Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why Can't Schools Care More?

I went to my daughter's school sometime ago to talk to the nurse about her safety there. Would you belive it, she was not in. The school nurse is only there one day out of the week. How am I to feel safe if the "school nurse" is only there one day out of the week?

This is a big irritation of mine. I would like to drop her off to school and feel as though she is in good hands. I can't feel that way knowing that the nurse can only attend to her one day out of the week. What if something were to happen on one of the days that she isn't there? Who would take care of her? Much to my chagrin, it would be one of the staff members in the office. Part of me doesn't agree with this. And the reason being is because I don't believe they have taken the class that the nurse needed to correctly administer the epipen to my child.

Another surprising thing is that the nurse had never taken the class before. There are other kids that attend the school that apparently have food allergies also, but she wasn't told to take the class until I started nosing around. Whether there are kids on the campus with food allergies or not, I believe she should be trained in this matter. Call me crazy, but you are a school nurse, right? I know most people are probably saying, 'Why take a class if it is not needed?' Well, so you will be well prepared when it comes about.

When I enrolled her into preschool it didn't matter as much because she didn't eat lunch there. She also had a wonderful teacher who asked me on the mornings of parties if certain foods were appropriate. And when she graduated to kindergarten it was okay because that teacher was awesome with her also. She would call me up at home and ask me if certain foods were okay. She would also keep frozen popsicles for her if parents showed up with cupcakes unannounced.

This brings us to her first grade teacher. Bless her heart, she is a beautiful woman. But I don't think she understands food allergies. The first day of class I explained to her that my daughter had food allergies. She looked very puzzled, so I decided to make up an example for her. She looked at me and said, 'If I have a mango at my desk, what should I do?' Well, if you want my honest opinion, put it back in your lunch. No matter what I said to her she just didn't get it.

Last week they had an impromptu party and had cookies that came from a bakery. It shocked me when my daughter told me that she had some cookies. Unfortunately my daughter is starting to want to eat what the other kids are eating and I am having to hound her a little more than I use to. So when she told me about the cookies I confronted the teacher. All she said was, 'Okay.' Can you believe that is all I got out of her. I didn't get a sorry or I will ask her the next time. I just got an 'okay'. And to make matters worse, she let my daughter take home some food that she was allergic to. Why would you do that? I know it was wrapped up in a napkin, but come on!

Oh, it gets even better. They will not allow her to eat cafeteria food either. They say that it doesn't state where the food is made and they don't want to take any chances. I even asked to look at the packaging so that I can determine if it is safe, but they will not allow it. In a way it is good. I don't really want her eating cafeteria food anyway. But sometimes I don't feel like making her a lunch and wouldn't mind her eating a cheese sandwich or a bean burrito from the school. And when it comes to kids sharing food at lunch, all they do is tell them not to share food because some kids have food allergies. As you can see, this school does not have food allergy free tables.

I'll be honest, I am not happy with my daughter's school or the administration members either. It is hard to drop your child off and wonder if you are going to get a phone call stating that they either gave them an epipen or called an ambulance and they are on their way to the nearest hospital.