School staffing question
Warning ... long, with graphic 'barf' details.
Yesterday my daughter called from her work, telling me that my grandson's school had called to say that another child had vomited on him during lunch. He wanted to come home to shower, then return to school. It takes us 30 minutes to get to GS' school, and my daughter's work is a 30 minute drive in the other direction, so I offered to take care of it.
It took me only 5 minutes to get ready and gather a change of clothes for him, but by the time I got to the school it was probably at least 45 minutes after the actual event. When I arrived at the school, I found GS standing in the hall, across from the office, speaking to someone through an open door. When I saw his condition, I couldn't believe it! He still had vomit (chunks) drying on the front of his shorts, and caked on his socks and shoes. There were red stains running down his legs. Also, there was no chair in the hallway for him to sit on, while he waited for someone to get there.
I told him to stay in the hall, then I asked the secretary why no one had helped him clean up. She said that she didn't know the details--she had just called for pick up. I asked if there was no one qualified to help him, and if there was no school nurse. (And I'll admit that I wasn't nice about it.) I was told that it was the nurse to whom he had been speaking, through the open door.
I walked across the hall, again told him to wait outside, and asked the nurse the same question. She said that she was sure he'd been given a paper towel to wipe himself down. This is a six year old child, covered in someone else's barf. How many times during that 45 minutes did his hands brush his shorts or legs, then touch his face?! I told the nurse that I was appalled at her behavior. Without her permission, I opened the door and told GS to step into her office so that I could change his clothes. As I was untying his barf-covered shoe strings (with my bare hands), she shoved a box of gloves toward me, asking if I wanted them. In a fit of pique, I told her, "No, I don't, but I wonder if anyone offered gloves to him?"
I changed his shorts and shirt, stowed the soiled things in the same plastic bag that I'd brought with me, and huffed out. As soon as we got to the car, I broke out the hand sanitizer, which I use only in extreme circumstances. When I questioned him, GS confirmed that he was given a paper towel to clean himself, and that he had been standing in the hall the whole time, waiting for pick up. While GS was showering at home, I called my daughter to let her know what had happened. Since she's the parent, I felt that she should be the one to follow up on the situation.
So, after the above rant (thank you, I feel better now), my questions are - should my daughter complain, and to whom? If the school nurse is not responsible for helping a small child in that circumstance, then who is? Lunch room monitor? Teacher's aide? Is there a rule that school employees are not allowed to touch a child, or not allowed to touch body fluids?
Did I overreact? I was rude--I didn't apologize for my behavior, but when I returned GS to school, I told the secretary that since he isn't my child, his mother will be the one to follow up. Bet she was very relieved. ;) I was careful not to let GS hear my complaints. He's not aware of any issues (except that he and I had the discussion about the situation not being the sick kid's fault, and that he should be nice when she returns to class :).
And let me say that it was not for my own comfort that I was so upset. I've taken care of sick kids, sick animals, and sick adults. In the past year I've been a caregiver for my aunt who had dementia, my mother who had cancer, and my father who had a stroke; little kid barf is a relative walk in the park.
The point is moot, since my DD is making the decision, but would you complain, or let it go?