I am having a communication issue with the kids’ school right now, and it is very frustrating.
My problem is that my older two kids have food allergies, and last year I expressed some concerns I had to the school about their food allergy procedures. I had three concrete requests for changes that I asked the school to address in this new school year.
Now, if they do not want to do those things, or do not have the budget or time to do those things, they should just tell me that. But their problem is that these things I have asked to have changed are part of the School Board’s official policy on allergies, so they really should be changed. But they are hard to change, so the school keeps telling me they are taking it under advisement and looking into it and considering their options, while they do nothing.
I don’t want to harass them because I know, trust me, I know, that teaching and administrating at a school is a very, very tough job. In addition to the long hours and dealing with kids day in and day out, there’s all the pressure from parents to do this or that, and once you let a hundred other people start telling you how to do your job, you find yourself in a position where you can’t do anything.
So I have decided to stop bothering the school with my requests because it is clear that nothing is going to be changed, and I know they do care about what I think and they do care about making the school a safe and happy environment and they are working very hard, but they can’t figure this all out, and so be it.
But I have also decided to write a post about it, because one of the things I wanted was a letter to be sent home to parents in my kids’ classes about their allergies. And this letter was not, ABSOLUTELY NOT, intended to ask those parents not to send certain foods to school, because I know it is completely unrealistic to ask non-allergy families to try to pack a lunch for their kid that does not contain nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, sunflower seeds, coconut, lentils, or chickpeas.
Rather, this letter was intended to let the parents know of a few small, simple things they could do to help. Because I really believe that if non-allergy families were told some concrete ways that they could make the world a safer place, that they would do that.
Here’s what I wanted the letter to say:
This is just a note to let you know that a student in your child’s class has the following food allergies: peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, coconut, lentils, and chickpeas. Please note that we are not asking you to eliminate these foods from your child’s lunch.
However, to help keep the school a safe place, you can do the following to help.
If your child has these foods for breakfast, ask them to brush their teeth and wash their hands before coming to school.
Teach your child not to share or trade lunch food, and to always eat lunch at their own desk.
Encourage your child to wash their hands after eating, with soap and water, to avoid the spread of allergens to common class areas.
And that is all. End PSA.