Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yes. A Rant.



You may not know this about me, ;) but I have a rather diverse family. My first child had severe developmental delays, required oxygen, tube feedings, and a wheelchair. When she was old enough for preschool, I went to her IEP meeting all excited to put together an Education plan Just for Her, that focused on what she needed and not on what other kids her age needed. I left in tears when the woman (who knew nothing about, well, anything) said that our district believes in inclusion and it's "Really Good for the Other Kids" to be around kids like mine. Well to heck with the other kids. My kid doesn't need inclusion, she doesn't need to be sitting alone in an over packed classroom in the corner with an overstressed teacher who doesn't have time to notice she is pulling her oxygen off. She needs a special program. She needs to be safe. Luckily, as aforementioned, this woman was totally ignorant of the field she was working in, and Charlotte, on oxygen, could not go to a "regular classroom." She went to the "Medical Hub" where she belonged, and she loved it. And when she stopped breathing on the bus, someone actually noticed, which was a plus.
My 3rd child is black. At 10 months, I am already asking other moms about diverse preschools, and hoping that growing up in very vanilla Utah will not teach her that all that matters are her differences. I'm sure there are many blog posts upcoming on this one.
My 2nd child will be starting preschool this fall. And right now, I'm nervous. More nervous than I may be when Ava starts. And here is why.
"Parents Resist Anti-Peanut Rules."
I'm just floored at the selfishness, at the audacity, at the level of perceived entitlement.
Really?

Apparently a bunch of moms with too much time on their hands and not enough actual strife in their lives are protesting at their kid's school where a six-year old little girl with a life threatening peanut allergy also attends. Apparently they feel the school is taking too many precautions and disrupting their own children's education with all the hand washing and mouth rinsing. Oh, and they aren't allowed to send peanut butter and jelly to school, obviously. And there is a lot of counter disinfection going on. And a peanut sniffing dog came during spring break and sniffed out the school. And at class parties they are only allowed crafts and games, not treats.
Boo-Hoo.

I, of course, take deep offense due to the fact my child has a peanut allergy. (Although not nearly as life threatening as this child's, luckily). The other parents want this girl home schooled so their lives aren't disrupted. Guess what!? A free and appropriate public education IS something we ARE all entitled to. And part of that education along with cursive and basic math and cellular biology is learning to deal with life and other people. Learning a bit of sensitivity and that we are all different with our own strengths and weaknesses. And maybe if having a Reese's, even if you REALLY want one, is going to potentially kill someone else, you can wait until you get home. And if I think really hard I can think of other examples of parents protesting against certain people attending their kid's school throughout history. And I would think and HOPE we had learned our lesson.
Sure, be annoyed. Peanut butter and jelly is part of American childhood. Peanuts are in EVERYTHING, either as an ingredient or processed with. It's obnoxious. And maybe the way our food is produced is what really needs to change. But until it does, how bout you stop throwing a great big fit about not being allowed to pack a loaded gun in your kids lunch bag? If you feel like your kid isn't getting enough reading and math because they are waiting in line to wash the peanut contamination, e. coli and influenza off their hands, how about you consider home schooling? Then your kids don't have to ever see or deal with anyone different or with different needs. And you can teach them that nothing matters more but their right to a cupcake on their birthday.
Guess I'm for inclusion after all. Would my views be different if I had four healthy typical not remotely out of the ordinary kids? Well, then I would surely be too busy to protest anyway.
Check out the other headlines, Crazy Self Indulgent Entitled Moms. You can surely find something worthwhile to campaign about.

6 comments:

Lavonne said...

As someone who is allergic to just about anything food wise, this absolutely floors me. And as someone who has a HUGE temper I would punch one of those moms right in the face! If these parents were saying a child should be home schooled because they were autistic or had Downs Syndrome there would be a media uproar. And while a peanut allergy is not comparable in a lot of ways, for someone that is is life threatening it can be just as crucial to make sure that while the child needs a sort of "special" attention, they are included in normal every day things like school, and crafts, and friends...

If my child ever goes to a school like this they will likely be raised by wolves. I can't stand the politics and total BS that is the PTA and women who have nothing better to do than criticize anyone who isn't like them.

*end rant of my own*

Here's to hoping that your daughters first year at school will be pleasant and uneventful and peanut free :))

thack said...

AMEN! Absolutely ridiculous.

katherine said...

i would like to say ditto to liz.

and would like to add a holy crap those moms have too much time on their hands. that is pathetic and so sad for them and their kids.

love you!

We have Angel Wings said...

I just don't understand where the humanity is in this country.

This is absurd.

Adrienne said...

Erin,

I went to school with Alison (3rd through 12th) and found your blog through one of her posts. I have been reading your blog for months now, frequently crying and always learning from your words. I have wanted to comment many times, but haven't had the words and felt slightly sheepish because although I think we met once or twice it was YEARS ago. But now I've linked your blog to mine so that I can still read it when I am away from home, and thought I had better check with you to see if that is okay. You are now one of my heros, thanks for blogging.

Much love from someone you don't know,

Adrienne (Shaffer) Peterson

Lacey said...

I just saw this on the Today show. What has this world come to? I can't believe how much people are freaking out about the stupidest, little things. Hello, isn't hand washing good hygiene in general? One doctor said she doesn't recommend to her patients to rinse their mouths, so maybe take that out. But seriously, since when are we freaking out about hand washing?