down before sitting down to eat.  Those are just a few of the accommodations we have in place to keep him safe.  

 

Sounds like this is a case of needing to educate the school and while it stinks, it happens a lot with "hidden" disabilities.  

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Our allergists and pediatricians have "assured" us that wheat allergy is "slow acting".  As in, we can notice and treat our reactions before they progress rapidly.  Even though I have a "proven" wheat allergy - both skin test positive and extensive history, I still only carry antihistamine and inhaler per the advice of the allergist and the general consult of several doctors.  My son's last reaction was lip swelling, but again...I have been assured that wheat allergy is generally "slow-acting" and there is no need for an epi.  My son hasn't had extensive exposures to wheat because of his past reactions to low level exposure and family history.  Our oldest who does carry an epipen for her reactions (again they are "different" from what is considered "typical" for IgE mediated reactions, as in they have never impacted her breathing, but will generally cause flushing, hiving, vomiting in severe exposures, while low grade chronic exposure (airborne loading) results in skin rashes and joint pain).

 

I have seen these wheat reactions happen in several different instances in our family.  The type and strength of exposure greatly influences the body's response and handling of the exposure.  Because anaphylaxis to wheat is rare, there is a certain level of complacency in treating it.  We just seem to be really pushing our luck, and testing the bounds of science because the level of accommodation that keeps us well is beyond "acceptable" and "common" practices for the American school systems we have encountered.

 

So education of the school needs to happen, as well as education of the doctor(s).  And it seems that our healthcare providers in America really like hands-on experience to learn.  This is compounded because wheat allergy is our only identified "allergen" (I have past reaction to barley affecting throat and breathing as well, so we treat as "gluten" allergy).  It is also compounded by the complex biological responses that our family has endured to these exposures.  Exercise induced asthma is another variant for us of "wheat allergy" . . . another example of "slow-acting" allergy issues.  My asthma is considered "allergy induced" (wheat/gluten) and since it runs with "exercise induced" methodology in wheat allergy circles, seems to be considered "slow-acting".

 

I have a feeling we will again be funding a bit of science and discovery over the coming months.  I would love to have some really solid allergy references and materials (especially specific to wheat) to study in managing this.  While each of us knows how badly wheat/gluten exposure affects us, "proving" it was *wheat* seems to be an experience that we need to demonstrate over and over and over for American healthcare professionals and school authorities.

 

When I explained to the school that I am unable to come collect a child that has been grossly exposed to wheat and *not* cleaned up, I was asked if I could just take my antihistamine before collecting my child with a suspected reaction.  The level of education that needs to happen just feels overwhelming at the point.

 

Again, thank you for the engaging discussion.  I just can't believe the fundamental differences in healthcare in our experiences.  We have spent the last few years in Australia LIVING.  Working full time, going to school freely, just being a seemingly "normal" part of our community.  So it is quite discouraging to be back to square one . . . dedicating my full attention, time and resources to advocacy again.


My super silly red siren is my guiding light. She has been a tremendous lesson for me in how gluten affects different people in very different ways. She is a super duper silly girl that was simply born that way. I have no idea why I am so blessed to have her guidance.

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I understand the frustration. It's hard and schools are very reluctant to change. There are federal guidelines and some states are better than others at protecting kids with issues like this.  Depending on where in the states you are, you may have more resources.  

 

Have you seen a new allergist here in the states yet?  As I said, submitting a letter from the Dr. to the 504 coordinator of your school and asking for an eligibly meeting is what your next step would be.  It may seem like a lot of hoop jumping, but it really isn't  overly complicated.  It's about following the process. 

 

As for a resource, there are many.  Because your situation isn't typical, I will say most people will meet you with some questions because what you are describing isn't at all what most of us here in the US are told/taught/informed of.  In allergy circles, there are IgE mediated allergies that need epi available at all times and intolerances which don't.  While I do understand and would not suggest going against your Dr's orders, what you are describing isn't what is typically done here so yes, education may be part of your job for now.  

 

A 504 plan would be in your kids best interest esp. if the school is being less than cooperative.  I will say this, even WITH a plan, it is just that.  There are steps to take if they break this plan but again, it may be something that does take time and education.  

 

Good luck with your journey!

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Thank you so much for being here and sharing your experiences everyone!  The 504 plan is already being implemented based on their "Allergy Action Plan" from the local pediatrician.  That simply means that the kids are authorized to be medicated should a reaction occur.  The school demands that the doctor instruct accommodation . . . and the doctor is like, what?  In Australia schools implement protocols based on a healthcare Allergy Action Plan and working with the student and parents based on past and implemented experiences (classrooms are generically a no food zone . . . What about the hygiene and the pest control involved in free range eating?! . . . never mind all of the other food allergies that must be managed in a school setting).  While we were able to get the kids' "annual" scheduled with the local pediatrician before school start, there simply wasn't sufficient time to thoroughly and completely download the whole family history in those sessions (and two kids saw a resident doctor and one saw a practice doctor just so we could get them all in before start of school) . . . we covered the medical side of things barely, but school accommodation wasn't a known issue since we were not aware of the substantial differences in food protocols in this new to us school system.  The school has been informed of the very specific medical/school instructions that worked in Australia (from the school record files).  Because of the complexity of our allergy issues, our local pediatrician has asked us to consult with the top specialists here at the childrens hospital . . . which means a long wait . . . and while I have one allergist appointment scheduled, ped recommends a different allergist that has his own personal "scheduler" that has yet to call me back.

 

And by the bathroom sink being the "safest" place . . . well, the free range eating makes that space to be the least likely contaminated (and free range eating appears to occur by both students and staff).  Even the (seemingly very skilled, knowledgeable and experienced) nurse says that her office will be contaminated with gluten.

 

Thank you so much for your understanding and encouragement.  Any insights and experiences to share on transferring care with these complex issues would be appreciated.  Obviously, as much medical history and wonderment as we have at our family's complex allergy, celiac, rheumatology history, we are not good at communicating and transferring care back to the US quickly.  Live and learn . . . hopefully without any more devastating complications.  The US transfer was quick and somewhat unexpected, so while that is logistically challenging in and of itself, adding three children with medical needs has certainly complicated the process and exhausted me.  And everyone who has never experienced our family history in person wants to "wait and see" what happens. . .because it seems to be one of those "need to see to believe" type of phenomena...and perhaps everyone is hanging on to that "children outgrow wheat allergy" philosophy as well . . . I don't know.  Never mind that the celiac side complicates things.

 

If it influences anyone or brings to light additional resources that may be available to us, we are working with a "really great" school district in Colorado that claims as its first two "values":

- Placing the needs and welfare of students above all else.

- Providing safe and caring environments for learning.

 

Meanwhile my children are even more dumbfounded than me at the brazen level of medical challenge that is currently being insisted for them.  We don't talk about it too much, as I don't want to influence or unduly worry them.  But we all experienced our last American school challenge, and it certainly left some haunting and traumatic scars.  Here's to hoping that the air quality and facilities at our new schools are enough to help us meet this challenge with grace!

 

Thanks again!


My super silly red siren is my guiding light. She has been a tremendous lesson for me in how gluten affects different people in very different ways. She is a super duper silly girl that was simply born that way. I have no idea why I am so blessed to have her guidance.

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I am floored by this free range eating concept.  It's unhealthy to eat all day (I can just imagine the carbs and junk being sent it) and puts your child at a huge risk.  I know you can't answer this, but WHY would they even allow this?!

 

I'd call a 504 Plan meeting.  You can call it in - just ask the nurse (assuming this is a public school) to get the ball rolling.

 

You also asked about lunch.  I'm in a large, wealthy school district and the cafeteria doesn't make food - it receives it from the main cafeteria that sends it to the other schools.  So our elementary essentially "warms" food to serve.  Because of that I don't need to worry about particulate floating around the room.  I can legally ask them to accommodate my 4th grader, but I don't want to get into it.  I send lunch every day - and have extra Go Picnics in the nurse's office in case of an emergency (water bottle opens, forgotten lunch).  It's a system that works for us.  When we started this process my then-2nd grader went to lunch a minute early to Clorox wipe her eating space down, but she's past that now.


Angela

Undiagnosed, but I'm positive that I'm the genetic link to celiac for my kids.  Gluten Free in solidarity of my girls!

Kid 1 (9 y/o girl) - DX celiac via blood in 9/2013 (age 7.5).  Negative biopsy in 10/2013.

Kid 2 (5 y/o boy) - DX as "latent celiac" via blood in 9/2013 (age 3.5).  Negative biopsy in 10/2013.

Kid 3 (3 y/o girl) - DX celiac via blood in 8/2013 (age 1.5) and 9/2013. 

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The first day my son's lunch box came home covered in an unknown crumby substance.  I am not so sure that the free range eating is the worst of my problems at this point.


My super silly red siren is my guiding light. She has been a tremendous lesson for me in how gluten affects different people in very different ways. She is a super duper silly girl that was simply born that way. I have no idea why I am so blessed to have her guidance.

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You either need to be proactive or you need to deal with it.  You've gotten a lot of information here to help you but unless you do the work, there isn't anything else anyone here can really do.

 

I will say I was speaking with a group of allergists today and they were all really surprised about how your Dr's are dealing with what you are saying are IgE allergies.  They all agree that if there is ANY reaction along with positive tests really should carry epi for it because reactions change over time and you never know when it'll be "that" time.  I would suggest perhaps another visit to another allergist. 

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There is great information in this thread. And I am doing the work. Lots of work. To transition healthcare and schools between countries is something I am still learning about. We have been to multiple allergists in different states and different countries, and we have gotten the same care and instruction over many years. And I am still recovering from what I just spent on new epi's for my daughter. I thought I was paying a fortune in Australia. Thankfully, the child with an epi is being well accommodated.

We started medical care the morning after arriving in our new location....thanks child for the initiation of finding appropriate emergency care on the first morning in our new town. Getting new medical care on board and up to speed is quite a bit more complex when coming to the U.S. than it was when we transitioned to Australia. Coordinating school instruction with medical care is also substantially more difficult coming to the U.S.than when we transitioned to Australia.

I have been proactive, and our family is dealing with this. I am not sure what it was I wrote that indicated otherwise.


My super silly red siren is my guiding light. She has been a tremendous lesson for me in how gluten affects different people in very different ways. She is a super duper silly girl that was simply born that way. I have no idea why I am so blessed to have her guidance.

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I'm sorry. I am trying really hard to understand the situation and honestly, it's just all over the place.  I have never heard of a "slow acting" allergy.  If it's an allergy, it needs epi pens.  It's not a gray area in allergy land so trying to understand that is really hard. I know/ have known hundreds of people who had kids with allergies that need accommodation any they get then. An intolerance, not so much.   So if you are dealing with an intolerance then I can understand why the school may be being questioning things (because I'm sure they've been wondering these same things).  

 

As i said before, accommodations need to be asked for, they aren't just given.  That's the process that needs to be followed.  You said you have a 504 but it doesn't sound like there is anything in it that needs to be, like addressing your initial issue with eating all over.  You have to go into those meetings with a clear idea what you need and why.

 

I get you are just coming back from overseas and the systems aren't the same.  Things aren't the same from one school to the next though so that shouldn't be a surprise.  You just have to see where they are at and figure out a way to keep the kids safe. 

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Well...hell.

 

I went to my 4th grader's curriculum night last week and guess what I found out?  You're right - unrestricted snacks are allowed all day in this teacher's classroom.  She has one rule - no soda.  WTF?!  My husband wants me to go crazy as it's not fair to our child that the others eat junk and keep her on high alert all day.

 

This particular kid isn't overly "sensitive", but it's just unfair to her.  Besides, it's disgusting!  One of the parents pulled a "family size" empty bag of doritos from their kid's desk.  So he's eating crap and then licking that orange goo off his hands and then touching classroom items.  Gross.  Gross.  Gross.

 

I send in one small snack to keep her held over, but now I'm just annoyed at this process.  Mostly, I'm disgusted that the teacher is using food as a way to make her cool.


Angela

Undiagnosed, but I'm positive that I'm the genetic link to celiac for my kids.  Gluten Free in solidarity of my girls!

Kid 1 (9 y/o girl) - DX celiac via blood in 9/2013 (age 7.5).  Negative biopsy in 10/2013.

Kid 2 (5 y/o boy) - DX as "latent celiac" via blood in 9/2013 (age 3.5).  Negative biopsy in 10/2013.

Kid 3 (3 y/o girl) - DX celiac via blood in 8/2013 (age 1.5) and 9/2013. 

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You need to discuss this with the principal and if you all ready have find out when the next school board meeting takes place. You might also want to discuss the issue with some other parents. Chances are there are other parents who are concerned about the junk food grazing going on. It would be one thing if they were eating fruit or cut up veggies but Doritos and cookies are not condusive to feeding these kids bodies or brains. This teachers behavior is totally inappropriate. If these kids are consuming junk all day in class it is not good for them and if your childs needs are not being met as far as a safe classroom goes maybe you should request that your child be moved to a different classroom with a teacher who has some common sense.


Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying

"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002

Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis

All bold resoved or went into remission in time with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

 Gene Test Aug 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

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Well...hell.

 

I went to my 4th grader's curriculum night last week and guess what I found out?  You're right - unrestricted snacks are allowed all day in this teacher's classroom.  She has one rule - no soda.  WTF?!  My husband wants me to go crazy as it's not fair to our child that the others eat junk and keep her on high alert all day.

 

 

 

Don't you have a 504? I would be calling a meeting ASAP about this and address it there!

I don't understand this free range BS.  No wonder so many of the kids are overweight and pre-diabetic. :(

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I have found the following to be helpful in understanding viewpoints when considering these issues.

 

12 reasons why peanut free schools are not okay by Nicolette Brink

http://www.decisive-empowered-resilient.com/12-reasons-why-peanut-free-schools-are-not-okay/

 

and from Canada (the mother comments further in the first link from allergic living)

 

http://allergicliving.com/2014/09/11/allergic-student-returns-to-school-with-new-accommodations-plan/

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/student-allergy-prompts-human-rights-complaint-against-school-1.2496310

 

http://www.todaysparent.com/blogs/on-our-minds/school-bans-eggs-dairy-nuts-student-allergies/

 

 

For our current school district, the free range eating policy is often touted as "accommodating diabetics".


My super silly red siren is my guiding light. She has been a tremendous lesson for me in how gluten affects different people in very different ways. She is a super duper silly girl that was simply born that way. I have no idea why I am so blessed to have her guidance.

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The first article is HATEFUL.  It's terribly written and just nasty. And she claims to be a "health coach" who doesn't understand peanut butter isn't exactly "healthy".  

 

Bans aren't necessary in MOST cases.  But diabetic kids don't need to eat 24/7 to be safe either.  That is a ridiculous "reason" and I would argue that with the school. 

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The first article is HATEFUL.  It's terribly written and just nasty. And she claims to be a "health coach" who doesn't understand peanut butter isn't exactly "healthy".  

 

Bans aren't necessary in MOST cases.  But diabetic kids don't need to eat 24/7 to be safe either.  That is a ridiculous "reason" and I would argue that with the school. 

O M G hateful isn't the word.  and to think, this person is presumably a parent, therefore creating horrible humans.  absolutely ridiculous.  people like her should be less worried with children with allergies (WHAT?  i miss out on enough without feeling bad about it!!)  and more worried about getting accidentally stabbed in the face.  (aw, she had a metal allergy she didn't know about...)  

 

that being said:  when the kids are little, yeah, they need looking after to keep them safe.  eventually, they go out in the world and they learn to keep themselves safe.  i am having this conversation with my brother daily about my neice (peanut/tree nut allergy) going on various trips with the marching band now that they are traveling to football games.  she knows to read wrappers or don't eat it.  people in our church save the packaging for us to read when we have meals at church so she can read ingredients to things she wants to eat.  she is 13 and has not had any issue.  he is learning to trust her, after all, she doesn't want to be sick!   they learn it and they will be fine, just like anything.  but, geez, expecting a 6 y.o. to make life determining decisions is just a bad idea.......


arlene

misdiagnosed for 25 years!
just as i was getting my affairs in order to die of malnutrition...
gluten free 7/2010
blood test negative
celiac confirmed by endoscopy 9/2010

 

only YOU can prevent forest fires - smokey t. bear

 

have a nice day :)

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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That first article I linked to has a follow up post to it as well.  I think it is interesting to consider the different views.

 

http://www.decisive-empowered-resilient.com/in-addition-to-peanut-free-schools/

 

Some considerations that come up in a school district with free range eating practices include:

 

3rd grade - snack time encouraged at a specific time.  My son makes sure to wash hands before snack begins.  And then they sit in a circle and play a card game while eating.  Never mind the allergy; this is poor public eating practices all around.  A lot of times good food allergy protocols are common hygiene principles related to public eating - who would have thought there would be such resistance to good hygiene in public eating.  What are we teaching our children?

 

7th grade - free range snack time so far has been limited to free range gluten free in the classroom.  They want to reintroduce all foods back into the classrooms.  They want the anaphylactic wheat child to clean up her desk in every class before class commences because it would be entirely plausible that a wheat eating child was sitting there before her.  Never mind that you are asking a wheat allergic child to clean up wheat left by others.  But is it that far fetched for people to consider that they should clean up after themselves?  Or is that "infringing on others rights"?

 

We are simply dealing with a school district that seems to hold similar views as those that are presented in the challenging article.  They even made a point of saying that they would never ask us to eat peanut free because there is a peanut allergic child.  My only reply to that is we don't want to eat peanuts around a peanut allergic child out of common courtesy.  I am somewhat astonished as to how "communities" have become so callous...and exclusive.

 

And while diabetics do not need to eat 24/7, they do need to be able to access snacks at any time in case they are having issues.  So, the logic seems plausible to me.  Is their logic really that faulty?  I am curious how many diabetics and food allergy people are in this district.  It is really huge...it seems that others would have had these issues before us.  I do know that this district has a registered nurse in every school, and sometimes I think that their approach to the problem is to challenge students' health problems and be more prepared to respond to the emergencies.  While the elementary school nurse assured me that she is well versed with allergic reactions and knows how to respond . . . it certainly makes me wonder if they manage numerous triggers and failures by providing professional health care responses at the school.  It sure would be interesting to know the statistics of healthcare issues triggered and managed by the school.

 

I do miss the healthcare education aspect that was widely promoted in the schools in Australia.  The school nurse would stop by the children's classrooms and educate the class on food allergies (they also did this for other medical conditions too).  Eventually the discussion would allow students who wanted to share their food allergies with others to do so in an open, safe and educated forum.


My super silly red siren is my guiding light. She has been a tremendous lesson for me in how gluten affects different people in very different ways. She is a super duper silly girl that was simply born that way. I have no idea why I am so blessed to have her guidance.

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