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Old 03-20-19, 12:07 PM
acdc01 acdc01 is offline
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Re: segregating kids with allergies during lunch hour

Originally Posted by qanda View Post
I am a teacher and it would pain me to see your niece sitting alone. But what is the solution? While you can tell kids to bring a nut free lunch, you can't ensure it. Is she so allergic that crumbs can cause her to become ill or die? If so I can understand the isolation. Even if tables are cleaned after each group, crumbs may be missed and contaminate the table for her. If can can stand a small amount of nuts where crumbs won't bother her, is she responsible enough not to accept a shared treat from a friend at her table? And if she does, who then is responsible? I guess what I'm saying is that keeping her safe is the most important job of the school & there may be no way to ensure that unless they isolate her. But I agree, I feel bad for her. Maybe if she's not super allergic something else can be worked out.
Thanks for your response. What is the policy at your school?

I've been doing some research. Seems like some parents/schools just put the kids at the end of the table where all kids sit and buffer them by having two friends (who don't eat nuts) on opposite sides.

I'm leaning toward something like that right now which maybe my sister could push for through a 504 plan. There's actually two columns, 5 rows of tables (besides that table my sister sits at by her lonesome at my sister's school. If one column of the tables were reserved for people who bought school provided lunches only (and school lunches would definitely not have nuts) and the other table could be for both people with packed lunches (nut risk) and school lunches, then my niece could sit at the end of one of those tables and have an enormous buffer between the nut lunches and her. The other kids would still be able to sit with anyone they want this way too. Niece should still have two designated friends sitting next to her who are specifically told about her condition just to be extra safe. This would still allow all students to sit with their friends they want and let my niece sit with them instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.

There are lunch monitors in the room already. One should be placed close to my niece and directed to pay special attention to her. He/she should be trained
(as should all lunch monitors) and carry epipens. The tables should be wiped down before and after every meal. I realize some kid may still bring a nut snack to those tables where you're not supposed to(since it's school lunches only) but it's less chance this way.

The biggest risk to me on this method is the school not doing what they are supposed to. Not enforcing the school lunches only policy. Not wiping down the tables. It's simple to do but I wouldn't be surprise if the school just doesn't care enough to make sure things happen this way.

I read that 30% of allergy kids get bullied at some point. And that's just based on numbers reported by the parents. The number is most likely much higher cause in another study, 50% of allergy kids don't tell their parents of the bullying. Sitting on your own during lunch makes you stick out like a sore thumb. So it's a tough choice.
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