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Southern New Jersey

I am a Mom to 2 amazing and fun daughters and wife to a great guy and a wonderful father!

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Kayla, my oldest. She is 4 1/2 and is a sweet, loving and silly little girl. She took us 2 ½ years and 3 IVF’s to conceive. Kayla is allergic to dairy. We manage her allergy and work to balance her safety with giving her a normal childhood. Kayla loves to read books and play games - she amazes me every day.

Alysa, my youngest. She is 3 years old and is a silly little spitfire. She’s our monkey and loves to climb on everything. She was a “natural” baby, but it was only b/c of my wonderful doctors that we were able to stop an impending miscarriage. Alysa suffers from Acid Reflux Disease and sleep apnea. She may be little, but she has a big personality. She adores her big sister and is so much fun to be around. She keeps me laughing every day.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007
Ignorance Is Terrifying...
This article has been circulating around the food allergy community. It is about the fight of a mother to ban peanut butter sandwiches from her 6 year old son's school to help keep him alive. Now, I don't believe banning all peanuts or any food is necessarily the answer. But the article, doesn't say she's trying to ban ALL peanut products from the school either. Regardless, the scariest part of this article are some of the comments. Here are two that I find particularly horrific:

"As a teacher, is there any point that we say "Enough is enough." I'm not trying to say that we shouldn't educate this child. Teachers are expected to be caregivers, teachers, parents, doctors, and now "policers of food." It is extremely difficult for me to teach your children when I have all of the extra things that go beyond just teaching. Everyone complains about test scores. How about letting teachers be teachers and not all the extra things that you don't do at home."

I certainly hope person never teaches Kayla. You can't go into teaching and NOT expect to be caring for these children in other ways than "just teaching". Especially the young ones.

"The parents should be thanking their lucky stars that the kid wasn't born with Downs Syndrome, or no immune system and has to live in a bubble.

Perhaps Darwin is gently suggesting to these parents that their genetics don't make for the best combinations, and to lay off making any more children.

But that doesn't give them the right to emburden the other parents just because their children possess superior vigor and vitality."

Talk about ignorant. First, genetics do not necessarily create food allergies. We may have a lot of allergies in my family - but no one, on either my side or J's has food allergies. Where are the genetics there?!? Not to mention, using his "Darwin theory", that means neither of my kids should even be alive. Kayla was conceived through major medical intervention and Alysa has started to miscarry when medical intervention saved her. Does that mean they don't matter?

I love how so many people are very quick to say homeschool or send them to private school. First of all, I would love to know how they think private school would solve the issue? Plus, let's keep in mind that with all the tax dollars we pay for public school, private school is not an option for the majority. ESPECIALLY when you take into account all the extra money spent on doctor visits, medical care and the majorly expensive food bills that come with life as a food allergic parent. And homeschool? That's not an option for a dual working household and not even necessarily for SAHM's. It's a lifestyle and one that takes knowledge, forthought, diligence and yes, more money. Some don't have the money for it and some don't have the discipline for it - there are many reasons why homeschooling may or may not work for any given family. It's not up to some ignorant person to dictate where someone's child is educated.

Now, I won't be asking Kayla's schools to ban all dairy products [although it would give added piece of mind ;)], but there will need to be concessions made to keep her safe. And I will expect concessions to be made. And until the government will give me vouchers for my children's education, so I CAN choose the school that they go to, no one will be telling me how and where I should educate my child and how to deal with her medical condition.

Yes, yes - I got on a bit of a tirade. But, it aggravates me that we have no school choice unless you make a bazillion dollars, then you get other parents that are so EVIL about keeping a child safe from harm and possibly death. I also don't get the anger and hatred behind it all. How can you really be so callous about the health and wellbeing of a child??? The point is we, as food allergy parents DO NOT want to raise our children in a bubble, but that means we need help - help from the school and yes, help from other parents. But it's no more or less than we would offer up if the shoe was on the other foot.

Hearing about these cases and more importantly reading the comments of some of these parents (there were some really good responses in defense of this family too) truly scare me. These are the parents of the kids my children will go to school with. It's times like these where I almost wish Kayla wouldn't have potty trained so easily. If she refused it, I'd have a reason to delay her preschool in the fall. But...my little girl doesn't want to live in that bubble and I don't want her there either. So I'll just have to keep toughening myself up for the fights that lie ahead.

posted at 7:28 PM  

At 10:37 PM, Blogger Jennisa said...

Ditto. I constantly worry about what Avery will come in contact with when she goes to school in the fall. Teachers and other parents just don't get it...they really don't. No one is looking out for our child, no matter how hard they try. It makes me want to keep her home, but I know she has to get out there and leave the "bubble"...Let's start a school that just has allergy children, okay? :)

At 9:10 AM, Blogger ChupieandJ'smama said...

I just couldn't believe the anger toward the child in the responses. No one likes to be told that they can't do something. I get that. But to blame the child and say he should just know better, or go to a different school is ridiculous. The hate and anger blew my mind. It was so unneccessary. How about saying "we understand and are willing to work to create an environment that is safe and confortable for everyone". Peanut free class room and peanut free lunch table? I'm not for banning foods. Can you imagine me asking a school to ban all of Jasons allergens? We don't even do that at home.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Zany Mama said...

It's interesting to me - the reaction of parents of non food-allergic kids. We have had nothing but support and concern from the parents at Zane's preschool. How lucky we are!

What really makes me incensed is the idea that there are people who shouldn't "breed" because of their proclivity for food allergies.

It completely negates the fact that peanut allergies have increased at a rate in the past thirty years that simply cannot be explained by genetics.

At 6:47 PM, Blogger Jennisa said...

Let's get "A LITTLE MOMMY TALK" started

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Christine said...

Yikes!!!!! How awful, especially that 2nd comment! Are those people suggesting eugenics to make sure that only "perfect" children are born?? Give me a break!!

Sorry you have to deal with this Sue. One positive in all this is that it is making you a more sensitive person willing to reach out to others with your help.


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