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ckmom

School - I Need To Vent

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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.

Okay, no offense to the person who posted this (and please be forewarned that further comments are not directed at you...but at what I'm seeing in my dd's school system), but I have to laugh just a bit at the "school isn't Burger King, where you have it your way". Perhaps not. But last I checked, most teachers don't get extra pay to manage a Dunkin Donuts either. Just what does this "celebration" have to do with the skills a teacher is supposed to possess and be able to pass along?

The simple fact is, this conflict was brought on directly by the teacher. She chose to celebrate this day, this way and therefore, she also made a choice for every child and parent involved in the class. Instead of "celebrating" the 100th day of class with donuts (which has NOTHING to do with school, learning...heck! I'm not even sure if donuts belong on the food pyramid supposedly taught in school), the teacher could have opted to something special within the realms of EDUCATION. I remember my 4th grade teacher would reward our class with an extra 15 minutes of story time. Sometimes, she'd reward us with a hands-on science experiment or she'd even get us a bit of extra gym time to play a game. The point is....our reward would be that she'd give us something educational that was more fun and creative than the normal fare. Something that we all could participate in....and REALLY wanted to participate in. And 30 years later, I still look back and think what an exceptional (and fun) teacher she was. I guess I was lucky because I had several teachers like her in life. The only food-based reward we ever had in grade school was one time we got to make butter in class by all passing around a jar of fresh cream that we each got to shake around. It took all day to make that butter while still having class...but it was a fun little perk.

I'm sorry, but I think that to a large extent, our schools have been hit with the same sedentary, whatever's most expedient attitude that is permeating the nation. We want whatever is cheap and easy. Handing out "treats" is a lot easier than coming up with a reward that actually promotes and makes education fun. How about planning a "special" school day where a police K-9 unit is brought in and its duties are explained and the kids get to pet the dog (promoting a respect and admiration for our police force). Or how about time being put aside for children to make a special craft for older citizens in a nursing home (promoting community, sharing and caring)? Or how about having the students participate in an activity where they come up with ideas of things they can do at home to help their parents, a sibling, family member or a friend? Maybe a list of 3 "nice" things that they can do for someone else....which they normally may not think to do. And encourage them to act on those ideas! That may teach them something about relationships and selflessness. It may also teach them to be caring, conscientious adults. But no....we teach them about self-gratifying behavior and that the best rewards in life are the ones that come solely to them...with no real effort or thought involved.

I guess that I just do not understand, why this extreme focus on (junk) food? Is it because when their mouths are full, they somehow are less of a nuisance to deal with? Does anyone really believe that all of these extra little "parties" are teaching our children positive behavior or how to have realistic expectations in life? And if it is parents who are forcing this issue on teachers...how about they politely be told that you (the teacher) are a bit busy educating the kids and that perhaps the parents could plan a party at their home after school hours where they can serve whatever they want?

Yikes, I really don't know what else to say on this thread. All food allergy/intolerance aside...I'm sorry, but I totally do not understand just what schools are trying to accomplish these days. Just what is the priority?

I believe that teachers are giving themselves a lot more hassles than they need to. And yes, I do agree that parents should let the teachers educate the children and not go off screaming every two minutes over every little detail. But at the same time, maybe parents wouldn't be screaming so much if they weren't having to deal with all of these extra, unnecessary incidentals along the way which have nothing to do with education and everything to do with wasting time, money and resources.

As a parent, I want to be involved in my child's life in as many areas as I can. But the constant influx of cookies, candy, cake, etc. is just over the top. I feel like a major portion of my time is spent explaining and re-explaining food allergies, Celiac Disease and cross-contamination issues and little to no time is spent talking about what my child is learning and what our strong/weak points are. It's gotten to be a real joke and I just cannot believe that at this point, I am seriously contemplating home-schooling. And then I catch myself thinking, "Yeah, and if more parents see the same trouble and also opt to home-school...maybe the educators would finally get the hint".

Okay...my ranting is done. To all the parents who are having these issues....I truly feel for you and am fighting that same battle. Maybe we can all band together and help promote the ideas of educational rewards in our children's schools and begin to steer the conversations in more positive directions. Preferable ones that actually deal with learning as opposed to eating.

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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.

I keep writing a response to this and keep deleting it because I can't be nice about a lot of what you said. But let it suffice that you would not keep that attitdue as my child's teacher for any length of time.

For all of you fighting this, I can not stress enough the importance of hiring an attorney. Those of you who have teachers and schools who work with you, count yourself blessed. A lot of us do not/did not have that and instead had teachers who simply don't care or are too young or too embittered to be allowed in the classroom.

As for parents banding together, that is a great idea. We had to do that to force the school to allow students to use the bathroom and not be punished during lunch for it. Yep,if you had to pee durng class time, you had to come back during lunch and sit for 10 minutes!!! The teachers and prinicpal explained the students were being given extra instructional time. After we secretly taped the "intructional" time (10 times in a week with 10 different teachers) which amounted to a teacher telling the child to sit and watch her grade papers for 10 mintues and stood across the street with signs asking any kids who had been suspended for peeing to call our number ( held for lunch 3 times resulted in afterschool detention, 3 of those and you had inschool suspension and 2 of those you were suspended - and yes we had kids going that far only because they had to use the bathroom), the school district issued a ban on the no bathroom policy. I imagine if you could find all the food allergy kids in your school and get the parents together, you could make some serious changes at the next school board meeting. Most people don't know this is going on and are shocked by it. Call the press and have cameras show up and get the most well polished person to represent you on camera. Most people firmly believe the schools should take care of the kid when they are there and that involves controlling their food. Most state laws now hold teachers as responsible as they do daycares. Feeding a child the wrong food that can harm them is abuse.

As for the chain of command in schools - ALways talk with the prinicpal and the teacher and a witness on your side. NEver go alone and never speak alone with one or the other concerning such issues. And don't even hesitate to go to the school district office. The prinicpal and the teacher are not boss and employee as so many think. They are fellow employees who are controlled by the district office. AND THEY DO NOT KNOW THE LAW for the most part. Take your issues to the DO as the District SUpervisor does understand the legalities that the prinicpal and teacher have violated by not providing your child a safe enviornment. THey are responsible and they can be held liable for it. Don't let any convince you otherwise. You can't force people to put their kids in school and then not take care of them while they are there. And most states have their laws online and you can search and print out the laws concerning schools and show them what they are supposed to do by law. Being fed the wrong food should not happen for any reason. IT's a safety issue and endangerment to a child.

Stacie

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I too just wish they would do away with food in the classroom. My son's class often has a spread of food for their geography class. They will be studying about one area of the world and then have a sampling of foods from that area. It's very nice and fun for many of the kids, but awkward for those who can't eat everything. There rarely is anything he can eat at these things. Add in the birthday cupcakes. the holiday parties full of cake and cookies, and it's always something. Of course he has to learn that it's a gluten-filled world and it's not going to change for him, and thats a hard lesson but one he needs to learn. But it's really tempting for him to have a delicious spread of goodies always before him, and makes a hard diet all the harder. Not to mention the crumbs all over the place!

It's not just the celiac child or peanut allergic child either that has a problem with all the food in the classroom, but also the ADHD child who's going to be hyped up the moon after these parties, and the overweight child whose parents are trying to limit the junk. And with teachers who don't understand or don't care, it's really better to do away with all this stuff entirely. When I was in school, we never had food in the classroom. Nobody brought in cupcakes for their birthday. There never were rewards of any kind, you did what you were supposed to do and that was that. Valentines Day meant giving out those little cards. There wasn't any candy or food. Everything doesn't have to revolve around food. When it was your birthday at school, they simply sang Happy Birthday to you. That was it. And it was enough. And it can be enough again!

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I keep writing a response to this and keep deleting it because I can't be nice about a lot of what you said. But let it suffice that you would not keep that attitdue as my child's teacher for any length of time.

LOL!! Yes, I felt the same way! It took several hours before I could sit down and write a rational response because I got so angry reading that post.

Worried to Death, I really have to thank you for some of your suggestions. I've had a sit-down with the teacher and principal and at the beginning of the meeting, I stressed that I was not angry or upset with my dd's teacher. But I did feel that there were too many food-based projects going on and it was constantly making my dd very sick. I was told that they would re-evaluate the projects and see what they could do to change some around....as long as the changes didn't affect the education they were offering. Fast-forward a year....the exact same project that made my dd sick for over a week was repeated this year. This year, I pulled her out of school for that one and the teacher is now not speaking to me because of it. So...what's the big project that couldn't be revised and was so essential to their "educational" program? Building log cabins with pretzels. Very important stuff. Can't possibly change those pretzels to popsicle sticks, or real twigs from trees. Nope. Had to be pretzels. Never mind that 2 other students in our class also are either allergic/intolernat to wheat. Next time, I WILL be taking in another adult (witness) with me when I have one of these meetings with a principal and teacher. As nice (and thorough) as I tried to be in addressing things last year....it got me next to nowhere this year. They didn't change a thing.

Most people firmly believe the schools should take care of the kid when they are there and that involves controlling their food. Most state laws now hold teachers as responsible as they do daycares. Feeding a child the wrong food that can harm them is abuse.

I'm also of the belief that schools should take care of the children they are being paid to take care of. In all honesty, the school should send out parent surveys. The fact of the matter is that ultimately the parents are PAYING for schools to be in operation. I've heard teachers complain countless times about how "clueless" parents are. Well how can parents be anything but clueless when they are constantly ignored and put in a position of not being made aware or consulted with issues that involve their children in school? It's a no-win situation. And once again, it ignores the concept of community. A community is at its best when its members are actively involved in making it work and grow. I've found that the only time schools want the community involved is when they are trying to pass a levy or when they want parents to participate in fund-raising. Then, they are all over you for your time and participation. I wish that the same attitude held true when it came time to dealing with the students and what their needs are. I suppose that there will be instances where some parents just don't care. But I'm sure there are plenty of parents who do. And that resource should be explored more than it currently is.

I find it unfortunate that some schools/teachers are so busy policing their students that education falls by the wayside. I think that is a sign of a serious imbalance in how the school and community are working together. And the children suffer for it.

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"Well how can parents be anything but clueless when they are constantly ignored and put in a position of not being made aware or consulted with issues that involve their children in school? It's a no-win situation. And once again, it ignores the concept of community. A community is at its best when its members are actively involved in making it work and grow. "

I'm thinking we need a whole new thread! Let's keep in mind that school's vary widely, and some of us are seeing good things, and some of us are seeing bad things. Let's remember that the VAST majority of teachers are very good at their job. Unfortunately, many school boards and state dept. of educations are not good at theirs.

Our district has a wellness policy that prohibits food as rewards, etc. and promotes healthy snacks. Is it a time-consuming effort for our K teachers to cut up bananas for 45 children? You betcha! Did they then ask for parents to come and help? Yup! And did anyone? YES. That's the community you speak of.

I don't believe community is telling professionals how to do their job, when the state, school board, and 21 other parents also want the same input. If, in that cacophany of "advice" you want to be heard, you need to show up prepared to work, without threats (I'll homeschool, I'll tell on you, etc.), and already with a plan that is workable.

Continually poisoning your child is inexcusable. Make sure you date/document each occurence. Clearly you need the weight of a 504 or IEP. And it might be a good idea to research other districts' policies (schools just HATE to be the left-out district!).

Stay calm. Stay in an advocating, but not adversarial, position. 'nuff said

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I'm thinking we need a whole new thread! Let's keep in mind that school's vary widely, and some of us are seeing good things, and some of us are seeing bad things. Let's remember that the VAST majority of teachers are very good at their job. Unfortunately, many school boards and state dept. of educations are not good at theirs.

Our district has a wellness policy that prohibits food as rewards, etc. and promotes healthy snacks. Is it a time-consuming effort for our K teachers to cut up bananas for 45 children? You betcha! Did they then ask for parents to come and help? Yup! And did anyone? YES. That's the community you speak of.

Yes, yes, yes! That is precisely what I am speaking of! And yes, I do think that a major part of the issue is the school board and state dept of education who pass down policy with little regard as to what the teachers, students and parents most need.

As a separate thread, it would be awesome if parents who have had success in dealing with their school system would hand down advice and information to those of us that are encountering problems. What can we do to make the situation better? What's the best avenue of approach? Who do we approach for timely results? What written documentation can be presented and then upheld?

I don't believe community is telling professionals how to do their job, when the state, school board, and 21 other parents also want the same input. If, in that cacophany of "advice" you want to be heard, you need to show up prepared to work, without threats (I'll homeschool, I'll tell on you, etc.), and already with a plan that is workable.

This can be a very fine line to walk in regards to kids with Celiac and food allergies. In this case, a parent must instruct the teacher of what is involved, how to avoid contamination issues and also, I believe that a parent should offer constructive ideas on how to potentially make certain situations safer. It's not enough to complain about a project/situation. Complaining doesn't get a person any closer to a solution that is acceptable to the entire community. I'm not saying that all situations can be resolved easily. But in many cases, they can be...as long as the parties involved listen to each other and work together towards a common goal. Unfortunately, this may involve thinking "outside of the box". And that is proving elusive to many of us.

As for home-schooling as a threat....I've never seen it as such. I haven't threatened the school with pulling my child out and home-schooling. I have seriously been contemplating that route due to the frustration of continually having food safety discussions only to find out that nothing gets changed (beyond them now giving me a week's warning as to when a food-based project will start). It is difficult to determine where and when you can make a difference that is necessary to your child and where you are just beating your head against a wall. I am all for advocacy. But at the same time, it is my child who is paying the price with each and every exposure whilst I try to educate the educators. Just where do you draw the line? Realistically, I wouldn't expect a teacher to get everything right from the get-go on this issue. But I would expect that after one or two incidents and with detailed information/feedback, that this wouldn't continue to happen.

Continually poisoning your child is inexcusable. Make sure you date/document each occurence. Clearly you need the weight of a 504 or IEP. And it might be a good idea to research other districts' policies (schools just HATE to be the left-out district!).

It's funny but I've been asking the teacher about both....and personally, I am specifically interested in a 504. It's been nearly 2 months and the teacher still doesn't have the info for me....which is okay for now as I am working on a written plan for next year with detailed information on dd's specific issues. Conferences are this week, so I expect I'll hear more on this and we'll adjust from there. I don't believe that the teacher is inept. I believe that policies are outdated in regards to a changing need in the student population (food allergies have gone up by 30% this year alone). I really feel for the parents here whose children are continually being poisoned in a direct manner. Most of my issues involve cross-contamination....which is an indirect matter of poisoning. And due to the indirect nature of the problem, it is proving to be a bit more difficult in getting the seriousness of the issue through.

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Hugs to your little one.

I am also having problems with the school and my 1st grader. However, she only has the peanut/tree nut allergy. Judging by how badly the school is handling the nut allergy, I can't even imagine how hard it is going to be when my three yr old goes to school. She has Celiacs in addition to multiple food allergies.

I know the sad left out again face very well. It should not be this hard on our kids.

I haven't found a good solution to the problem yet, but I am starting the 504 process. Hopefully that will work better.

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Posted by Shayesmom: It's been nearly 2 months and the teacher still doesn't have the info for me...

My son was in special education from the 2nd grade thru 12th grade. I found that a written request got fast action than a verbal one. If you have not already done so, write a letter to the teacher requesting a 504 plan in XX days and copy the school principal and the district office.

Hope all goes well.

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Always keep the district office informed. THey often have knowledge of lawsuits and court cases that the local school has no clue about. Many times, DO people will walk in and instruct the school that we can't reveal why but this and this must be done this way from now on with no exceptions. You will be very surprised at the number of cases the DO deals with that remain sealed and confidential to the point that even the prinicpals are left in the dark. So when they see letters about things that pertain to a situation they are working on to resolve, they include that on as well to prevent an additional lawsuit. SOmeone may have all ready busted the DO's chops and you may be able to ride their coat tails so to speak. But the Do often are way ahead on some of these issues. When it comes to safety and health, it is better to have it address at the district level and let them get the local school straight.

Stacie

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Yes! Yes! Every district has someone who works on 504s. Find out who yours is. Write one yourself (knowing that it will be "wrong" in many ways, but it's a place to start)and make the appointment with that person. Copy your building principal and the teacher. Again, you are working on a "I just don't know where to start, can you help me, I don't need you to do the work for me" attitude. Troubleshoot the gluten-ing incidents (to the teacher: why do you think this happened? Was it something I didn't do? How can I help you with this? ) You want the school to realize you aren't going to sue them -- but you aren't going away, either.

And when this seems like a ridiculous amount of work (and it is) remember that some new baby with celiac will thank you in 5 years, when s/he isn't the first celiac 504!

Our wellness policy (in one of the largest PA districts) started as a collaboration between the district PTO council (reps from every building PTA/PTO), the health/wellness committee of the school board, and the admins of buildings. It probably took 2 years to get it done, but a good place to start is your school PTO, or PTO council. Bring it up there. Offer to work on a committee to research other district's policies. Write to your superintendant/school board and ask about a new policy. Contact other parents of food-issue children. Contact your local paper and ask if they have someone who covers the board meetings, and then go to one and ask about a new policy and how you would go about getting one that would cover allergies and general health issues.

You sound like a great mom -- hang in there

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After the conference today i feel better. We had an hour long conference because of numerous issues with our son.

He has Adhd, had a seizure, at the least gluten allergy, social problems....

Anyways I was asking specific questions and the teacher said she can't disclose the other children's allergies, unless they openly tell the other kids in class. That suprised me.

We have a very good teacher, very lucky. She has friends who are celiacs. So now she's on the same page I have to go educate the prinicple and counselor, not going to be fun.

Schedule a group conference with the teacher and principle and school nurse, etc. Specifically state what you would like implemented, ie 504 plans...if you show the school you did the research and know what services they have to provide they usually snap right into line.

I got most of my info from an adhd book.

Bottom line, you are the best advocate for your child. You know what's best for them! Have a loud strong voice and don't settle for anything less than what you want. You have the right to appeal any decision the school makes.

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I am a kindergarten teacher (teaching for 10 years now in a inner city school district) and I am also the mother of a Celiac. I see both sides. But I feel I really have to add that in the 10 years I have been teaching I have been confronted by plenty of parents about things they like or don't like. I have never, ever, felt myself pull away from that persons child as a result of what the parent said. When I walk through those doors those kids become mine and I protect them in the same way I would protect my own. I have a boy this year with severe allergies and we do our best to keep him as safe as possible (I think I have an advantage because of my own son's problems) and not all the other parents have been on board. I just explained to them that I cannot sacrifice a child's health so that your child can eat Nutter Butter Cookies. With that being said, I fully agree that there is far too much food in the classrooms (not in mine, I don't give food rewards) and that in my experience, it is a lack of understanding, and not a lack of caring, that caused some other teachers to overlook the needs and feeling of our children with special food needss.

Nicole

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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

If your daughter couldn't eat her donuts because the rest of the class didn't have them... then they shouldn't have been able to eat them because she didn't have them... end of story! If her teacher had let her eat them the day before I wouldn't have as much of an issue with it but this seems like a double standard.

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If your daughter couldn't eat her donuts because the rest of the class didn't have them... then they shouldn't have been able to eat them because she didn't have them... end of story! If her teacher had let her eat them the day before I wouldn't have as much of an issue with it but this seems like a double standard.

It isn't just a double standard. It shows a glaring insensitivity towards the student as well as her mother. It obviously never crossed the teacher's mind that the student would ONCE AGAIN feel isolated, left out and ignored. And it also never crossed the teacher's mind that this child's mother has gone above and beyond for her daughter. And through that insensitivity, she dealt the mom a "slap" in the face by basically showing that her dd's emotional, mental and physical health doesn't weigh as much as those of the other students.

Personally, I would love to challenge any teacher to a two week trial of living this lifestyle. Not because I believe it is overly difficult or something to be pitied. But because I think that it may give them some sort of perspective on just how much most people take for granted in life. It would be a good reality check and give them a finer appreciation for just how wonderful and resilient these kids (and their parents) are.

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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.

I think this is a great way to make all the kids healthier and happier. They don't need all that sugar anyway.

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!!!

Is this a public school with a USDA lunch program? If so, you might want to educate them on the government regulations regarding school lunch programs. They are violating the The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which says, in part:

Subsequently, Congress passed the Education of the Handicapped Act,

(now, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), which requires that

a free and appropriate public education be provided for children with

disabilities, who are aged 3 through 21, and the Americans with

Disabilities Act, a comprehensive law which broadens and extends civil

rights protections for Americans with disabilities.

.......

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) nondiscrimination

regulation (7 CFR 15b), as well as the regulations governing the National

School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, make it clear that

substitutions to the regular meal must be made for children who are unable

to eat school meals because of their disabilities, when that need is certified

by a licensed physician.

source: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Guidance/speci...etary_needs.pdf

We have a gluten-free lunch provided by the school district for my son. It takes some extra coordination on our part, but it is working well. If our schol district can do it, so can yours.

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.

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.

These two statements have made me so peeved I have waited 4 days to be calm enough to respond to this thread. I am not typing what I really want to say, because it would not be productive. Parents don't expect that there will be no issues. They do, however, have a right to expect that they will work together with the teacher as part of the team educating the celiac child. If someone is not keeping up with their end of things, be it the parent or the teacher, it should be brought up and resolved.

Personally, I am specifically interested in a 504. It's been nearly 2 months and the teacher still doesn't have the info for me....

Teachers don't always know the law on this matter. If you put your request in writing and submit it to the right people, they must set up a meeting with you within 60 days. It's the law. We submitted our request via email to the district special ed director, principal and teacher. You would be surprised how quickly things get resolved when it is done that way. Reference the IDEA law, and they have to evaluate the request within the timeline.

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I read this post several times over a few days before I responded. I'm trying to stay cool, but this honestly has me disgusted! First of all, isn't this a board for parents of kids and babies with celiac??? If you're a teacher, with no children with celiac, go find other people to listen to your unsympathetic bull! If you have a celiac child? I feel sorry for that child, with such an insensitive parent!

I agree with some other posters that yes, there SHOULD be satisfaction surveys for parents! We all pay tremendous amounts of money in taxes to schools, and this is the return??? Any wonder why so many of us choose to home school??? You couldn't pay me enough to deal with a teacher like you! You're supposed to put the best interests of the children first, and you are FAR from doing that! To give my children food that would make them sick, when you KNOW it will make them sick? Is nothing short of abuse! As a parent of 4 celiac children (and a celiac myself), this post is absolutely appalling! I can't say how thankful I am that I had already been home schooling for 2 1/2 years before we found out about the celiac! One more reason to NEVER trust my children to a public educator (or most private ones either)!!! Please do us all a favor and leave your insensitive comments and lousy ability to take care of children elsewhere!

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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I think my reply is being taken out of context.

It was a PARENT who brought those donuts to that kindergarten class. It is very often PARENTS who bring snacks to school. Another kid brought cupcakes TODAY, oddly enough.

And it's the PTA Parents who use PTA funds to buy crackers and juice to hand out before testing, because they are concerned for students who come to school without eating breakfast. I do not think they have bad intentions.

By the way, I read this post because I'm interested in a parent's perspective. My point is that, there are parents who bring donuts and demand birthday parties with cake, and others who demand there be a rule against it, so everyone cannot have it "their way".

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And, based on this reply, this is NOT a parent of a celiac, and needs to find another place to vent her frustration with whatever she is dealing with in school! This board is for PARENTS of children with celiac, not a teacher that is frustrated over something at school!!!

I think my reply is being taken out of context.

It was a PARENT who brought those donuts to that kindergarten class. It is very often PARENTS who bring snacks to school. Another kid brought cupcakes TODAY, oddly enough.

And it's the PTA Parents who use PTA funds to buy crackers and juice to hand out before testing, because they are concerned for students who come to school without eating breakfast. I do not think they have bad intentions.

By the way, I read this post because I'm interested in a parent's perspective. My point is that, there are parents who bring donuts and demand birthday parties with cake, and others who demand there be a rule against it, so everyone cannot have it "their way".

Homeschooling mother of 4 children with celiac, diagnosed just over a month ago

Also a celiac myself, husband also a celiac

Gluten free for 6 weeks now and doing MUCH better!

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I think my reply is being taken out of context.

It was a PARENT who brought those donuts to that kindergarten class. It is very often PARENTS who bring snacks to school. Another kid brought cupcakes TODAY, oddly enough.

And it's the PTA Parents who use PTA funds to buy crackers and juice to hand out before testing, because they are concerned for students who come to school without eating breakfast. I do not think they have bad intentions.

By the way, I read this post because I'm interested in a parent's perspective. My point is that, there are parents who bring donuts and demand birthday parties with cake, and others who demand there be a rule against it, so everyone cannot have it "their way".

What I have asked of my son's teacher is to send a note home asking that no parent bring in food without advanced notice. This way I get a chance to get anything in the house I may need. I also stick to that rule with my students. Our principal has very strong feelings on birthday cakes in school. She says, and I quote, "this is not Chucky Cheese people" :P . If they don't ask me first, and if it something inappropriate, then it is not coming in.

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What I have asked of my son's teacher is to send a note home asking that no parent bring in food without advanced notice. This way I get a chance to get anything in the house I may need. I also stick to that rule with my students. Our principal has very strong feelings on birthday cakes in school. She says, and I quote, "this is not Chucky Cheese people" :P . If they don't ask me first, and if it something inappropriate, then it is not coming in.

AMEN!

Brendygirl, I agree that some of your post may have been taken out of context. But I would urge you to re-read them and perhaps you will see why the first one ignited such a firestorm of criticism among the parents here. Your messages are contradictory in nature. You essentially blame the original poster for "reacting instead of responding" (when the OP went above and beyond to provide her daughter with an acceptable food substitute for her child...on the day it was asked to be there, in total compliance with the teacher's request. How things went down from there had nothing to do with the OP). You then state that you urge parents to vent to their spouse, friends or this board before going off on the school staff. And that is what the OP did...yet you patronized her and then made a flippant comment about the schools not being Burger King "where you can have it your way. You then posted that bringing these issues up to administrators does not help in any way except to make the administrator more sympathetic towards the teacher...which also implied that parents of children with special needs are just a hysterical, unrealistic bunch that are usually ignored.

Your second post is basically a rant about how PARENTS are the cause of all of these problems (emphasis yours). In fact, it even would seem that the PARENTS even make you treat their children differently as you state, "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".

You offered no constructive or positive information to help the OP find a way to deal with this. Instead, you decided to slam a few more doors in her face. And I find it discouraging that you aren't more proactive in your own class in establishing a safer atmosphere and actively seeking policy changes to make schools a safer and more productive place for everyone. You deserve a safe, uncontaminated place to work as well! And that is worth turning over a few old stones to get policy revised. You may be surprised that the parents of your students actually would care enough about you to forego the gluteny treats that they usually send.

Nic is absolutely correct. Schools are not Chucky Cheese nor are they party centers. Schools were set up to educate the young people of the community so they could better themselves and better their future position in life. That is what our tax dollars are supposed to be paying for. Cupcakes and donuts have nothing to do with that. It would be in the best interest of the children if the parties were kept to a minimum and were left as the extracurricular activities they are supposed to be (or let the kids have cake at lunch time).

I do realize that teachers do not make policy and that there is always someone who will complain. But ultimately, your role in the school is as an educator. And schools are supposed to be promoting learning. If a parent wants to have a birthday party, they should have one at home or host one at the local party center. If they need to have a teacher hand out cupcakes, they should pay extra for your catering services at the party center. And I would also charge them extra for handling hazardous waste!

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Schools owe the students a higher degree of care than a fast food restaurant does because they have total physical care, custody and control (custodial responsibility) of those children for several hours a day.

The school system has a duty to the parents (and children) due to the fact that they are acting as the "parents" for the day.

A duty requires a responsibility on the part of the school, which trickles down to the teacher's level. This is a higher degree of responsibility than even a Burger King. Remember, Burger King isn't mandatory: school is.

A higher degree of responsibility results in a response which should be greater care - above ordinary care should be exerted. Otherwise, the school can be held liable for almost anything.

As a educator, other than teaching, your duty is to mitigate loss against the school system, especially in today's litigious trends.

If a teacher is unwilling to step up to the plate to cover this "custodial" responsibility, the teacher should not be a grade school teacher.

When glibly comparing a classroom to a Burger King experience, it is not taking the situation seriously enough. Teachers should want and expect feedback from the parents, and vice versa. You are a team with the parent/teacher : not adversaries

I have been in the company of parents whose children do not have celiac or food allergies and they don't "get it" - so perhaps it would behoove the school system to have a presentation to the parents (during Open House perhaps) using a buffet table as a visual example of what cross contamination is, using foods that are known allergens and summing it up as to why certain foods in the classroom are dangerous and why there are rules about foods at parties, etc. Perhaps if the other parents also understand why the parameters are needed, there will be more cooperation and common ground.

As to satisifaction surveys, I am sure teachers get reviewed by their supervisors on an annual basis and it should include imput from parents through satisfaction surveys - otherwise how else will the Administration know if that teaching is missing the boat on something? A Satisfaction Survey is a neutral method - if I were a teacher I'd prefer the survey over a parent marching into the Principal's office or the Board of Ed with a full blown complaint. A Satisfaction Survey would head off problems before they blow out of proportion.

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Just remember this board is for Celiac, DH, gluten intolerant or anyone needing information. We do not tell anyone to stay out of different topic areas (I don't think it is a good idea to chat with the teens though.) You don't have to agree with every one or any one post.

If parents are banding together to "fix" the broken public education thes are areas that need to be addressed...

Teacher tenure, I think that is a joke.

Give families vouchers for your taxes, pick your school or homeschoolers get their materials paid for, but bottom line schools have to compete and earn the money.

No child left behind needs to be completely rewritten, it is loopholed garbage.

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You are right to be annoyed about the situation I think. She should have been able to eat her donuts with the teacher knowing that she has allergies.

I live in Austrlalia and in our school of 290 students we have 10 nut allergy kids and 4 celiac kids. Nuts and nut products are banned in our school and most in schools that have children with nut allergies. My daughter doesn't miss out because if someone brings in something for a birthday that she can't have I provide the teacher with a container with sweets so she doesn't miss out. As she has become older I find that less children bring in treats for birthdays than when she was in the younger grades so it is not really an issue. They are also told not to share food.

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When it comes to my classroom I do have a choice as to whether food treats need to be involved or not. For birthdays, my students can bring in a non-food treat to give to their friends if the parents choose to do so. Simple enough to do-pencils, stickers, etc. I had a parent send in food once, and I sent it back home.

I have found several ways to make projects fun and creative without food. There is no reason to use food. This year we even stopped having snack at school and the kids have been fine. I have 1 student who has a yogurt during class because she is hypoglycemic. My parents with kids who have allergies have been very appreciative, and those without are understanding. As long as you explain your expectations cleary at the begin of the year to the parents, they are fine. Of course I do have a better understanding of how difficult things can be, I myself and both my girls are gluten intolerant. All I know is that not having food in the classroom has made my life as a teacher much easier and the kids haven't missed it one bit. :)

As both a mom and a teacher I will echo what someone else has already said....You are your child's best advocate. Always stand up for your child. Just remember that parents and schools need to be a partnership to work best.

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