Should schools stop having holiday parties? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 73 Old 11-02-2013, 08:53 PM
 
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I'm not sure about other schools but our school is fairly vigilant with allergies. We are a nut-free classroom as there is one (or more) student that is deathly allergic to nuts. Every start of the schoolyear,  we are given the official notice that our classroom is nut-free due to allergies. Oh and our whole school is latex-free too so we get that notice as well.

When parents bring their homemade/pinterest treats, they make sure that it is nut-free. For those who know that there is a glutein and dairy sensitivity in the class too, they bring bday treats that are GFCF free too. During field trips, we are constantly reminded to keep lunches nut-free because there aren't necessarily designated seating spots for those who have said allergies.

IMO, those are reasonable accommodations. I have had to be more vigilant about the snacks that I send my child so yes, we of the allergy free world do adjust as well.

 

For those where all food is kept out of the classroom, are snacks eaten outside the classroom as well?

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#62 of 73 Old 11-02-2013, 10:30 PM
 
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Sorry if it's extremist to not want your child to see another child die during the course of the school day. .....  As always, the bullying attitudes can most often be traces to parents such as you who refuse to give up your need for your latest Pintrest ideas to be delivered to a classroom of kids with no worry if it'll kill someone!

 

 

 

you are so far off. I work at a school and work to ensure student safety, both physically and emotional.  I am concerned about everything in that comes in contact with my students how it effects them. I would never allow anything into the room if there were a serious likelihood it could hurt one of them.

 

However, I don't have any reason to stop things coming in the room that pose a danger to any of the children in the room. That doesn't make any sense, and you asserting that it makes me a bully is absurd.

 

I do want to make sure they kids have as much fun at school as possible, because I'm a nice person who likes to see children have fun.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#63 of 73 Old 11-03-2013, 02:52 AM
 
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My school district adopted a fairly strict new wellness policy last year. Food can not be used in the classroom unless the teacher has gotten approval and it's related to the curriculum. That means that birthdays and parties are treat-free. Honestly, the kids have not noticed the difference, at least at the elementary level. There are still games, crafts, and stories. Halloween is so much nicer when the kids haven't also had crap at school.

As an educator who has worked with children in poverty and is a foster parent, I've never supported the use of food as a play material. I generally don't see things like cornstarch to be in that category.
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#64 of 73 Old 11-03-2013, 04:01 AM
 
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I would like to remind everyone to take a deep breath and to visit the User Agreement if needed. Our conversations need to be civil and respectful. It's o.k. to disagree, but personal attacks on character are not allowed. We don't like to close threads anymore or remove them, as a lot of good conversation gets lost that way. Let's keep things cool even if we disagree! 


 
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#65 of 73 Old 11-04-2013, 07:18 AM
 
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Sorry if it's extremist to not want your child to see another child die during the course of the school day.  It's easy enough to keep food out of the actual classroom. It isn't a big deal where a life threatening allergic reaction is a big deal. But whatever, why would people who have the "privilege" of not having that worry understand the side of a parent who is worried sick each and every time they send a kid to school and that the phone rings that it could be "the" call. 

 

You can do a google search and see how many schools have banned birthday treats. It goes along with the push for healthy kids overall.  I'm not going to waste any more time or energy when you guys are obviously truly have no interest in seeing the other side. 


I'm not willing to argue this anymore with people who don't care. I have said several times that yes, there are ways to have kids eat at school IF it is necessary. Birthday treats and class parties are not necessary. Via the FAPA these kids are ENTITLED to an education that is safe. Sure there are ways to do this. I am NOT for bans of allergens. I am for reasonable accommodations for these kids.  As always, the bullying attitudes can most often be traces to parents such as you who refuse to give up your need for your latest Pintrest ideas to be delivered to a classroom of kids with no worry if it'll kill someone!

 

:namaste

 

I think maybe you haven't read the rest of the thread? Because I hear your objections but I don't see that you're hearing any of the offered solutions.  A lot of people, including me, have already offered up easy solutions to most of your objections.  Parents work with room parents who work with teachers.  My daughter is on her third year of school (4th and 5th classrooms because she's in gifted most of the day) and every class has had at least a few children who have food allergies, religious concerns, or diabetes.  We work around it.  Parties happen during snack time, when they would eat anyway.  Including bus time, most kids at my daughter's school leave home around 8 and return around 4.30.  That is WAY too long to go on one meal. Hungry kids are miserable and distracted kids, which is why the free lunch program was started anyway, right?  At our school, teachers ask for donations of healthy, allergen-free snacks for kids who forget or don't bring snacks of their own because when they get hungry, that's all they can think about.

 

The food is limited, but it's seasonal (so, sandwiches in shapes, fruit kebabs, popcorn with mix-ins, etc).  It's fun and everyone looks forward to it.  One of my "besties" at school is diabetic.  Her mom and I check in before parties (I'm the room parent) about blood sugar and what we have to eat, and she lets me know what her daughter can or can not have.  It has not been difficult at all.  All of our parties are non-specific (so fall instead of Halloween, spring instead of Easter, winter celebration instead of Christmas.  Mardi Gras is still Mardi Gras, this is Louisiana, after all, but as it turns out you can get egg free, gluten free, and even diabetic king cakes!).  I hear your objections, but we've managed to work around every single one.  Again, I live in a small town in the deep south.  Change is slow.  If we can survive without pb&j, anyone can ;-)

 

My daughter can't run.  Until this year, she used a walker.  I don't demand they cancel Field Day or make a rule that they can't play kick ball at recess, but I do appreciate that they accommodate her as much as possible and include her as much as she can be included.  I am VERY INVESTED in inclusion and accommodating children as much as possible, but making blanket rules because it's easier than trying to work the details is too much.  I have seen zero "bullying" about allergies and diabetes or children with different religious customs, but if parties are canceled and birthday treats are discontinued because of kids with allergies or religious objections, you are going to see backlash against those kids.

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#66 of 73 Old 11-04-2013, 07:30 AM
 
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And perhaps you haven't either. My first post on this thread was HOW our school has approached this from a variety of standpoints (food safety and overdoing it). Would it be HEALTHIER to not have all the additional food in the classroom?  Yes, it would. I have also stated how our school does accommodate these issues. I have said over and over that yes, working with admin is the key and that it is possible to make it all work. Bans on birthday treats had more to it than *just* allergies and was put in place LONG before I got to this school.  Many schools ARE unwilling to help kids with these issues. Many parents have to fight for things that seem common sense.


As for bullying, the statistics are there that something like 31% of kids with allergies are bullied BECAUSE of allergies. That's on top of the usual "kids being kids" food allergies. Perhaps it isn't a know statistic to those who don't live it but that is the truth of it. 

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#67 of 73 Old 11-04-2013, 08:41 AM
 
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I think we need to redefine the word "bully" and "bullying" because that term gets thrown around by parents and sincerely misused I will cite a recent issue at a highschool near us where a parent thought the football coach was a "bully" because his team won by a huge margin! Even after they allowed every kid but the cheerleaders to play in the game and the opposing team was still so terrible they still failed to score a touch down. The parent wanted the winning coach to be penalized for "bullying" for heavens sake what we put in the category of bullying really needs to be examined! (btw there is no mercy rule in UIL football in the state of Tx the coach was right in what he did) I have never seen a child "bullied" for having allergies but that doesnt mean it doesnt happen. I was teased in school from everything and anything kids tease each other but seriously a comment or one case of being "left out" is not a case of "bullying"

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#68 of 73 Old 11-04-2013, 08:53 AM
 
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.

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#69 of 73 Old 11-04-2013, 09:01 AM
 
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Food shouldn't be in the classrooms. 

 

I'm curious about this. What about schools that don't have cafeterias? Where I live it is only some of the larger high schools that have cafeterias. Kids eat in their classrooms, or outside, and they snack throughout the day as appropriate. There are no life-threatening allergies in the current student body and peanuts and nuts are allowed. There's also a Foods elective that most of the 7th through 12th graders take, and the younger kids are regularly involved in learning that involves food preparation -- there's a garden on-site at the school that the kids manage, the 4th through 6th graders are in charge of the bokashi/composting program, there's a big annual harvest festival, a multicultural festival with various ethnic foods, history projects that involve preparing and eating, say, gold rush type rations, etc. etc.. It seems like such a rich way to learn. To me your pronouncement about food not belonging in the classroom at all sounds really odd. Sustainability is one of the over-riding educational themes at our local public school, and food is a big part of that.

 

Miranda


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#70 of 73 Old 11-04-2013, 10:09 AM
 
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I'm curious about this. What about schools that don't have cafeterias? Where I live it is only some of the larger high schools that have cafeterias. Kids eat in their classrooms, or outside, and they snack throughout the day as appropriate. There are no life-threatening allergies in the current student body and peanuts and nuts are allowed. There's also a Foods elective that most of the 7th through 12th graders take, and the younger kids are regularly involved in learning that involves food preparation -- there's a garden on-site at the school that the kids manage, the 4th through 6th graders are in charge of the bokashi/composting program, there's a big annual harvest festival, a multicultural festival with various ethnic foods, history projects that involve preparing and eating, say, gold rush type rations, etc. etc.. It seems like such a rich way to learn. To me your pronouncement about food not belonging in the classroom at all sounds really odd. Sustainability is one of the over-riding educational themes at our local public school, and food is a big part of that.

 

Miranda

Love these points! Also I wanted to say to everyone who alarmistly says "There can never be anything my child is allergic to or else they will DIE if its in the room" this just is not true. I agree that from an inclusion stand point that its a freaking bummer to have brownies with nuts in them or gluten and not get to have some so having snacks all the kids can enjoy. However children with allergies really have to learn from an early age to be their own best advocates because they grow up to be teens with allergies and grown ups with allergies who have to navigate the world. yes caution and letting people know a potential for a problem exists is always better (an ounce of prevention) but acting as if your child will die if they are in the same venue of an allergen is just over the top. Admittedly there are people who are soooo allergic that even passive contact is life threatening (this is rare) but work places and society in general cannot "buffer" themselves against all potential dangers it isnt realistic. My cousin has PKU (for those who do not know this is a metabolic disorder that doesnt allow for her body to process protein without poisoning her brain) she has to weigh and keep track of every single thing she puts in her mouth every day all day. A slight miscalculation or an under calculation could be really devastating. In my opinion this is harder than just avoiding certain foods and she manages to eat in a regular school and has since kindergarten been EXTREMELY self reliant about her needs. Yes there times when she can't have what the class has but all and all I really don't think the answer is eliminating foods from the classroom that seems really alarmist.

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#71 of 73 Old 11-04-2013, 01:25 PM
 
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 However children with allergies really have to learn from an early age to be their own best advocates because they grow up to be teens with allergies and grown ups with allergies who have to navigate the world.

I agree with this very much. During the fall festivities, parents were asked to bring healthy snacks and once again reminded that the classroom is nut-free. However, a couple of kids have dairy/gluten sensitivities and they each had their own GFCF cookies to decorate. But I was really proud of them when they asked me about the frosting ingredients and insisting that we read it together twice to ensure that they were ok for them to use.

On a different note, while the room that my DS is in is a nut-free classroom, the lunchroom isn't. There is a designated table for kids with allergies to be eating so other kids with PBJ's can eat on their own designated areas (they designate per classroom). DS didn't know that nuts were allowed in the lunchroom and one day I sent him in with a handful of trail mix. Upon dismissal, he was very upset at me and went. "Mom! Why'd you give me nuts? I had to eat them quickly to get rid of them because so-and-so is allergic to nuts" So yeah, these kids are also aware and mindful.

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#72 of 73 Old 11-04-2013, 06:29 PM
 
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It is an important point, and one that I seem to be making a lot today, that things are much different in middle school/ high school than elementary, and kids need to be prepared at some point to be managing things more and more as they get older. Not all environments can be controlled. Home Ec or Foods Lab is another example of food in the classroom, pretty standard for middle school and  high school. 


 
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#73 of 73 Old 11-09-2013, 08:34 AM
 
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my 12 year old daughter loves the parties. we have always homeschooled until this year & one of her favorite things is the "fun" stuff at school - so my opinion is let the parties, candy, and sometimes unrelated movies stay. i'm fine with it.


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