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Midwitch

Son gluten by "friends"

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And believe me, I could just about murder the little devils. I know 12 year old boys can be dumb, but this really takes the cake (gluten free of course). They have been teasing him and calling him a "freak" for his change in diet, but he felt it was just light hearted banter and he could cope with it. Then he became very sick very quickly and is still recovering. He was obviously glutened so I went through everything. I am meticulously careful - with 3 coeliac kids our house is now 100% gluten-free and the non coeliac child ONLY eats gluten outside of the home, i.e. at school where he cannot contaminate the others. 

 

So after searching my kitchen, I turned to the school. Apparently the little sh*ts rubbed a sandwich over his sushi when he wasnt looking because they believed he was being over the top. 

 

These kids are not particularly nice and I doubt they will "get" it or care.  Its all about image and fitting in, so someone being different will be a victim.  While they expressed remorse, I simply don't believe they won't do it again. My son is terrified they will. He opts not to eat or bring food, but that is not sustainable. I want him to hand his lunchbox to the teacher on arrival and have the teacher keep it safe, but he is absolutely mortified at this proposition. I offered to come each day and bring his food at lunchtime. He was horrified. And then he had a huge meltdown - raging that its not fair, he refuses to have coeliacs and he would rather die. 

 

If you hear of a mother arrested for threatening school kids, its probably me. I hold those little sh%ts responsible. 

 

Sorry, rant over. 

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1 hour ago, Midwitch said:

So after searching my kitchen, I turned to the school. Apparently the little sh*ts rubbed a sandwich over his sushi when he wasnt looking because they believed he was being over the top. 

 

These kids are not particularly nice and I doubt they will "get" it or care.  Its all about image and fitting in, so someone being different will be a victim.  While they expressed remorse, I simply don't believe they won't do it again. 

That's a difficult one. :( I know the 12 yr old me would've also cringed at the thought of mum showing up with lunch.  As you say, at that age you don't want to stand out and you personally run the risk if you make too big a fuss that it becomes a bigger issue. 

I don't know if this of help but, having been one, I'd suggest the average group of 12 year old boys aren't particularly nice, but that's not to say they're particularly bad either. They can be both, often at the same time.  

I think you need to work with your son, help him to find a solution he's comfortable with. Not to say you can't steer him in the right direction. For instance. are there really no halfway decent kids amongst them? With bullying etc it's often a case of splitting the group, from the utter b*stards to the fundamentally ok but easily led.

There may be some kids that your son can persuade of the seriousness, even if it's just them telling him the next time someone has done this - because better that the sushi gets thrown away and your son makes do with an emergency snack bar (which you could leave with the teacher?). If they see that your son would rather bin his lunch than eat it after that the more fair minded amongst them may get a twinge of conscience. 

Could you invite say one or 2 of them along with you on an excursion or sleepover, so they understand by observation that this isn't just a fad. You can work some amateur psychology on them, telling them that  you know they would never do that and how much you appreciate their understanding or maturity. 

You could write a letter to their parents and ask the school to send it? Parents may have more empathy and if they understand that it's not a fad but a medical requirement (mention lymphoma risk) they may get through to their sons in a way the school cannot. 

No easy answers but hope at least one of those is of help. I wish you both the best of luck :)

 

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So sorry this happened to your son.  Kids at that age can be cruel and it is hard to be different. While not ideal you could try sending him in with prepackaged food that can be held in his hand as he eats.  A granola bar, string cheese, fruit cups, chips, drink boxes etc that sort of thing. If all items are packaged then he would know if the item had been tampered with and he might feel more safe.  

 

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I wonder if there is a small box with a combination lock on it that you could use as a lunch box?  Or find a non-zipping lunch box that you could put your own combination lock on the handles.

It's terrible that your son has to be bullied like this.  Absolutely disgusting of those kids to do that.  What if you talked with their parents (with or without your son's knowledge - depends on how he would feel about it) about what Celiac Disease is and what it does to your son if he eats gluten?  Then, the parents could talk with their kids about it to make sure they understand what it is and that it is a real thing that can hurt your son.  I bet they'd be much more willing to hear it from their own parents than your son or you (it's how kids are, no?).

I hope your son recovers quickly from the gluten and that he still feels comfortable eating at school.  Your right - he's a growing boy who needs a decent lunch at school, and it's terrible that those nasty bullies made him feel the he feels.  On another note, does he have other friends that are more understanding?  Maybe he just needs to drop those "friends" and stick with the ones that actually care about him.

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Well the update is that I spoke to the school principal who spoke to the entire school.  Son's teacher was made aware and is very supportive. Each morning he takes his lunch without fuss to the teacher who keeps it safely locked in his desk.  But my son tells me the kids have been much better since the lecture by the principal who made it quite clear that it would not be tolerated, would be punished severely and treated like a deliberate poisoning of another child, and discussed the serious consequences to his health.  

So all is well for now. 

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Very good. I am so happy to hear this and that it was not tolerated by the school. I'm glad the principal put it the way he did saying it would be treated like a deliberate poisoning because that is what it was. 

Thank you for the update.

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Things like this happen more often than you would think.  I have this included in my son's 504 plan at school:

"Staff will be aware of food “bullying” and notify administration and parents if it occurs or is reported.  Reported incidents will be handled in accordance with the BPS Anti-bullying policies."

I would have zero patience for any kind of intentional action that would make my child sick.  He would miss school, baseball, etc. for at least a week or so.  Do not tolerate it.  Just because there isn't an immediate response, it is no less serious.  Imagine if those jerks did something like that to a kid who had an anaphylactic reaction to an allergen?   

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I have always said that one of the worst things society has done is outlaw spankings and those trips to the woodshed. Bullying was never as much of a problem when I was a kid because you were allowed to take care of the problem yourself, or with the help of friends....which we did. Funny thing about bullies....they are chicken when you get them alone. They tend to travel in packs and do their ugly deeds with others.  Then you have those problem parents who think their kids never do anything wrong so its a further breakdown of the whole system.

I am glad there was a resolution that worked but you see, it involved threats by the principal which was appropriate in this instance.  Those kids need to know what they did was very wrong. They could have killed a kid with anaphylaxis......

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I like your plan Cara, I may have to include it in my sons. 

 

Poor little guy is still very very sick. I think he is resisting and cheating, despite having the support of two other siblings and a 100% gluten-free home. 

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