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Article: Westport Student Files Lawsuit

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I would imagine those case managers don't work for free. With school budgets being cut all of the time I'd think the money could be better spent. As for the need for an in school contact, why in the world wouldn't a child who can read, and I assume celiac disease alone isn't keeping anyone from being able to read, not be able to be his or her own 'case manager' in school? My sons are only 8, but they read well above their grade level. I've spent the time to educate them on their celiac disease limitations and they pretty much take on the task of food on their own. I figure it's my responsibility as a parent to teach my children how to manage their condition since they will, on day, have to be on their own.

504 plans might be easier for teachers and busy parents, but easier doesn't always mean necessary.

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Plus, in the elementary grades it might be easy to contact teachers all of the time, but wait until high school when your child sees 7 teachers a day. Oftentimes a parent will call me and we will play phone tag for a week before I speak with them personally!

A child in high school had better be able to take care of him/herself! A 504 for celiac disease for this age tells me that the parent was too lazy to teach the kid what to stay away from, and just wants to pass responsibility to someone else. And Deby is right: case managers cost money. The district my kids go to is a poor one, and that is one less person that the school has to pay. Even with 7 teachers, it is very possible for a parent to talk to the teachers. I have 2 kids in high school, and every one of their teachers know me. The office staff knows me, the principal knows me. It takes work on the part of the parent, and the sacrifice of time, but my kids are important enough to me to do that.

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Plantime and Deby,

I respect your opinions, but I think you are highly overestimating most parents.

I think it's great for you two who seem to be wonderful parents. I hate to say it, but unfortunately it's the truth: you ARE in the minority. You call teachers, you work on your child's education outside of school. This is NOT the norm. I wish I could say it was, but I have been teaching in the same school for 6 years now and it is not.

No case managers? A school couldn't function. Any why punish the kids who need it? That isn't fair. Is it their fault their parents aren't involved in their education? Plus, it's HIGHLY against the law. What about special ed kids?

Out of 200 students I see every day I have spoken personally with probably 20 parents. That's 10% and most of them come from my choir students whose parents are a bit more involved. The 3 English classes I teach...Juniors, by the way, I probably speak with 3% of their parents throughout the year. I send emails, letters, make calls home and 97% of the time NEVER get an answer.

I'm glad you're great parents but you need to step into my shoes for about a week and then tell me you're opinion. And volunteering in the school or being close with staff doesn't mean you're an expert on the subject, either. You're forgetting about all of those kids who don't have parents that are involved.

I attend IEP meetings where the parents don't even show up....have 30 failing students whose parents have never called me despite my tries..have kids with alcoholic, abusive parents who don't give a crap about their kids' condition. I just received an essay from a kid ( and it has been verified from guidance) whose mom is a drunk who tells him repeatedly she wishes he was dead. No case managers? So this suicidal kid is just supposed to slip through the cracks?

Does it stink that schools have to play parent sometimes? Yes, it does. But anyone who has devoted to their career to education does it because we are devoted to children, ALL children, not just the ones with parents like you. You are discriminating against children without even realizing it.

Until our world changes for the better and kids' needs are met at home, I strongly disagree with your opinions. And I am glad you're not on the school board in my area.

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I think you have grossly mis understood me. I didn't say that NO case managers are necessary. Just that a case manager for celiac disease us unnecessary. Your argument is actually proving my point. It sounds like case managers are overworked as it is. Why add celiac disease to the load? Go back and reread my post please before you attack me.

Also, just because parents are lazy and unqualified to be parents doesn't justify my tax dollars going toward enabling negligence.

Finally, YES, I do consider myself to be a good parent. I know more good parents besides me. In fact most of the people I know are good parents who try their best to raise their kids. Your post almost sounds like the USA is chuck full of bad parents. It's too bad that this is your situation. It's too bad that this situation exists at all. Maybe if the culture didn't make it possible for parents to shift the task of parenting to others, the situation wouldn't be so prevalent. Water seeks it's lowest level, human beings, it seems, do also.

Our culture has become so self centered, perhaps it's time to take a stand. My kid's school puts out a newsletter about parenting. They also have parenting classes to help parents understand what it takes to do a good job in raising their kids. We have community events like ice cream socials and muffins on Mother's day. I don't think that these things "Just Happened". Someone suggested the idea. Likely, a small group of people got behind the idea and made it happen. I'm sure it was a lot of work. But I believe that there are good people out there who are willing to make a difference, people who aren't willing to sit back and say, well that's the way the world is, I'd better learn to take it.

Really, the glass is half full and the sky isn't falling.

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I am not a pessimistic person who thinks the world has fallen to crap. On the contrary, actually; I am an eternal optimist. You have misunderstood MY post. If I thought the world was so full of awful people and parents, I wouldn't be in the profession I am in! I am here because I believe I CAN make a differerence for all kids that I work with....and that no matter what their circumstances, I can HELP them succeed. The last time I checked, those were good qualities in a teacher. A pessimist doesn't belong in a classroom full of kids trying to realize their potentials.

All I am trying to do, period, is be an advocate for children; ALL children.

There are a lot of great parents out there; unfortunately, those aren't the kids who are struggling. Those kids have parents like you to catch them when they fall; make sure they don't eat wheat if they have celiac disease; make sure they take their insulin if they're diabetic, etc. Teach them life skills! But what about the kids whose parents don't teach them life skills? The kids who truly struggle and need the most assistance are usually the kids of parents who aren't involved for one reason or another or who are abusive.

All I am saying is that I see these kids all of the time, whereas you probably don't. You've proven my point by saying that most of the people you know are good parents like yourself. Maybe you're right; maybe those kids don't need 504 plans. But those aren't the kids I'm talking about.

So, you don't want your tax dollars to go toward enabling negligence? That is an extremely discriminatory thing to say, although I don't think you are realizing it or trying to be that way. Tell me: is it the child's fault for being born with lousy parents? Because that's ultimately what you're saying..if you'd be willing to take your tax dollars away from negligent parents provided you could do this legally, who are you really punishing? The child! The most innocent person in all of this. That's all I'm trying to say.

Back to my original point, a 504 plan is made to keep communication lines open between parents and teachers and the child. Whether or not they are appropriate should be about what's best for the child, not the parent or the teacher. However, I feel what's best for the child is usually when every possible plan of action has been taken to ensure their success. THAT'S why I think a 504 plan is good for kids with celiac disease...it is just one more safety net for the child. It doesn't mean there will be meetings every week or more work for anyone; it simply means that is has been written down by the school, acknowledged by the school, and the teachers of that child are now going to be fully knowledgeable of the child's condition and what they can and can't have. I don't see anything wrong with that. Period.

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One question?

Does having a 504 plan require a case worker?

well, two...

Does the wording of a 504 plan call for: "a significant physical disability?"

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I believe every 504 plan does have a case manager, but in the case of a child with celiac disease, they would probably only meet once a year with the parents, teachers, and child. Kids with more significant disabilities meet more often. In the case of a celiac disease child, the involvement would probably be very minimal.

As for question two, I'm not entirely up to speed on the Americans with Disabilities Act, but I know that I have a lot of kids that don't have "significant disabilities" with 504 plans. I have kids with sleep disorders, anger management issues, and a host of other things. Sorry I can't answer that....I'm sure someone on this site has that info. for you:)

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Here you have two educators who have continually said "504 is a good/positive thing" , yet there is still argument against it. I'm just not getting it. I am the one in the classroom with the kids all day long. I know what works for my classroom and the kids within the classroom. WHY would an extra safeguard be terrible? It helps everyone involved.

It sounds like many folks who are against the 504 probably live in small towns, which is great. People ARE more able to manage things personally when everybody knows everybody. But like it was said, majority of parents aren't even SEEN the whole year. Contact with them is non existent. If a plan is in place, the child stays safe. That is what is MOST important, the child. It isn't about the money, or the this or that, it's about the CHILD.

Schools are already low on funds. That is nothing new. The program is already in place, not like it is costing THAT much more to safeguard the kids who need it.

Again, I will restate what I said before, this should be a non-issue. It helps kids.

-Jessica :rolleyes:

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:blink: Wow!

I have to agree with the teachers. It keeps the child safe and it lets the teachers know what they are dealing with. I could give dozens of reason's why... but I think most have already been stated.

It just seems like common sense.

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my bottom line argument is that it costs tax dollars to pay case workers. Teachers are being over worked and underpaid. Programs are being cut. Parents need to step up to the plate and parent. I see celiac disease as something that can be handled without a 504. If every child with any sort of 'condition' is allowed to have a 504, it seems reasonable that this would dilute the plan's effectiveness. celiac disease is going to become much more prevelant as more doctors diagnose it.

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Deby-

A 504 plan does not take "parenting" away from the parent. It increases communication and understanding between parents, school, teachers, support staff, and child.

In many schools the "case workers" or members of the "team" are the teachers, parents, support staff and child. They all sit in on meetings together and decide what steps need to be taken. That isn't costing extra.

Teachers are being over worked and underpaid.

No kidding, so why are you arguing against making life easier for everyone??

Schools have been low on funds for years, that is nothing new. They make the money "be there" for programs such as this because it is necessary. It is also the law. The children with disorders, disabilities, etc MUST included in the regular classroom because of the ADA. Celiac is covered under the ADA.

It shouldn't matter what something costs if it improves the life of a child. How can you put a price on that?

-Jessica :rolleyes:

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In many schools the "case workers" or members of the "team" are the teachers, parents, support staff and child. They all sit in on meetings together and decide what steps need to be taken. That isn't costing extra.

Um, excuse me, but I have a problem with this. You said the parents are usually non-existent. How can they be part of this team if they don't show up? I agree with Deby, celiac disease in junior high/high school kids does not call for a 504. It calls for PARENTS to do their part! It calls for KIDS to pay attention to what they put in their mouths! No, those meetings don't "cost extra", the teachers and staff are expected to give up their time for free!

In the original topic, the lawsuit, those parents were involved enough to sue the school over the 504 issue, therefore they were involved enough to have taught their child to pay attention to what she ate. It just sounds to me like that particular set of parents wanted the school to take full responsibility for their daughter, and give her privileges that no other student had. I had a home day care, and I saw a lot of irresponsible parents that wanted someone else to teach their kids what should have been taught at home. The responsibility in this lawsuit falls on the parents and the child. Not the school. As more and more kids are diagnosed with celiac disease, schools will be overwhelmed. Parents need to step up and take responsibility!

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They are part of the team if they choose to show up to the team meetings. That is yet again their choice. The meetings many times go on without parents.

Yet again, it's not a matter of "teaching kids what to put into their mouth". It's a matter of a safeguard. To make sure that your child is safe at all times during their school day. To make sure that everyone who comes in contact with your child is on the same page. I just don't get what is so wrong with wanting your child to be safe?? Sounds sort of odd to me to be against safety.

-Jessica :rolleyes:

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I'm new to this topic. My 6 year daughter was recently diagnosed with celiac disease. I went to the school with her diagnosis,thought, no problem they will be open to learn about this disease. Wrong! Her teacher has been great, but her principal thinks it's something for her teacher to know and no one else. I strongly disagree, she has health,gym,art, LUNCH, and programs outside of her teachers supervision. In my daughters first grade class they have tables not desks. I found that the tables are washed once a week and the lunch tables after the last lunch only. Her principals suggestion was that I have my daughter bring her own wipes to wipe down the tables. Do you think that a 6 year old should be responsible for this? I could go on about this but I won't. I am currently fighting to get a 504 plan for my daughter with celiac disease. Not because I think she is disabled, but to open the lines of communication between myself and the school, to make sure her environment is a safe one and I think a little education about celiac disease for the faculty in this school is neccessary!

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Exactly, and this has NOTHING to do with you being a bad/good parent, or the child "learning what to put into her mouth" it is about COMMUNICATION!! Thank you for posting, this has been exactly my point from day 1. It is for the safety and health of the child.

I hope you get things worked out with your school. Let me know if you need anything. I can try to look up some articles or something for you.

-Jessica :rolleyes:

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Hi, I'm coming late to this thread of discussion, so I apologize if I'm missing some of the points that have been raised. I thought I'd share my experience, since some of the posters have questioned why a child with Celiac Disease might require accommodations involving alterations in the length of the school day. I think it's important for us all to remember that this can be a complex disorder that can be related to other conditions and can have subtle effects on the nervous system and other systems of the body, especially if the child or adult is diagnosed late and has been exposed to gluten for a long time. My 17-year old son had chronic fatigue syndrome for many years of his childhood prior to his celiac disease diagnosis, requiring a 504 Plan because, at times, 8 or 10 hours of sleep was insufficient. Even after his diagnosis, he still needed a 504 Plan for his diet, but also because he at times needed to leave school early to go home and nap. Who knows why this was so? In the past 18 months since he has been on a gluten-free diet, his fatigue issues have improved dramatically, but he still has a susceptibility that he may always have. He's become an athlete now and is running 5 miles a day, so hurray for being gluten-free! But for all I know, his relapses may be due to accidental gluten exposure or due to some kind of subtle neuropathy or alteration in his endocrine system caused by years of gluten damage. It's not easy having this condition or raising a child with it. I have two children with celiac disease and I've learned to be careful not to judge what others need to make their lives easier.

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I spoke with the vice principal at my son's elementary school today. She agreed with me that 504 plans are not generally necessary for dietary concers, only if the celiac disease impares a child's ability to learn, then accomodations would need to be made. So, fine, if your child's school is stubbron and pig headed, then go for a 504, but to go into a school situation and say that every celiac disease child needs a 504 will only serve to dilute the effectiveness of the plan.

BTW, my name is Monica, my company's name is Deby's Gluten Free, Inc., not that I care what I get called, I just wanted to clear that up. :)

JMJ, I would set up a meeting with the school nurse and the school principal to discuss your child's needs. Unfortunately, her best bet might be to bring a place mat to school or keep one at school (as my son's do) to eat lunch on. Your daughter, again, unfortunately, will have to learn to care for her own condition. Because as far as i can tell, there are no 504 plans for employment. At some time, a child has to learn, when does that time come? Isn't it better to teach as the need arises? Just my thoughts.

That privacy deal you mentioned: My son's school has this privacy deal going on too. In my daughter's case, the privacy issue made her feal like she was the only one in her school with her problems (she is bi polar) When we put her in private school, she saw that she was not alone. This made a big difference to her self esteem.

Now back to 504. Since my daughter was given a 504 just before she left public school (she was actually denied access to the general classroom setting and sent to a BD classroom) I believed that the 504 superceeded her IEP. The vice principal cleared up this issue assuring me that if my daughter returned to school, her 504 plan and IEP would still help her get the best education.

My argument is still the same. 504 is generally not necessary for celiac disease and likely many of the other uses.

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Really, each school is different and each child/parent is different so whether or not a 504 is necessary should be an individulatistic thing.

My problem with the opposition by the two particular posters is simply that I don't feel you have the child's best interests at heart. I know you have your children's best interests at heart, but it doesn't seem like you particularaly care if other kids suffer due to parental neglect or school neglect. You also don't seem to be able to see that not all schools are like the ones where you live; my point being demonstrated by the poster who said her daughter's principal wanted her to bring her own wipes at age 6!

You keep mentioning how money is being spent, unnecessary money. This money is supposed to be for the welfare of children. How could that be unnecessary?

Just another note: schools don't generally waste money. they are usually very frugal and spread their funds as best they can, without much waste as they can't afford it. It's not like they're hiring case managers right and left because of celiac disease! The case workers are there anyway, and I believe they are mandated by federal law, anyway, so it's not like you can take their jobs away!

Anything that helps kids is important in a school. If you are lucky enough to be in a school where communication and support are adequate, wonderful. But you can't generalize all schools based on your experience.

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I have no patience with neglectful parents. Especially parents of a JUNIOR HIGH school girl that prefer to sue the school instead of TEACH HER HOW TO EAT themselves. I have already said that grade schoolers do need the extra help a 504 would provide. HOWEVER, by the time a child reaches JUNIOR HIGH, if there is nothing wrong other than celiac, that child should know what to eat and what to avoid.

Why do I keep mentioning how money is being spent at the school? Because I keep seeing programs cut! Obviously there is not enough money for everything! And I don't think teachers should be expected to give up their own free time! The "neglectful" parents won't take part in their child's life, no matter how many discussions and meetings the school holds.

In my postings, I am not talking about ALL children. The ORIGINAL POST is about a JUNIOR HIGH aged student, and her parents. Her parents are involved enough to sue the school, so they should have taught their daughter to manage what she eats!

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Here is another article on the Westport student. I thought I would share it.

-Jessica :rolleyes:

A civil lawsuit filed against the Westport Board of Education and against five employees of the board as individuals, including Supt. of Schools Dr. Elliott Landon, charges that the school board and the five individual defendants violated a student's civil rights by conspiring to revoke the pupil's disability designation at a meeting in January, 2004, without telling the parents ahead of time that they planned to do so.

In addition, the suit says that Landon illegally retaliated against the father, and consequently, against the student.

 

Suit alleges school board violated student's rights The lawsuit asks for a jury trial against Landon.

The suit asks for "compensatory and punitive damages" from both the school board and the five individual defendants, who, besides Landon, are the Director of Pupil Services Cynthia Gilchrest; nursing supervisor Nadine Schwab; Coleytown Middle School nurse, Elizabeth Russ, and Coleytown Middle School vice-principal Arlis Aron. The suit was filed on Feb. 24 by a pupil and the pupil's parents, known only as Mr. and Mrs. A.

The lawsuit charges that Landon retaliated against the father, a certified public accountant, because the father had asked for documents relating to the school board budget. The father was trying to find ways that might allow the school system to find other means of saving the $158,000 that Landon was "purportedly" saving by having Coleytown Middle School start half an hour earlier, at 7:30 a.m. instead of 8 a.m.

The lawsuit states that the father did find "a lack of internal controls" in the school district's finances and that he further found that a copier contract had been canceled at a cost to the school system of $350,000. The lawsuit states that when he asked to meet with Landon to suggest better financial alternatives, Landon refused.

As a result of the father's activities, the suit states that the board had a number of discussions regarding its purchasing policies and that Landon "suffered considerable personal embarrassment and stress due to the financial scrutiny conducted by the father." The suit further states that "Both in board meetings and in private, defendant Landon expressed his ire and indignation," and that Landon derogatorially referred to the father and another auditor working with him as "alligators."

Yet, the lawsuit notes, "the father was engaged in activity protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution when he audited the board's records, pressed the board to make changes and publicized his findings." The suit alleges that Landon knew that the father's actions were protected by the First Amendment and yet Landon, through his subordinates, ordered the adverse action of revoking the student's Section 504 designation in retaliation.

The student was granted a Section 504 designation in the fall of 2002 because the student had Celiac disease, a digestive disease that damages the small intestine if one eats wheat, rye, barley or other foods containing gluten, according to the lawsuit.

"504" refers to a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities, physical or otherwise. It ensures that all students have equal access to an education by receiving accommodations if necessary. As a result, this particular student was allowed to use the nurse's freezer and the cafeteria to hold snacks and frozen entrees and the cafeteria staff was to provide a gluten-free meal. For the remainder of the 2002-2003 school year, that was done without controversy.

That summer, the start time of Coleytown Middle School was changed from 8 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., and the mother became concerned because the child's physician had found that the student had an increased glucose level. The student's pediatrician wrote a letter to school personnel saying that "Medical studies have shown that adolescents who don't meet their sleep needs have elevated blood glucose levels and altered glucose tolerance ... [meeting the student's sleep needs is necessary to] minimize any additional risks of developing diabetes."

As a result, another 504 meeting was held in September 2003, and it was decided that the school nurse would develop a plan to help the student get more sleep. The nurse did so, meeting with the mother and the student at least once each, but followed up with only one phone call, according to the lawsuit.

Also according to the suit, the following three events occurred in December. Vice-principal Aron sent a notice of a 504 meeting to the parents, which stated that the purpose was "to review the existing 504 plan for your child." According to the suit, she did not mention the student's eligibility would be questioned or revoked. Nurse Russ called parents to ask about the student's health, but did not mention that the student's eligibility would be challenged at the January meeting. Nursing supervisor Schwab spoke to the student's pediatrician without the parent's consent and asked the doctor not to report the conversation to the parents.

Subsequently, at the January 2004 meeting, the 504 designation was revoked.

Two weeks later, the parents wrote to Gilchrest to challenge the decision of the team and ask that the student's accommodations remain in place during an appeal. Gilchrest refused.

On Feb. 23, the parents requested an impartial hearing and the parents' advocate provided "detailed, consistent letters from three of the student's treating physicians," to the defendants, although, according to the lawsuit, the defendants ignored the letters because they said the student seemed to function well in school.

The administrative hearing began in mid-April 2004 and continued through mid-December, 2004, encompassing 13 days of testimony.

On Jan. 25, 2005, the hearing officer found that the student was not entitled to a disability designation because the student's condition did not substantially limit a major life activity. However, the hearing officer did find that the school board violated the student's procedural rights under Section 504 in connection with the January 2004 meeting by "failing to properly notify the parents that the student's eligibility under Section 504 would be reviewed at that meeting," and by terminating the student's accommodations in spite of the parents objections.

The hearing officer ordered the school board to "correct its procedures for describing the scope of Section 504 meetings ... to assure that the notice accurately defines the scope of the meeting." The decision further said that the hearing reflected a "profound breakdown" in what had previously been a productive relationship between the parties, adding, "The relationship is now characterized by an atmosphere of distrust which has shown no signs of abating over these hearings."

The hearing officer further "strongly suggested" that the board put its procedures regarding individualized health care plans (IHCP) in writing and "consider soliciting input from interested parents before finalizing these procedures." On the other hand, the hearing officer suggested that the parents "execute releases permitting the free exchange of information between the school nursing staff and the child's physicians."

The lawsuit maintains that the student is the prevailing party and thus asks for attorney's fees from the school board. The lawsuit charges the board and each of the defendants individually with violation of the student's civil rights by failing to properly notify the parents that the student's eligibility under Section 504 would be reviewed at the January 2004 meeting. It further says that "a reasonable official in the position of any of the individual defendants would understand that what he or she was doing violated that right."

The chairman of the Board of Education, Mary Parmelee, said that on the advice of the board's attorney, she could not comment on any litigation. A phone call on Tuesday to Landon was not returned.

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=..._id=12915&rfi=6

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What do the parents of kids without a doctor's diagnosis do? They can't get a 504. How do they handle school and day care?

I just wanted to share my situation here. We are a family with 3 gluten intolerant children, who do NOT have an official diagnosis of Celiac. We cannot get a 504 if we wanted to. I am fortunate that we do live in a small town, and so far all of the three elementary schools have been extremely cooperative. We pack lunch for the kids every day. This was our normal procedure before the celiac disease, since my kids have always been picky eaters and never liked the school lunch. We just switched the ingredients in the lunch to gluten-free and it worked fine. I pack an emergency/snack box for the classroom in a small rubbermaid container with all their personal info like name, dieatary needs and my phone # on the lid. I also include a paper inside with a list of unsafe foods and ingredients. I meet with the teachers during the week before school starts, since they are at the schools setting up their classrooms. This gives me more time to explain the childs needs and answer any concerns the teachers have. I am also available all the time to talk to the teacher and make sure the kids have special treats for parties and gluten-free snacks for snack time. It does take a lot of work, and being prepared ahead of time makes it a lot more smooth. I have also taught my kids what they can and can't have and even my kindergartener is able to remind the teachers aide at snack time when they accidently give her the wrong thing. I provide gluten-free noodles when they do "macaroni" projects, and gluten-free playdough when they need new dough for class projects. I don't hold the school responsible if their are "accidents", and I included this statement in the letter that is in all their files. This helps them to relax and be more cooperative. I haven't even had problems with the substitutes. I feel that most of the responsibolity should be on me and my children, and certainly when they are in high school the kids should be able to do for themselves.

Now, all that said, I DO think that 504 plans are a good thing, especially for those who have celiac disease and other issues, or celiac disease that is so sensitive they will end up hospitalised if they get even the tiniest amount. I would have then if I could get them, just to cover any unforseen circumstances. I don't think it would take all that much time, since it would only require one meeting a year, and only more meetings if anyone was not cooperating with the plan. And there are a lot of parents who might not put as much effort into making sure their kids are safe, for various reasons. Either not being available because of work hours, or whatever. I think the main issue here, with what started this topic was the fact that the parents are sueing the school. In that situation there is more going on that what they are saying in the article, and thank God that most of us will never have to encounter circumstances like that.

God bless,

Mariann

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Q. What are examples of "major life activities"?

A. Major life activities include caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, and learning.

Jessica, maybe you can answer this for me. It does not include "eating" as one of the "major life activities" and I am concerned that as far as celiac disease goes this could make for a loophole in the 504 plan for Celiacs. This could make for some people to be denied the plan. How do you feel about this? If this is actually the case, it might be an issue that some of the Celiac Organizations can work towards getting changed. I suppose that eating could be included in caring for one's self, but this might be asking too much of some schools to stretch the limits of the 504 plan. It should be a bit more clear cut. Just my opinion here.

I do agree that the plan is good for those who can get it, and it helps everyone involved, but parents still have the responsibility to be involved parents. I sympathize with all of you teachers out there! Not only do you get a class full of different personalities, but you have to deal with a lot of inactive or non-existing parents! I know for a fact in my own experience that there are maybe 3-6 parent helpers throughout the year per class and more than half the parents don't even show up for conferences or parents night! I feel bad for the kids. :(

God bless,

Mariann

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Yikes my friends, I'm not just having to think about grade school - WHAT ABOUT COLLEGE!!! My daughter is a freshman and has just been diagnosed. We have requested that she be allowed to live in the off campus apartments next year to be able to cook for herself. (the cafeteria cannot realisticly meet her needs)... and they are dragging their feet, and this week told her that they needed to get more legal advice before giving her an answer. These issues don't just end at graduation.

I'm terribly afraid that they will tell her to live in the dorms and eat in the cafeteria next year, maybe there isn't any legal protection that would require them to accomodate her needs. And guess what - if that is the case, she will be spending another year NOT on a gluten free diet (and harming her health) - because as a girl who just left home, she really is not able to navigate cooking in a dorm room for a gluten free diet. This is despite the fact that she knows a great deal about cooking, shopping, and menu making. Jeez, I'm having enough trouble here at home in my full kitchen and with my lifetime of cooking experience -since my own diagnosis. I just want to underscore the seriousness of providing for our children, and thank you to all of you who are trying to clarify this. Does anyone have any information on the legal apects of requesting accomodations at the college level? (This is a Virginia school we are dealing with). Thanks Valerie

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