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OT--lunch money?

Posted by justmetoo (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 26, 11 at 22:07

Totally off topic of stepfamilies, but I'm curious as to how your schools handle lunch money.

DD pays $2.25 per day that she eats at school. Usually she only chooses to eat school food one to three times a week...some weeks not at all. Between August 17th and Sept 1st there were/are to be only four days on the menu she will eat. So on the 17th of August I sent a check for $9.00 which would cover the four eating days. Then will send another check (as I have for the past 6 yrs, why pay when my kid is not going to eat there for days and days)

I got a letter this evening informing me that my child does not have $10 in her lunch account and that I am being reminded to make a payment. Letter also indicates that letters come out every Friday to parents with children with less than $10 in accounts and that reports are also sent to the principal.

Excuse me? Why should I keep $10 in an account especially when child is planning on eating 4 out of 12 school days? Basically they want me to pay $19 when DD only plans on eating $9 ) And to keep sending the letters out every Friday? Guess I can plan on getting one and being reported to principal every Friday. Pfft. Letter also informs me that the Student Handbook says letter are sent when accounts hit below $10. And just what is principal going to do about it? They can't make my kid eat at school at all, she does not get free and/or reduced meal and she packs her lunch as often if not more than she actually purchases school lunch.

This is a first (We do have a new principal this year). Daughter is in 6th grade and I've paid her lunches for two weeks worth of actual eating each time (according to a couple weeks worth of menu) I send a check since kindergarten. Daughter has never ever not had lunch money in her account on any time she was eating school lunch.

I suddenly feel like a loan bank that sends money to school (or else be reported to principal like I'm a bad mommy)so they can buy supplies this weekend for next week's food to feed other people's kids while mine won't be eating their prepared meals.

So, I'm just whining (and considering whipped off a quick 'ain't happening' letter to Mr Principal) and wondering how your schools do this. I'd hate to think I had three or four kids enrolled in school at once as keeping $30 to $40 in an account at all times plus also enough to cover what the kids actually might spend to buy the daily lunches just seems ridiculous to me. I think the part about 'being reported to the principal' is what seems most silly to me. It's like I'm a neglectful parent denying my child food or something.

It is not that I can't afford to keep ten spare dollars in her account at all times, it's just the rebel in me feeling annoyed at the 'I must' attitude.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: OT--lunch money?

Ooh that would have me pissed too! Our school has an online payment system but charges .40 to use it.. If I don't pay online but send a check, I don't have to pay the .40 fee and I am sent email notices when my daughter's account gets below $4. There is no 'must' about how much $ is in the account. Simply 'must' have 'something' in order for her to get a hot meal. However, there have been times that I forgot to put money on the account or send in money and she was still served a hot meal, but I would then get an email saying, your child has -$2 on their account please pay...

No way does the principle know, nor does he have time to keep up with it.. I would think if it were a problem and the account became severely 'overdrawn' maybe he would be notified.

I would definitly be sending an 'ain't gonna happen letter' especially since your Dd doesn't eat there every day.

I hate that our school STAMPS their arms with a black stamp that says lunch account low.
Talk about annoying -- especially when the kid only purchases milk and/or juice and only keeps $2 max in the account at most times. Why not put a big kick me sign on their backs as well!!

RE: OT--lunch money?

Oh my gosh. Stamps their hands? Ok. now I have nothing to whine about, at least my school has not thought of branding the children yet.

Our new principal came from a much larger diverse school district and I just think he came to our school expecting the worst because it's what he has had to deal with where he was before. We're a small little village of 2000 with enrollment in PreK-12 of 700 kids (consolidated with other small villages a number of yrs ago)...makes me want to say to him 'look, relax, you've left the city now and are out in the sticks'.

The Dh told me to stop being a 'butthead' and just dump $10 in DD's account that I pretend I never did and continue to then send money as usual...issue solved. Yeah, I know DH's right and I should not be making an issue. just do it JMT. I think it is the wording of the letter. Report me to the principal? Ok, Ok, I guess sending the stupid extra $10 is better than seeing if the pricipal thinks of stamping the kids if parents don't LOL. My daughter would never forgive me if she had to wear a stamp across her hand for the day just because her mother felt like making a statement of opinion. She's already having to adjust to the new ugly pure boyish style PE unform that looks like one could fit three of her into.

Ok. Thanks Myfam, you helped me put my rebellion to rest. I'll save my efforts for bigger issues at the school in the event any arise.

RE: OT--lunch money?

JMT- I can relate to your feelings of wanting to rebel against the system.

Report you to the principal? Yeah, that would stick in my craw as well. When my daughter was in 5th grade they changed the school time to half an hour earlier in the morning. Well, I did not appreciate the fact that parents were not even consulted on this change and they just changed it on us. I tried getting my daughter to school on time but she wound up being tardy so many times I had to meet with the principal as well. I was actually kinda glad to meet with her because I was able to tell her how annoyed I was that parents were not consulted on this change. She explained to me that some scientists found out that middle school kids perform better if they go to school later so that meant that elementary school kids had to go to school earlier. I still didn't like it, but tried to make sure she got to school on time.

In your situation, it sounds like the principal is used to people not paying for the kid's lunch money and this was the policy he had to institute to ensure the lunch program didn't go bankrupt. Now he's at a different school but is treating the school the same way.

My daughter's school does the same as myfampg. They'll give the kid a lunch even if they don't have the money in their account and will just give you a phone call stating your kid has a negative lunch balance. They don�t stamp the kids hands though, good grief. It does suck that you have to keep $10 in the account, but I suppose some stupid parent ruined it for everyone.

RE: OT--lunch money?

I was just complaining how much it cost us to eat at school. It's $1.85 for elementary and $1.95 for middle school and high school. So I guess it's quite a bit cheaper for us. I'll quit complaining. :) We also have an online payment system.. but it does NOT charge us to use it. The only problem I have with it is that you have to put $25 into the kids account to use it. 4 kids... that's $100. I've just been sending in checks. I also just send in enough for 2 weeks at a time... get paid every two weeks so I pay it then. We do not have to keep a certain amount in it either.... they even allow the kids to charge up to $5... once their account is negative more then $5 they get a cheese sandwich. They send home a notice everyday their account is negative. No stamps... WTF is up with that? That's cruel! Parents are busy and sometimes it's easy to forget a day.

High school and middle school students are offered a regular meal and then they are also offered extras... that cost lots of extra money. I refuse to give my kids the money for the extras. They can eat the regular meal. My ds16 now has a job and adds in extra money of his own if he wants the high dollar extras. I can see a participation report online and it tells me he eats a lot of poptarts. That makes me furious because it's 75cents for 2 poptarts. He could buy himself a box of 12 for like $2... but oh well, his money. (That's why I won't pay for the extras)

Amber.... our middle school/high school students go quite a bit earlier then the elementary kids do. It's odd to me that they send the younger kids earlier.

RE: OT--lunch money?

Momof3- yeah, there some research that middle and high school kids do better later in the morning than earlier, so that's why they made the elementry kids go to school earlier.

I don't think it's right to make the little kids go to school earlier, having to catch the bus or walk to school in the early morning darkenss does not seem right. At the time I was able to I drive my daughter to school every day so at least I didn't have to worry about that. And like I said, I did not like the fact that they didn't even consult with the parents, schedule a meeting to explain the change or nothing. They just sent a letter home. Very abrupt.

I pay $10 a week for lunch for my eldest who is in middle school, and $10.25 a week for my younger daughter in elementry. I literaly make $60 too much to qualify for reduced lunch!! Oh well. My eldest earns $5 a week for her allowance. She uses that to buy extras for her lunch as well.

RE: OT--lunch money?

So, schools have money to send reminder letters automatically? Let's see, the cost of paper & postage... yet they want kids to buy their own paper for assignments and the teachers asking for donations for classroom supplies? Really? My bank only requires a minimum of $1 and they don't sent me a notice unless I'm negative... because it costs money to send out notices.

I think that's something worth bringing up at a school board meeting.

RE: OT--lunch money?

JMT-- 700 k-12??

What is the kid to teacher ratio?

Dd's school is k-5 and has a whopping 650 kids... 18 - 1 ratio. It's the biggest school I have ever been to.

And yes the stamp is annoying ... But I guess our kiddos are used to it lol

RE: OT--lunch money?--Amber


Our school changed this year to 10 minutes later so that the high school kids could go to school at 730am and be out 40 min earlier than the elementary. It has to do with budget cuts on the bus system and needing to use the same bus for high school/middle and elem.

We did have a vote. I honestly dont care but do you know the reaction of those high school students that have to be at school at 730 now? Well I guess they would have to be there at least 15 min early because the bell rings at 730. Lol wow

RE: OT--lunch money?--imma

Imma I agree. Maybe that's why my school by passed the paper and went straight to sending the note home on their arm... LOL

Momof3 our lunch is $2.25 and that's entree, milk/juice. Period. The entree I think is a meat, veggie, bread and fruit.
My daughter rarely eats at school usually only on the days that her dad takes her. And that's because he is lazy. Another subject obviously....

RE: OT--lunch money?

Wow, our lunches are only 1.65 (I'm going to stop complaining!)

We only get letters when the account is negative, and kids get increasingly lower amounts of food until the balance is paid (sandwich, apple, milk... then sandwich, milk... then milk).

I'd be peeved too, but like your DH said, probably best just to put the $10 in there. School office ladies are notoriously harder to get along with than postal workers.

DD will eat milk and some corndog, I've learned. So much for the salad bar and healthy options. So she only eats there on special occasions (when there's something she REALLY likes).

Cause I don't think $1.65 is good value for a corndog & milk.

RE: OT--lunch money?

--" School office ladies are notoriously harder to get along with than postal workers. "--

And I've already p$ssed one off this year. They lost my kid (but not really) and I was to report to principal (Geez, I feel like surely Mr principal thinks parents are the children LOL). I was in such instant panic when the call came that she managed to get her first part of 'and the principal will be expecting you to write a full explaination as to why you failed to call the school and repo..." then I frickin blew and sky high.

What happened was I dropped my daughter off eight feet directly in front of school's front door. I watched her walk into the building while I waited for Mr Principal to raise his stop sign for me to drive off. I watched her greet Mr Principal and the morning assistant lady monitoring the coming of kids/buses/cars blah blah. All doors of building are locked. Little JMT could not have left building without walking out front door and passing principal who would have still been standing there with his stop sign and certainly would have stopped kid from leaving after he just watched her being dropped off. I knew my kid had to be in that building. Thoughts of kidnapped by staff and stashed in a closet were floating through my head. Seriously.

At exactly 8:30 my cell rings and it is the school office lady. She starts rattling that my child is absent today and I failed to follow the student handbook of calling her off by 8:30. I'm stunned, total instant panic, ready to call 9-11, a search party and a canine unit. All I could think of was that little boy who poofed from his school out on the West coast a year or so ago.

I'm vaguely aware while trying to process what the heck may have happened to my child, that lady has lapsed into the second part of spiel of 'write explaination'...I cut her cold with "where the h#ll is my child?"

I get a half snicker snicker 'oh, the teacher probably made a mistake on the absentee list'. Still panicked and not at all assured my child is actually sitting in class I told her to get off her &ss and run not walk down to the room and find out what the heck is going on.

A few minutes later as I'm already almost to school she calls and says 'Little JMT is in class *giggle giggle*, the teacher just marked the wrong kid absent, she marked your child instead of the kid on the line below her"

Ok, now I'm really not assumed. Now she's lying to me to cover for teacher. The child absent was really a boy, his name is five down from my daughter on list and it was not an 'oops mismark accident' it was a out right incompetent screw up.

Anyway, I'm on her crap list because I yelled at her. Guess I'm just suppose to giggle over the incident of almost giving me a heart attack. Well, sorry, not gonna happen. I don't think I have ever felt such a few minutes of sheer panic and fear in my life. I'm not in a 'ha-ha oops' mood lady.

MyFam, some of the grades have two classes in K through 5th and some have three. It switches according to number of kids in a grade from year to year. Most classes have 18 to 20 per teacher and then we have noncertified aids/assistants helping the teachers in the rooms. Ocassionally we've had 25 in a class when there is not enough kids in a certain grade. Last year in 5th grade school decided to 'cut' budget and only have two 5th grade teachers with 30 kids in each class. That lasted about a flash before they realized it was not going to work. They stuck it out with two aids and a teacher per class until the end of the first quarter when they brought in a third teacher and split the classes up.

My daughter has roughly 60 kids in her grade. Give or take a few kids each year. HS graduating classes likely average 55ish with some at 50 and some at 65. We have two buildings. PreK and 2nd through 5th are in one wing of the GS. The 6th through 8th are in the new back wing of the GS. Then we have the HS building across the baseball field. That building has the 9th through 12th grade in original HS building on two floors. The K and 1st graders are in the back of the HS in a newer wing, all one level and their own parking lot, playground, enter/exit doors and restrooms ect.

We run 10 buses a day both morning and afternoon inwhich our school owns the buses and has it's own bus staff. Buses pick up at GS 5 minutes before non-bus kids get out in afternoon. Then buses leave for HS and pick up the HS kids and K/1st graders. When buses pull out of GS, the cars pull in single file two rows. Bell rings, kids come out and load up and then a monitor singals for us to move out. No cars move until all kids are in cars. Any parent not there yet, kid must wait at doorway with staff. The walkers also get out same time vehicle kids do and we can't move out until they are clear of the area.

Over in the other building, the buses pull up now in front with K-1st walking down to them from inside and car riders using the k-1st exit/parking lot. Finally the HS bell rings and HS kids pour out. Start to finish takes about ten minutes between the two schools.

I give this new student handbook and all this 'report to principal' a few months tops and bet Mr New Principal is just going to have to likely learn the hard way. School board meetings out here in the boonies can be quit lively and small town parents don't intimadate easily. While we have had a student handbook for years, the current one was just all totally revamped during the summer by this new principal (HS has it's own student handbook).

Our school lunch prices have risen from 1.50 six years ago to the current $2.25. The biggest jump was when we went from 1.75 to $2.25 a couple yrs ago.

RE: OT--lunch money?

Good Geez-us JMT !!


I bet Mr new Principal has about 700 parents at his door within a few months...

JMT if you weren't such a trouble maker, you wouldn't be sent to the principals office so much!! Lol

Last year my nephew got sent to in-school suspension (he's a bad kid)
The school called my sister at 1pm to say, your son is absent from school.
She flipped ... He was dropped off at school AND he is a skipper so she was thinking he skipped. She drives home, not there. She drives the streets, no sign of him. She goes to the school and they are going to contact the police and then they say 'oh yeah! He's in iSS..' Which by the way is IN the office...
My sister ate that office lady for lunch...

RE: OT--lunch money?

Crazy stories, crazy office ladies.

SS's lunch is $2.25/day. He prefers to bring his lunch from home more often than not, and I know DH just gets an email notification when his lunch account is below a certain amount.

JMT, that is classic about your child being marked absent! and you getting reamed out about not calling! I would have been ticked off, too. You get blamed for a teacher's screw-up? And sorry, but marking the wrong child absent is kind of a biggie!

Funny story---kinda similar. We went on a long weekend trip last week. Pulled SS out of school for 2 days. (We weren't thrilled about him missing 2 days in the first week of school BUT we always go to Colorado in the fall and he misses 2 days for that----we're not going this year, we had this trip planned instead.) DH told the teacher at Back To School night that SS would be out Friday and Monday. She said that was fine, no big deal.

DH emailed her the day before our trip to remind her again and said if there was any work she needed to send with SS, to please do so. Teacher wrote back and said since it was still so early in the year, there was no work to send and not to worry about it. She said to have a great trip!

So we left town Thurs. after school. Friday evening DH was checking his voicemails and had a call from the office at SS's school asking where he was. DH called back and left a voicemail stating he'd informed the teacher SS would be absent Friday/Monday.

Monday afternoon as we are driving home from our trip, DH is chcking his voicemail and has a really snippy message from the office lady saying if SS is not returning to school, they MUST be informed and his slot will be given to someone else. She also said the principal was extremely concerned.


WHAT slot? It's a freaking public school! How can there be a wait list?

And what is up with the lack of communication from teacher to office or vice versa? It seems to me that the FIRST thing the office secretary should have done was say to SS's teacher, "Hey, ___ ____ isn't here today, have you heard anything?"

DH was really annoyed, espcially since he'd not only told the teacher about the scheduled absence but also emailed her a reminder (to which she had responded!) AND also left a message on the office voicemail.

He forwarded his original email and the teacher's response to the school principal.

And that was the last anyone heard about it.

RE: OT--lunch money?

OHHHHH JMT I'm surprised that office lady is still breathing. *giggle giggle*

I had a HUGE fight with them last year. They kept addressing mail home to MR. XSilver and Mrs. XSil... (couldn't even fit my first name on the envelope)

I told them, I am divorced, you can see in her registration papers (from DAY 1) that I have a different last name from her (went back to maiden and never switched when remarried).

You can see that her father lives OUT OF STATE and is listed as Parent but not as Guardian. (my DH is on the "child lives with" line, and X is on the actual parent line).

She said, sorry for you, it's the computer.

I told the X never lived at my house, it's under my name only, and if they keep addressing mail to him at my house I'm not going to answer it. After all, opening someone else's mail IS A FELONY.

I told her she'd better fix the computer, since I know it's "data in/data out" and she's the one who entered it, she should be able to fix it. Nope, she says it's the way the system is set up. I said fine, give me a new registration packet, I will fill that out, and I will leave X off entirely, so she won't feel compelled to put it in the system.

She said she couldn't... it was demographically impossible.

SAY WHAT??? I said, oh, so odd numbered streets have the mothers listed first? WTF?

Yeah, needless to say, it got changed. Now it's "the parents of Little Silver".

Now was that so hard?

Demographics. Snicker. I still laugh over that one.

RE: OT--lunch money?

My school seems to have the home letters that are sent snail mail under control. Addressed very generic 'To the parent/s, Guardian/s of ___________'. Guess they figure that pretty much covers everybody. Only ones that say 'Mr. and Mrs. ________ JMT are the ones hand addressed from an actual classroom teacher...somtimes those are even addressed to the students name only.

Our GS office staff have been in their seats for like ever. I think the two current ladies have been through the last three if not four principals. Yeah, the giggle giggle one is still breathing, but I'm sure I took her by surprise. She's witnessed a few 'show downs' between myself and various principals in the past, but this is the first time the Assertive JMT was focused on her. I've had kids out in this district for close to 25 yrs.

Oh, Love, at my school with our new student handbook under New Mr Principal, your Dh would be 'being reported to the principal' for failing to follow student handbook procedure on excused/unexcused absent 'family leaves'. LOL. A planned vacation of a couple days is here now a drawn out procedure to recieve 'excused' status. Final say on whether or not child could have gone without 'penalty' would have been signed by Mr New Principal (all properly writen and documented) and stamped 'approved excused absense'. LOL.

It's going to be a long year for some of the parents out here LOL. Wonder how many of us will be on a first name basis with New Mr Principal in a short time frame LOL.

In the end though, I do think some of the things Mr Principal is trying to bring to our school will be good. He's not a 'bad' guy, he has fresh new ideas and he seems tobe good with the children (it's just us parents I think who will have troubles and be 'reported' and likely often).

And, Myfam, yes, Bad JMT. What can I say? I'm just not a natural born conformist and Mother Hen has no troubles popping up and out to tackle what I see as unjust and/or downright stupid. My Dh calls it my 'bandwagon tendencies'. I learned many years ago to be assertive rather than aggressive. Asserting myself, even aggressively assertive but without being hostile aggressive (does that make sense!?) has gotten me farther in self persuits in issues I see a need to persue. But yeah, there's been times when I'd have rather just cut to the chase and dropped kicked somebody instead of assertively persuing it. LOL.

RE: OT--lunch money?

We can't even take approved absences. It's sick with a Dr. note, or you're SOL.

I always get the teacher to assign work, and she always tells me it's not approved. Whatever. I get a note at the end of the year threatening me with truancy and court and I ignore it. Attendance is all payment based anyway - that's the only reason they care.

RE: OT--lunch money?

Ok, I'm totally done with school lunches. First the school loses my kid (but not really), then they insist I pay a kitty into their lunch account program and send stupid letters to people who actually don't owe a dime. Now they lose the checks that are sent and therefore can not be credited to lunch account of child.

Yes, yesterday I sent a check made out to school and DD put it into teacher's basket (as per the teacher classroom instructions as to where to put your due homework and any lunch money). DD put her homework and lunch check into basket. Then teacher quickly sorts through everything and sends the lunch money stuff via one student down to lunchroom for crediting. If one would like my personal opinion this system was ripe for 'accidents', lost small pieces of paper like checks and a big fat 'now where is the money' and/or 'can you prove your kid actually turned it in?"

Somewhere between basket and lunchroom my check is missing. DD did put it in basket. So now until or unless the teacher and/or lunchroom finds the check my DD has no funds in her lunch account. And h*ll will freeze over before I send this school one more nickel as long as this is the turn in system used.

I felt bad telling DD she would have to eat this week packed lunch even on days that school was serving something she liked. She understands but I feel like child is being punished for school stupid half baked record gathering/keeping system.

And when I call the lunchroom director to speak to her I get voice mail. That is fine, people are busy. But by the end of day still no response. The kicker? Tuesday is the day lunchroom director prepares the 'low balance' letters and prints them out to send to parents on Friday and reports 'low balance' to principal. So while lady was busy making 'letters' she could not bother to pick up phone and return call as to what happened to my child's lunch check.

I wrote an email to Mr. New Principal requesting full explaination as to what happened to my check and that I found it amazing staff had time to prepare low balance notes in preparation of 'reporting' parent to principal but not time to return voice mail messages.

Now my DD is slightly upset that I will have somehow 'made trouble' for DD with the lunchroom director and/or teacher. I simply told her that is anyone says one word to her she is to remind them that DD is not responsible for her mother nor her mother's actions and that if they want to talk to Mother they may call her at anytime.

Now all I can do is wait to see if my check actually goes through my bank will be my only 'proof' that they got it and cashed it. If it never goes through, I can only assume it got lost in the teacher's ruffle through/sort process and fluttered back behind the basket somewhere or was dropped in hall by deliverer of the day student or got lost in lunchroom stack and/or credited via computer entry to some other kid.

RE: OT--lunch money?

You guys have me feeling so much better about SS's school!

SS's school lunches are only $1.25 - but he rarely eats them, and if he does, he eats very little. I'm miffed because he'd planned to pack his lunch; a peanut butter sandwich (no jelly, he doesn't like it), a piece of fruit, and buy milk. I was thrilled. SS can be a very picky eater and if he was going to take a healthy lunch (SS is rail-thin so the peanut butter fat not at all an issue for him) I was happy.

Well. No peanut butter allowed, of course. I would mind much less if it weren't for the fact that SS's school stresses personal responsibility over and over - and if SS didn't have his own foods he is not allowed to eat for health reasons list. SS knew since before kindergarten what he was not allowed to eat/drink, and could and did speak up about it. I'm sorry but if your child is so damned deathly allergic to peanuts then you'd better teach your fourth grader to not eat peanut butter. I fail to see why it should be incumbent upon another child to go without one of the few foods that he'll happily eat because your precious little darling will break out in hives at the sight of Mr. Skippy. (Yes, I understand that some people can and will die almost immediately from peanuts - but requiring 800 kids to forego peanut butter seems a bit extreme. They don't forbid candy in lunches and a quarter of the damned school appears to be headed directly for diabetes.....)

The lunches are a pain in my behind. They push, push, push for reduced price or free lunches. They appear to hate actual cash. Last year I'd send SS with $2.00 for a $1.25 lunch - they'd either tell him to keep the second dollar or they'd take both and give him no change. Drove. Me. Bonkers. So this year it'll be online payments and I hope no dunning letters and credit score hits if the account falls too low!

JustMeToo, I'd have gone ballistic. But that would have been nothing compared to what the principal would have done - she rules with an iron fist (in an iron glove, LOL!) DH and I would have ended up being sorry for the office worker, because there is nothing that we could have said or done that would have come close to the wrath of the principal that would have ensued on that one. I have absolutely zero doubt that the final act would have been DH and I getting a personal apology from a cowering, whipped office worker while the principal, who has that Steely Eyed Look Of Death perfected, hovered behind her.

RE: OT--lunch money?

mattie_gt - if you know a peanut allergy is a serious thing, why go on with your "..little darling might get a rash.." rant?

Yes my son has a peanut allergy. No, I do not expect the rest of the planet to change their eating habits to accommodate him...he's known what he can and cannot eat since he was a toddler and (knock on wood) he's only had one incident, when he ate ONE Reese's Pieces candy, thinking it was an M&M. But let me tell you, if you saw how f*cking scared my (9 at the time) son was when when his throat started to close up making it hard for him to breathe, while his mom had the epi-pen ready to jab him in the thigh with it if it got any worse, maybe you wouldn't joke about it.

I think the reason I'm pretty sensitive to joking about it is because you as an adult may know better, but kids might not. If a kid thinks that all that will happen is a kid will get a rash because he hears an adult make a joke like that, he is way more likely to do something real stupid like put peanut butter on something an allergic kid will eat as a prank. This, more than anything scares me, I know my kid knows what to eat and what not to....but I can totally picture some 10 year old moron trying to be cool doing something like that.

RE: OT--lunch money?

Mkroopy, I see your point about someone misunderstanding that I was being sarcastic, and I apologize. DH and I were talking last night about the peanut butter ban; we'd have no problem if there were drastic and extreme consequences for kids who accidentally or otherwise tried to feed peanuts to another child. It wouldn't be SS who did it - he's familiar with some people not being allowed to eat things others can, because he is one of those kids as well.

RE: OT--lunch money?

I agree a total "ban" on peanuts is over the top, my son's school never had anything like that, nor should it. My son did sit at the "nut free" table..but he was not forced to. He's in 5th grade and doesn't sit there anymore.

I wasn't trying to overreact or anything, it's just that I've always been scared of some kid not understanding the severity of a peanut allergy and doing something stupid as a prank....because even though the school nurse has an Epi-pen, if you ever saw how fast the reaction happens, you'd know what I was talking about. I've always worried about stuff like what if he was having a reaction and tried to leave the cafeteria to go to the nurse and some stupid lunch monitor wouldn't let him leave or something because he was too scared to explain what's going on?

I know it sounds like I'm over the top worrying about stuff like this...but again, if you saw it happen.....

RE: OT--lunch money?

Apparently we were not the only people unhappy with the peanut butter ban, because yesterday SS came home with a note that it's been lifted. So he can now take his PB sandwich but we reminded him of peanut allergies; he's promised that he will never, ever allow any of his peanut butter near any other child, regardless of whether that child claims to be able to eat it or not (just in case there's a younger kid around who doesn't understand their own peanut allergy.) SS says that they are not supposed to trade or give away any foods at lunchtime anyway.

I know it sounds like I'm over the top worrying about stuff like this...but again, if you saw it happen.....

No, I don't. I had a neighbor with an extreme allergy to bee-stings - every person on our street knew about it and where the epi-pens were located. The last time he'd been stung his wife got him almost immediately and he was already unconscious.

I know one would think "Oh, just pack something else besides peanut butter" but it's not that simple for us. SS has a lot he's dealing with right now, and some of it seems to be manifesting as food issues. If he is feeling upset, he just won't eat. At all. Add this to the physical issues he already has and he's in a position where if he gets sick, he's got no fat reserves to carry him through an illness.

SS has doctor's appointments coming up and I'll probably update then - for now we'll just say things could be better. This stupidity with BM is really taking a toll on him (and us). It is so awful - I feel like we're watching a slow-motion train wreck and are helpless to stop it.

RE: OT--lunch money?

I don't blame either Mattie or MKroopy for being concerned with the peanut/tree nut issue. If a school has a child who has a severe case the residue has been proven to be able to set off the extreme reaction such as MKroopy mentioned. Example, peanutbutter on kid's hands, not entirely washed perhaps just a quick rub with napkin and then residue can be smeared around school. Child with extreme case uses item next, bit of residue gets on child's hands and then could be rubbed into child's nose, mouth, eyes setting off the child's reaction. I did not realize to the extent the danger could be by just 'touching' for some people.

Scary stuff. I had no idea. While I've known about the peanut/tree nut allergy and that some schools have peanut-free tables ect, I did not know about the dangers of smeared residue. I suppose each school needs to look at it as to who actually has the allegry and to what degree. If no children in a particular building has the extreme reaction and possible chance of residue exposure, banning does seem over the top. As a parent though if my child had the extreme case and a possible residue exposure could occur I'd likely push for strengthened methods to protect against. IDK, mandatory washing of hands immediately after eating with sinks provided next to lunchroom? But then there'll always be the odd child or two that ignores 'rule' or half heartedly washes...and then of course the residue on sink?

While my school so far has no one with peanut allergy, it's not been an issue here, but I'm glad you have both opened my eyes to the whys such total bans might be necessary as new students arrive. I'd think if a school that had the extreme case reactions could do more about educating the children and parents on the actual facts ( without naming child of course)...I don't think a single parent would want to chance having some one else's child exposed and have reaction by merely swinging on the playground swing after their child smeared food residue on the swing.

To get ridiculous and totally ban without some actual need though (aka no student with such extreme reactions to the slightest exposure) could be considered 'over the top' reaction to an issue that does not exist in that particular building.

It's a horrible thought that some children would actually prank a child with food allergies...perhaps the serious consequences of such foolish behavior could be addressed routinely at the start of each school year. I'd think openly addressing the topic and the effects such actions could mean in reality would be just as important as peanut-free tables and bans.

On a side note, Mr New Principal phoned yesterday. School did find my check. He did not tell me details but assured me that a new system of turning in lunch money was in the works as obviously this one is not working.

RE: OT--children and meals

--""Oh, just pack something else besides peanut butter" but it's not that simple for us. SS has a lot he's dealing with right now, and some of it seems to be manifesting as food issues."--

I think that your SS's school should be just as concerned with SS's eating something right now as they seem to be about some younger child maybe eating something they should not. SS needs his meal to get through the day. When my DD was in kindergarten and carried her packed lunch the teacher/monitors in the lunchroom routinely nagged at her. "You should be drinking milk, juice is not good for you", "You must eat your entire sandwich before you eat such and such" . I know they meant well, but I had to go and make them back off her. DD has galactosemia she CAN NOT drink milk. DD was also taking Adderall which stole her appetite...if she wanted to nibble pretzels instead of finshing her sandwich I was happy as heck she felt like eating SOMETHING. They were basically told to mind their own business. Annoyed me though that they just assumed and without checking her medical sheet ect were just making stupid general assumptions that my kid was like everybody elses and that I was a rotten mommy that sent juice to school. I went prepared with drs note of instructions and diet in case they'd like to agrue the point. I also felt bad for DD as after the stupid teachers/monitors were nagging DD, the other kids sitting around the table started nagging her about drinking juice too...while the adults stpped immediately upon being confronted, it took a while for the kids to knock it off. I could not blame the children, the adults had set the stage with 'what not to drink'.

RE: OT--lunch money?

aww.... the food wars. I am just about to the point of going up to the school to tell them to back off myself. I get that the school is trying to get kids to eat healthier but they are really starting to get on my last nerve. My most recent gripe... I sent my daughter to school with peanut butter crackers for snack, but her teacher would not let her eat them because her teacher did not consider them healthy. However, apparently it is okay to send salted preztels for snack. That makes absolutely no sense to me. Oh, and they can make "trail mix" with m&ms in it and that is okay as well. Granted an apple would probably be better but, a bag of apples is around 7 bucks and lasts only two days(ish) with four kids. Where as, I can spend much less for something like peanut butter and crackers and they last longer. Really, I send my child to school with what I see fit for my child. I am really getting tired of the overstepping of teachers and schools... (I am sick of one particular administrator at my son's school who has apparently decided this year that having any kind of skull on your clothing is indecent and offensive. And, she is trying to write kids up for a class 2 offense when dress code violations ...even though it is entirely not a dress code violation... is only a class 1 offense. I am waiting patiently for it to directly effect one of my boys before I go up there and deal with the situation)

RE: OT--lunch money?

"Really, I send my child to school with what I see fit for my child. I am really getting tired of the overstepping of teachers and schools..."

EXACTLY!!!! I'm so tired of the overstepping... in San Francisco, Happy Meals are not allowed to include a toy. The food industry is not allowed to make fries with certain oils. And I would be all up in the school if they wouldn't let my kid eat their lunch that I packed at home. WTF!??? Who makes ANYONE the food police??? And I am not too political, but the Michelle Obama campaign on childhood obesity... all I can say is the school lunches they serve at SD's school is a bunch of processed garbage. From what I understand, the school lunch program is subsidized by the government so why are they feeding kids pizza rolls, pizza, taco's, corn dogs & other processed/greasy foods? Canned fruit instead of fresh? Cooked veggies instead of raw?

Mom of 4, your post made me wonder if your son goes to the school where the mom was arrested for punching the Principal for telling her the child could not wear a shirt with skulls on it? Or is that happening all over?

RE: OT--lunch money?

I actually have not heard about the mom punching the principal over wearing a shirt with skulls on it. So, it must not be here. It is just completely irritating that all of a sudden this year one lone admin. can decide something that kids all over the county (including my elem. girls) wear is indecent or offensive. Plus really, look at the style of clothes that kids are wearing now... it is everywhere. I could see perhaps if there were knives stabbed into it bleeding etc (you know, gory) But, those skulls ligthning bolts trendy designs aren't offending anyone. Actually, I looked up symbolism for skulls and gave my sons an intelligent argument to support their cause. I told them be calm state your case and then if they push it call me and I will deal with it from there. I mean it is not like these kids are trying to wear KKK shirts or nazi symbols or something... that would be offensive. Plus, this is a public school and since I am the one that buys my kids clothes, I get to decide... not some lady in the 7th grade admin office.

RE: OT--lunch money?

The dress code here is a rambling list of must wears or must not wears. Coming in at #1 on the listings of 13 sections is "can not wear clothing displaying drug or alcohol advertisements or names, profane language, vulgar statements, satanic symbols, hate messages, sexual innuendo, or tobacco ads".

Wrapping up with "the determination of 'inappropriate' dress will be by the teacher or by referral from another staff member".

So yeah, here most the dress code is left up to total no-nos and then pure interpretation of one teacher/staff vs another. What say I may see as a cute little skull 9even armed with research of what the skull symbol means from article to article, defination to defination, a particular teacher/staff might think I'm suggest something satanic or vulgar. It's in the eye of the beholder and how they desire to interpretate the symbol no matter what facts we as parents might agrue differently.

I 'get' your feelngs, I really do, to you and most kids wearing the little skulls that are just about everywhere right now, it really has no meaning than something the manufactor decided to put on clothing the last couple years...but some intrepret what you and I see as harmless into something 'evil'.

I usually don't purchase much with lots of symbols on them for DD. She tends to like plan tees at the moment. Right now there are also monkeys and peace symbols on every other article in stores. I suppose some person with 'authority' could decide to turn those too into something 'evil' if they decide they don't approve of monkeys plastered all over a kids shirt.

Our studenthand book, while drawn up for the most part by our indidivual building principal does have to be approved and have input by our school board. Here we can just about figure if it's in the handbook and the way it is writen in the handbook has been signed off by the school board and would have to take a civil case to 'fight'. While I can be a 'rebel' with a capital "R" I've never gotten that excited over school clothing. I figure my kids can make their clothing statements and likes and dislikes after school, weekends, school breaks and all summer.

For me it's just simply a 'pick my battles'. So many of our states districts have gone to school uniforms that I think some parents here in my dinky district figure boring clothing actually selected by us is better than fighting with the board and ending up with something like a school full of khaki slacks and navy polos. But again, I do totally understand how you feel about this and about one indidivual playing sole intrepretative decision maker.

RE: OT--lunch money?

Actually, swastikas were and are used to symbolize many, many things besides their well-known use of having been commandeered as a Nazi symbol. Besides being used in Hinduism and Buddhism, it was also used by some Native Americans. One could make an interesting case for wearing a swastika symbol with the "Hey, we were here first and whatever it means to you is not what it means to me argument". (That argument would not be made by me, but I'm just saying it is a valid point.)

SS has a dress code and we like it; there's enough choices in colors that it's not like a parochial school uniform, but it removes arguments about what to wear. I can understand why the older kids hate it but he's still young enough that it's been fine.

His previous school had a dress code, and they chose shirt colors of white and "baby blue" - for elementary students! Not even getting into the difficulties of finding a sweater in these colors for a little boy without ordering on-line - I can only imagine whoever chose that color scheme never did a child's laundry. White?! Really?! By the end of the year most of the youngest kids' "white" shirts were more "overbleached yellow with residual stains", LOL! I think olive drab and khaki would have been more suitable. :-)

Today my thing is - crossing guards. We live two streets away from a small community that left the city to start their own schools, and they have crossing guards, which is very nice. Very nice neighborhood, tree-lined streets with sidewalks, kids walking, all very good. BUT. My pet peeve is when a group of kids comes up to the light where a crossing guard is - all too often the guard will walk out and stop traffic, regardless of whether the light is red or not. I can only guess that they think they should earn their pay or something - but it seems to me that what they are teaching the little kids is to not pay any attention whatsoever to the walk/don't walk signs, but rather to just walk out into the street, hold your hand up in front of a car, and cross! I hate when they do that. I always fear one of the younger siblings who is walking along all big-eyed for a pick-up or drop-off of older brother or sister is going to go home and decide to play "crossing guard" - in the middle of the street.

RE: OT--lunch money?

Ah yes...selective enforcement of of the dress code...something my daughter experienced first hand many times last school year (8th grade). By last spring, while only 13, she was already 5'8" and, a dad how do I say it...very well proportioned I guess. She looks about 16. About 5 times she got written up for "inappropriate attire", usually the shorts or skirt were too short. She would go on and on how everyone dressed like that and they were picking on her, I really didn't buy it for a while, then after the third or fourth time, I started really looking at the other kids as I would drop her off at school (she doesn't take the bus when she stays at my house), and I gotta tell you...she was right. I saw tons of girls dressed exactly like she does . Keep in mind this was middle school...grades 6-8, so most of the girls were much shorter and looked like little girls, while my daughter has the body of a woman.

I told her that while I did now believe to a certain extent she was right, she was being "unfairly" singled out...there was nothing she could do about it....the rules were still the rules. I also told her that she needed to understand that everything in life comes with a price, the same way you are more likely to be pulled over for speeding if you have a red Corvette than a Prius, even if you were going the same speed. It just comes with the turf.

RE: OT--lunch money?

Yes, I do know about the original meaning of the swastika and have taught my kids about it and about how one person can twist something into something evil. This was actually brought up in our conversation about the issue with the skulls with this one admin. trying to make them into something more or different than what they are.

The thing that really gets me is that this is the exact same dress code that has been in the code of conduct since I went to high school word for word. This admin was trying to convince the kids that it was a new rule in the handbook and it was a class two offense if they didnt obey. Okay, not a new rule... infact there are no new rules regarding dress code and not a class two offense but a class one offense which means first offense call to parents not first offense referral and issp (which is what she is doing) The whole thing is just crazy. This same clothing was fine last year and the year before and so on... no rules changed but now it is not. I have always taken the stance that yes freedom of expression is limited within school, but if you are within the rules then right is right. And, this lady's actions just are not right.
Yeah, clothes aren't really life or death but I am seriously over them...well her... making things out to be what they are not.
Ofcourse, this is the same lady that I got into with it last year so I already have a bad taste in my mouth where she is concerned. (( My sons backpack got stolen out of the classroom. In it was his history book. Ofcourse, I was not going to pay for the book since there is a certain expectation of safety within the classroom... its not like he left it in the cafeteria or outside but rather went to the bathroom, came back and it was gone. Well, one admin was really great marked it as missing and assured me no harm done. But, I had to go to current p.i.t.a. admin lady to get a new book for son. She gave me all kinds of grief over it. Told me well book is on internet so she wouldnt issue another... okay, but we didnt have internet at the time. Laid off from job equals a lack of extras like internet and cable. When I told her we didnt have internet she got really nasty with me about how could we possibly not have internet blah blah blah. I ended up telling her "look you can either give my son a history book right now so he can do his work... or I will take it up with the school board as to why you think that our finances should dictate whether or not he recieves the same education that all of the other students in his class are receiving. .... She gave him the book."

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