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ckmom

School - I Need To Vent

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i need to write this because i am very upset and i would like to hear what other think i should do.

My daughter is in the first grade (peanut/treenut allergy & celiac disease). On Friday the class celebrated the 100th day of school with a breakfast. Fine, I made her fresh donuts that am and had a frozen bagel packed also. THis is what the teacher listed as the class was eating. Well, the mom that was supposed to bring in the donuts forgot! So, Cailyn could not eat her donut because no one else had any. Fast forward to Tuesday. The mom surprised the class and I am assuming the teacher at this point with donuts. Everyone ate donuts except my daughter!! She had a bag of skittles. I am very angry, upset, and just plain pissed. (excuse my language)

I put a call into the asst. principal to discuss this and the fact that there is just too much food in the class room. I will keep you posted on what transpires.

well i just want to know am i wrong to feel this way? should i pursue this issue about limiting the food in the classroom? I just really needed to get this out and hear everyone ideas/opinions.

Thank you all so much for listening and taking the time to respond.

Kelly

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I have no idea if this will work or is even an option but I'll toss it out anyway. Is it possible that the teacher can send out a flyer saying something like"

"Due to allergy concerns parents are not allowed to bring food for the classroom unless at least 5 days advance notice is given. Any food brought in without advance notice will not be accepted"

OR

"Parents are not allowed to bring food for the classroom unless at least 5 days advance notice is given. Any food brought in without advance notice will not be accepted"

You might also consider speaking with the principal and asking to have this made a school wide policy.

Hope you find a solution.

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I don't understand why your daughter was "required" to eat the same food as everyone else the first day (she couldn't eat hers because no one else had one), while this same principle didn't apply the second day (everyone got to eat theirs even though she didn't have one).

I can kindof see where the teacher was coming from the first day because the whole class might feel left out. It seems like it's generally acceptable for the gluten-free child to eat different food or have to eat healthy food while everyone else eats junk, but not the other way around. But the celiac child will always be eating something different. What if you hadn't tried to match what the class was eating? What if you decided to just send in cupcake? Would that be ok? Non-celiac kids need to learn to deal with disappointment over not having the same food, too. I definitely understand why you're upset, but I think the teacher was just doing her best to try to be fair/equal to everyone. The issue is, when you've got one kid who can't eat the same stuff, nothing is going to be 100% equal for everyone. Unfortunately, I think this situation illustrates how our society tries to be fair/equal. I doubt this is going to change anytime soon.

I would definitely talk to the teacher about what you expect with regards to food in the classroom. I also agree that there's too much food (specifically junk food) in classrooms. Honestly, how do we expect kids to learn when they're eating donuts for breakfast???

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I have no idea if this will work or is even an option but I'll toss it out anyway. Is it possible that the teacher can send out a flyer saying something like"

"Due to allergy concerns parents are not allowed to bring food for the classroom unless at least 5 days advance notice is given. Any food brought in without advance notice will not be accepted"

That's a GREAT idea!! I'm fortunate that there's another child with Celiac in our dd's 1st grade class, plus one with a dairy allergy. I'm one of the room mom's so we coordinate parties to make sure that parent's bringing in items know what they can and can't bring. The teacher has let all the parents know to tell her in advance if they're bringing in treats and she's given me a list of birthdays so that I can plan ahead. I do keep a bag of Pamela's mini chocolate chip cookies in the classroom for any 'surprises'

We're having an issue in my son's preschool room. Lunch is so hectic that he's gotten glutened twice in the last week because he grabs stuff off the other kid's plates thinking it's his plate too--it's new to him and he's only 2.5, so he doesn't get it yet. I had a firm talk with the teachers, and if they don't get it this time, I will be going to the administration. My dd went to this same school and we had NO issues-ever, but she was 4....

Good luck to you, I hear it gets easier once you get past 1st grade. Not a lot of food in the classroom after that...

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I'm sorry. I would be frustrated too. You put a lot of effort into making sure your daughter wouldn't be left out but she was anyway. :(

The way I've had to look at it is that my daughter is going to grow up eating differently than everyone around her so she's going to have to get used to having a substitute treat. I bet a lot of kids thought your daughter's skittles looked pretty good! Sorry!

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I agree with kbtoyssni, the double standard here is what I am not understanding!?!!? She couldn't eat it the first day because nobody else had doughnuts (ok fine!!), however on the second day not everyone had doughtnuts then either!!! So why in the world did everyone else get to eat them? Did they ask your daughter if she would be ok with that and she said "that's fine I'll just eat skittles"? If so , then it would have been an OK situation. However, if not then it just wasn't fair at all.

-Jessica

I don't understand why your daughter was "required" to eat the same food as everyone else the first day (she couldn't eat hers because no one else had one), while this same principle didn't apply the second day (everyone got to eat theirs even though she didn't have one).

I can kindof see where the teacher was coming from the first day because the whole class might feel left out. It seems like it's generally acceptable for the gluten-free child to eat different food or have to eat healthy food while everyone else eats junk, but not the other way around. But the celiac child will always be eating something different. What if you hadn't tried to match what the class was eating? What if you decided to just send in cupcake? Would that be ok? Non-celiac kids need to learn to deal with disappointment over not having the same food, too. I definitely understand why you're upset, but I think the teacher was just doing her best to try to be fair/equal to everyone. The issue is, when you've got one kid who can't eat the same stuff, nothing is going to be 100% equal for everyone. Unfortunately, I think this situation illustrates how our society tries to be fair/equal. I doubt this is going to change anytime soon.

I would definitely talk to the teacher about what you expect with regards to food in the classroom. I also agree that there's too much food (specifically junk food) in classrooms. Honestly, how do we expect kids to learn when they're eating donuts for breakfast???

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I hear ya! I have been through this with my 10 year son coming up on 2 years now. We had constant issues at his old school (right down to the teacher having him make playdough with flour at his desk!). Then we switched schools this year, and I had all the hopes it was going to be better. We sat down with all his teachers, principal, vice principal, and after school caregiver and we all decided on what we were going to do. I did my part. I brought in shelf steady foods (energy bars, popcorn, etc) for him to have in case of a "surprise". They haven't done any of there part. They rarely notify me of class events. They put him at risk with playdough even though I spent $40 providing the school with gluten free clay. And on top of that, they have never once offered him anything from the food I sent to school.

It seems so stupid! I just can't believe it.

We're homeschooling starting next month.

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There are a lot of schools that follow the new wellness policy in regards to snacks/food in class. Our school will only allow one treat per party, all other food items have to be "healthy". Usually the kids end up with fruit trays and veggie trays with dips. Have you considered being the room parent for your childs class, then you pretty much are in control of the food brought in for parties. I have 3 kids and the youngest has food allergies and celiac. He is only 3 and home with me now, but I read this site all of the time and am dreading sending him to school. I have the thought of homeschooling in the back of my mind because I'm sure the school would not approve of my standing outside his class all day. Maybe I should be remodeling my dining room into a little classroom now.............

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Is your daughter in a school that accepts federal funding? If so, I think the best thing you can do is to get a 504 plan in place for her. Celiac and her other allergies are covered under federal disability laws. With a 504 plan in place, you can put stipulations on advanced notice for class parties, special accomodations for cooking projects and lots of other eventualities. A 504 is a legal document that the classroom teacher and school administration must adhere to or they are breaking the law. If you do not have a 504 plan in place all you really have are oral agreements with no possibility for enforcement.

Sorry your daughter had a bad week. That is really infuriating. Sometimes it feels like no matter how well we plan otr how hard we work it's not enough.

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Thank you all for you responses. I really like that letter idea to the school. Her teacher usually works closely with me and this is the first "real" issue this year.

I still am upset that everyone got to eat those darn donuts! i have to stop dwelling on it but it just makes me angry. She has a safe treat box in her class room for situations like this but this should not have happened.

She knows that she will have different snacks on occasion, but i have always tried to substitute something similar for her in class.

i just need to let this go.....

I really thank you all again for the support

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I wanted to ask how your daughter felt about this? If she's an easy-going kid, this situation might not have phased her at all. Me having to eat "different" food or having the menu change on me when I've brought food to match the original menu doesn't bother me too much. I know I'm much, much older than your daughter, but it could be that she just doesn't care that much.

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I have to be honest - we didn't talkl about it too much. I didn't want it to be a big issue with her. We try not to make things into big issues about food. This is definately more my issue than hers.

She talked about it a little - she was just a little disappointed since she couldn't enjoy the same things her friends were. She didn't understand why she couldn't eat hers on Friday.

We spoke briefly like i said and i think she was ok with everything. she, thankfully, is pretty easy going. Every now and again things bother/upset her.

Thanks again to everyone. Love this site!!

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You can't always go by how the child acts about it. My son always acts like it is no big deal when things like this come up but I see that crushed look on his face (only his mom would notice such a face :) ). To us grownups a donut is not a huge deal but to a kid it surely is. I completely understand your frustration. I sent my son's teacher a note 2 weeks ago asking about the Valentine's party and just realized that I hadn't heard back from her this weekend so I sent another note. The class mom called me yesterday and said, "oh, well we think we are going to do a pizza party and cupcakes, I know Jacob can't eat that so you can send him in something". Now after spending the whole day in the ER with my younger son this almost put me over the top. I understand pizza parties will come up but I think it is so not necessary for Valentine's Day and also inconsiderate to my son. In the words of my princial (I teach kindergarten), "this is not Chucky Cheese, just a cupcake and some healthy snacks should do".

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My school district has a wellness policy that requires a minimal amount of "food reward" and parties which have to include healthy snacks like veggies and fruit, so we've not had much of this to deal with.

But let's be realistic. Teachers have a lot to deal with and are not always in the loop with what individual parents are going to do/bring in. There are always teachers/parents/kids who just don't get it. You are asking for constant disappointment and anger if you expect otherwise -- is that what you want to model for your daughter? Control what you can -- send in a durable, sealed box of snacks for her to choose from, talk to the teacher about the exceptions that will need to be made, and hang in there. The squeaky-but-NICE wheel gets the most results (I would not have gone over the teacher's head to the assistant principal, but that's just me).

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School has been a constant thorn in my side. There was one day my 8 year old came home in tears b/c the school provided donuts to all the kids taking the TAKS preparation test. They were Krispy Kremes, and he remembers how good those are. I felt awful...then I was just plain ticked off, first b/c no one let me know, and second....I really think that conveys the wrong message to kids for later in life. Isn't there any other reward beside a sweet treat? No wonder childhood obesity is on the rise.

We also had a 100th day of school snack activity, and it was a disaster for my younger daughter. One teacher (not her primary, who is great) let Emmie make a Fruit Loop necklace. The activity was for each table to have ten different plastic cups filled with snacks. On their paper, they lined up ten of each to equal 100. Well, I had shlepped myself up to the school with little toddlers in tow, with my 10 plastic cups filled with gluten free snacks. Just as I walk in, there's Emmie chowing down on Fruit Loops. Her primary teacher had left for the day, and when I told her about it, she was just as upset as I was. She said she has told all the other kinder teachers several times about Emmie's diet. ARGH!

Tonight, I just got off the phone with the room mom discussing snacks for tomorrow's party. I had signed up for snacks, and I decided on Fruit a bu, since I know the kids are going to get alot of candy in their boxes. She also wants to bring Little Debbie's, I guess it's just not a party without a pound of sugar.

Okay, I could go on, but I'd better stop, lol. I really thought schools were trying to be healthier, but I think if I came in with a fruit tray tomorrow, I would be shot, lol. I had seriously considered homeschooling back in August, but dh talked me out of it. He's completely on board now, so next year that is our plan. It will certainly make some things much easier!

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Update to the Valentines party...another disaster. I don't know what to do...I love my dd's teacher, but this baffles me. I was running late for the party, and when I got there Emmie had already eaten a cookie. The thing is, Emmie used to be very good about not eating gluten if someone gave it to her. But lately, she has been giving me a hard time. Last year in preschool she did great, the teachers helped reinforce for her that she couldn't eat those foods. This year, the teachers keep putting regular cookies, or cereal like last week, right in front of her. I think she's getting confused. I have a bag in the classroom filled with safe snacks......I know being a teacher is difficult, but this is crazy. Especially after she got so sick last week after the cereal accident, I really thought everyone would be a bit more vigilant.

This makes three huge glutenings in two weeks, and she is sick again. Her little body can't take this, she already has speech and learning issues. I just don't see how this happens! Allright, thanks for letting me vent. Sorry to hijack your post, lol.

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taweavmo3, your daughter might be eligable for an IEP (Individual Education Plan). My son was in special education and had an IEP. The school is required by law to follow the IEP and parents. I had to get a letter from the doctor requesting my son be placed in Special Education.

If she is not eligable for an IEP follow cruelshoes suggestion of getting a 504 plan.

You might also need ask for a meeting with the teacher and see if addtional safeguards can be put in place. One idea, which may or may not be good, is to get her classmates involved in looking out for her. Another is to request that no food be allowed in the room except the lunches brought from home for all the children.

Hope you are able to work this out.

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Thanks....we do have an IEP, and I have talked to a slew of people at the school about her. The school nurse also assured me everyone would keep a close eye on her. I sent in multiple copies of letters regarding Celiac, what it does to her, what she can't eat, etc. Argh, it's very aggravating. I think her teacher just got really busy handing out the cookies and forgot. I know it happens, and she is a great teacher. I just need to keep my baby well! At least this is the last of the school parties until the end of the year.

That is a really good idea about enlisting the help of her classmates, I have found that kids seem to understand and remember her diet better than most adults. The kids in her class were the very first ones to tell me she ate the cookie, lol. I think I'm going to ask the teacher if I can come in and talk to the kids about Celiac (isn't there a kids book out there?) and ask for their help.

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I am having a difficult time with my nine yr old's school too.

I sent him with special snacks that they made him take home. They didn't even bother to ask, they just thought it had peanuts in it. Well my son has a peanut allergy!!! ( it was gluten-free pretzels,cashews, almonds, rasins, & banana chips)

So when it comes to other allergies they are all over it but give my son a hard time for his.

They can't substitute anything for lunch! So we went from free lunches to providing everything then the lunch lady called and said the only subs is a juicebox but i'd have to pay 50 cents for it!!!

Just recently I sent Hanson's soda (the "organics" of pop) with my son's lunches and they made him throw it away!!! Pop is not allowed at school. So they told me to subs. juice and I said I want to keep his sugars down and not spend an arm and a leg price wise, so she said then send water!

I was so upset. She said the other kids don't understand that he has an allergy!!! So what, the school makes my kid suffer even more because it's not fair to all these other kids that can eat & drink whatever they want. Oh man, I'm going to have a little chat with the principal. Thanks though about the IEP & 504 we are doing that anyways for ADHD & ODD plus he just had a seizure at the end of December, but i'll make sure that they include about his allergies.

Luckily his teacher banned all snacks in the class, but that was because of a peanut allergy...

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I agree with ryebaby. Your expectations were not met. It seems that's really hard on you.

As a teacher, I have no input on lots of food/snack stuff at our school.

You say the teacher works with you and this is your first issue. Did you expect to go from kinder through grade 12 with no issues arising? Unrealistic expectations can be a great stress because they lead to inevitable disappointment.

As for your daughter--I'm so happy your daughter didn't get glutened with all those donuts around!

JUST last week, I had parents pop into my classroom with cupcakes. It wasn't the first time. I've learned to expect it.

By the way, at Back To School Night, I ALWAYS recommend that when parents get ANGRY at the school, they need to vent to a spouse or friend (or this board--which gave lots of PRACTICAL and COMPROMISORY ideas) BEFORE they go stomping mad into the administrator's office or SCREAMING at the poor lunch lady or office clerk. People who work at schools generally like children and try to be fair.

I've noticed that when a parent has been angry toward me, I subconsciously pull away from that student. I try to smile and nod, and to avoid the parent, and in doing so, I tend to have less contact with that child. Not purposely, it's a natural response.

It seems you reacted, when you should've responded. This causes people to fear or avoid you, not to respect you.

I hope this doesn't feed your anger, but PRINCIPALS have a great deal of sympathy for teachers who have to deal with angry parents. Teachers don't get written up or any negative implications when you complain about them regarding things that have nothing to do with professional requirements. Many times, admin. don't say anything at all to the teacher.

Kids eat or don't eat things and cut their hair and wet their pants all the time, and parents want to blame somebody for it. It's not realistic.

Have you ever wondered why schools don't give parent satisfaction surveys? It's because that is not the priority. A school isn't Burger King, where you have it Your way. We all do our best, and staying positive helps.

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Sorry, this is a bit off topic.. I don't have kids or anything but... people wonder why there is obesity in this country, yet we have "donut days" in school... wtf?? I'm 22 and I don't remember there being THAT much food around when I was in elementary school. Or maybe there was, I was just such a picky eater I didn't take any of it. I never developed a taste for cupcakes.. lucky me because now I can't eat them..

anyway, it just seems weird to me that there are so many "pizza parties" and "cake parties", not only are the kids getting bigger but there doesn't seem to be too much time in between all the PARTIES for any LEARNING. yeesh...

should I ever have kids, they will be homeschooled.

rant over. <_<

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Every since schools started depending on snack and soft drink sales for operating money the kids have been neck deep in sugar. And did you see in the New York Times how the kids who need free school lunches are ashamed to eat them because they have the healthier free lunch lines seperate from the" buy a ton of cookies and cake and soda" pay lines in some schools? When I was in school we never knew who was getting the free lunch and who was paying.

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I don't have children either and I have been just reading this thread for a couple of weeks and I am amazed that there is so much food in a classroom! I had no idea that the school day was structured around Reward Breaks and snacks.

I was recently in the company of a couple who have children in grammar school and they were kvetching about their school NOT allowing snacks because of the children with food allergies and THEY were complaining about how it was restricting their children, blah, blah....I just kept my mouth shut because I am often reminded by parents how I don't have children (but no one knows I raised my younger brother and sister -- down to the point of talking with school officials :D ).

Anyway, I basically keep my mouth shut in conversations about "what to do about children" . I wanted to tell these parents the truth about school snacks and why keeping certain foods out of the classroom is important and WHY the school was making a fuss about it. But again, I don't want to be slapped with "You don't have children, so you can't talk!"

So from what I learned, the parents on the opposite side resent the parents whose children have special food needs. In this particular case, the school is on-board with "no snacks", but the parents need to be educated. Perhaps if the parents learn WHY it needs to be this way, they'll be of help to the parents with the children needing special diets.

I know teachers have a lot of things to think about, however, it's not hard to remember: "food=problems".

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We talked with our 9 yr olds teacher (it's confrence time) and she told me the kids are doing better in class and more focused with the snacks removed! She lets the kids with diabeties and other valid reasons go and have a snack in the nurses office.

as for the pop thing... i guess it's banned in all the school's in our school district, elementary, middle, and high.

good to see they are taking the weight issue more seriously but i still wish they would take allergies (non life threatening) more seriously.

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