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Old 08-12-2009, 05:54 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,030 times
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Our daughter was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy two years ago. She has attended Canterbury School in Fort Myers Florida but has had to be removed from the school due to their hostile and discriminitory position with regards to her peanut allergy.We are looking for a suitable alternative. A peanut free campus is not a requirement.The ideal is to find a school that is supportive and has a comprehensive policy to achieve a safe environment for a child with a disability.
I would greatly apreciate anyone who could share any experience of schools on the East or West coast of Florida that have done a good job dealing with this issue.

Last edited by chair; 08-12-2009 at 07:00 PM..
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:17 PM
 
11,636 posts, read 20,378,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chair View Post
Our daughter was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy two years ago. She has attended Canterbury School in Fort Myers Florida but has had to be removed from the school due to their hostile and discriminitory position with regards to her peanut allergy.We are looking for a suitable alternative. A peanut free campus is not a requirement.The ideal is to find a school that is supportive and has a comprehensive policy to achieve a safe environment for a child with a disability.
I would greatly apreciate anyone who could share any experience of schools on the East or West coast of Florida that have done a good job dealing with this issue.
My son attends Imagine Charter School in Weston. It is a peanut free school.
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Central FL
1,382 posts, read 3,258,423 times
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I used to teach at a large elementary school west of Orlando. Our administration took allergies very seriously. I had a peanut-allergic first grader join my class in the middle of the year. His mother assured me that he was ok buying the school lunch and he knew what he could/ couldn't eat. One day shortly after, I happened to catch him reaching for a peanut cookie on the lunch line. I about had a stroke. I told his mother and she packed a lunch for him afterwards. Another teacher might not have been so observant or even present at that time because I was supposed to be in a different room eating my lunch.

Teachers were not authorized to administer an epi-pen at my school, so if there was a situation, I would have to call the office. Believe me, I sweated bullets the rest of the year because I didn't want anything to happen to that child. Everytime we had a party or parents brought in cupcakes, etc I had to check the labels and make sure he didn't get any. He had his own bag of goodies from home that he could eat during parties, etc so it was better to be safe than sorry.

The next year, I had a girl with a severe wasp allergy. I had to carry a walkie-talkie at all times so I could call the office if there was a problem.

My school did a good job with student safety. I know it's not like that at all schools (in fact, at the school where my husband taught PE, the principal made fun of him when he told her there was a vicious stray dog running around the school grounds one day. IMO, she should be fired for that gross lack of judgement. About a year ago, a boy was attacked and lost on ear when a pitbull ran onto his school campus (different school). You cannot take this kind of thing lightly!)

I don't have knowledge of schools on the coasts. You should contact the district office and inquire about their policy first. Then grill the prinicpal of the individual school. I hope you are able to find a place that meets your needs. IMO student safety is the #1 priority. Learning is second, but students must be kept safe first and foremost.
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:52 AM
 
2 posts, read 9,030 times
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Thank you for the thoughtful and insightful reply. I will certainly proceed with your recommendations.
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:23 AM
 
1,468 posts, read 4,154,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chair View Post
Our daughter was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy two years ago. She has attended Canterbury School in Fort Myers Florida but has had to be removed from the school due to their hostile and discriminitory position with regards to her peanut allergy.We are looking for a suitable alternative. A peanut free campus is not a requirement.The ideal is to find a school that is supportive and has a comprehensive policy to achieve a safe environment for a child with a disability.
I would greatly apreciate anyone who could share any experience of schools on the East or West coast of Florida that have done a good job dealing with this issue.
I don't see the problem. Is someone trying to force your son the eat peanuts at the school? I don't think I would regard your son as being disabled. Maybe there is something I don't understand but that seems to be almost an insult to those who are truly disabled.
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:42 AM
 
Location: where my heart is
5,642 posts, read 7,940,083 times
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Default A person with a severe food allergy

Quote:
Originally Posted by mango23 View Post
I don't see the problem. Is someone trying to force your son the eat peanuts at the school? I don't think I would regard your son as being disabled. Maybe there is something I don't understand but that seems to be almost an insult to those who are truly disabled.
can stop breathing and go into cardiac arrest. They cannot just not eat that particular food, they cannot be anywhere near it or a reaction will occur.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:06 AM
 
Location: where my heart is
5,642 posts, read 7,940,083 times
Reputation: 1661
Default I am a TA

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedfromFL View Post
I used to teach at a large elementary school west of Orlando. Our administration took allergies very seriously. I had a peanut-allergic first grader join my class in the middle of the year. His mother assured me that he was ok buying the school lunch and he knew what he could/ couldn't eat. One day shortly after, I happened to catch him reaching for a peanut cookie on the lunch line. I about had a stroke. I told his mother and she packed a lunch for him afterwards. Another teacher might not have been so observant or even present at that time because I was supposed to be in a different room eating my lunch.

Teachers were not authorized to administer an epi-pen at my school, so if there was a situation, I would have to call the office. Believe me, I sweated bullets the rest of the year because I didn't want anything to happen to that child. Everytime we had a party or parents brought in cupcakes, etc I had to check the labels and make sure he didn't get any. He had his own bag of goodies from home that he could eat during parties, etc so it was better to be safe than sorry.

The next year, I had a girl with a severe wasp allergy. I had to carry a walkie-talkie at all times so I could call the office if there was a problem.

My school did a good job with student safety. I know it's not like that at all schools (in fact, at the school where my husband taught PE, the principal made fun of him when he told her there was a vicious stray dog running around the school grounds one day. IMO, she should be fired for that gross lack of judgement. About a year ago, a boy was attacked and lost on ear when a pitbull ran onto his school campus (different school). You cannot take this kind of thing lightly!)

I don't have knowledge of schools on the coasts. You should contact the district office and inquire about their policy first. Then grill the prinicpal of the individual school. I hope you are able to find a place that meets your needs. IMO student safety is the #1 priority. Learning is second, but students must be kept safe first and foremost.
They do have peanut free tables in the lunchrooms and staff is notified of any allergies a child has, but there are still problems. We only have full time nurses on staff at the schools (elementary) which have severity classes. All the others have a nurse who only comes in a few times a week (budget cuts). I don't know if the administrative staff is now trained in First Aid, CPR, etc.

I am from NY and have worked in the schools there. When I worked in the school's after care program when the school nurse was not on duty, we had to be First Aid, CPR, and AMAP certified through the state. We had a locked closet in our room where the children's meds (including epi pens) were stored and we were trained and certified to administer them.

There doesn't seem to be any national or even statewide protocol on this.
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Miami
6,853 posts, read 19,757,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mango23 View Post
I don't see the problem. Is someone trying to force your son the eat peanuts at the school? I don't think I would regard your son as being disabled. Maybe there is something I don't understand but that seems to be almost an insult to those who are truly disabled.
I used to get allergy shots, and in the waiting room of the allergist office was a sign that said no peanut products allowed in the building and a sign for people to not wear perfume or cologne in the office. Some people are very sensitive, and if someone wipes their fingers which just touched a peanut product on a chair, door nob etc. and the person with a peanut allergy touches that surface they could have a reaction. So this is probably why they don't even want Peanuts in the building.
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Old 08-15-2009, 03:50 PM
 
1,468 posts, read 4,154,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiebus View Post
I used to get allergy shots, and in the waiting room of the allergist office was a sign that said no peanut products allowed in the building and a sign for people to not wear perfume or cologne in the office. Some people are very sensitive, and if someone wipes their fingers which just touched a peanut product on a chair, door nob etc. and the person with a peanut allergy touches that surface they could have a reaction. So this is probably why they don't even want Peanuts in the building.
I think a child with such a severe allergy that it can be life threatening is not the responsibility of the public schools. I don't think a school can be expected to restructure it's workings to accommodate one child. There are just some realities to what a school can do as they attempt to educate the entire juvenile population. Maybe the child needs to be home schooled I don't know. This is an unfortunate situation but not one a school should be expected to deal with.
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Old 08-15-2009, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,318,114 times
Reputation: 3488
Quote:
Originally Posted by mango23 View Post
I think a child with such a severe allergy that it can be life threatening is not the responsibility of the public schools. I don't think a school can be expected to restructure it's workings to accommodate one child. There are just some realities to what a school can do as they attempt to educate the entire juvenile population. Maybe the child needs to be home schooled I don't know. This is an unfortunate situation but not one a school should be expected to deal with.
Federal law would disagree with you. Children with disabilities-- and yes, a life-threatening allergy does indeed constitute "disability"-- are entitled to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. OTOH, there is no federally-guaranteed right to peanut butter.
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