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504 plan, question!

I'd been sending emails back & forth w/ the superintendent and he said he was setting up a meeting with the 504 plan coordinator for our district so my son can safely begin school in the fall. I just got off the ph. w/ the principal and she's fighting it to death, NOT setting up that meeting, and is super resistant, wanting to try other avenues 1st.

Curious as to her motives, is it money related? Too much paperwork? Hassle? Or just not wanting the legally binding contract to keep my son safe?

 
hibbingmom

Asked by hibbingmom at 12:33 PM on Apr. 27, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 35 (71,876 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • "504 plans for allergies are pretty much unheard of."

    Anon - actually you're incorrect. Legally applying the ADA guidelines through a 504 in relation to food allergies has been upheld time and time again. You can read about it through the FAAN web site including legal action that required a private facility to make accommodations: http://www.foodallergy.org/page/american-disability-act

    Here is specific information regarding the 504 accommodations that can be (and are made) regarding food allergies. http://www.foodallergy.org/page/504-plan. There's also this which comes FROM the USDA http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/guidance/special_dietary_needs.pdf

    As I said, my daughter does not have a 504 plan for her allergies. However, I have numerous friends through various allergy groups who DO have such plans in place and who work with their schools regularly to refine the provisions as issues arise. It is not "unheard of."
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 7:10 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • PS: It's a small school, the nurse and principal split their time between a few schools. He has life threatening food allergies and asthma and no one can really tell me for certain where his epi pen and inhaler will be housed, who will have access, a plan for substitute teachers and field trips, etc etc. Also the principal is keen on having him eat lunch in the classroom instead of the cafeteria which I am NOT ok with, I think accommodations should be made, as does the superintendent
    hibbingmom

    Answer by hibbingmom at 12:36 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • You'll find as many motivations as you will people. The 504 plan becomes a legal binding agreement. There's cost involved - which some are resistant to. It becomes difficult to make adaptions without consulting and adapting the written agreement...any of the reasons you listed may be the factor.

    You've got the superintendent on your side. That's great! I'd print out the documentation that states clearly 504 plans are legally required if requested for children with food allergies and asthma. Updates to the ADA specifically call out conditions like these as eligible for the plans. I'd then do my homework as to why you feel you need this all down in writing. Go in knowing where you're willing to compromise and where you're not - in other words, is a x-allergen free table ok? Are you willing to have your child sit at the end of the table in an assigned spot? (cont)
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 12:47 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • My DD has severe food allergies and now environmental allergies (tree pollen that creates hives by exposure.) She's finishing up kindergarten We have not pushed for a 504 plan to date. Her school has handled allergies before and has a strong plan in place for working with students and their families. However, *IF* we were in a situation like you've described, I'd be doing exactly what you are. Good luck. I know it's a hard process when you've got push back but from the other allergy families I've spoken too, it's not uncommon to find such road blocks. It seems the places that require a 504 are the places least likely to have a good management plan already in place and, as such, the ones most resistant to being pushed to make adaptations. Just remember it *IS* your legal right. They MUST by law provide reasonable accommodations AND document it in the 504.
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 12:51 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • 504 plans are to ensure kids have accommodations so they can learn. They aren't so parents can insist on where their kids eat lunch. I remember your old post and I agree with the principal. The only way for your child to be 100% safe is sit with a small group of kids in an isolated area away from the food the cafeteria serves and what other kids bring from home.


    Even if you get the 504, it doesn't mean you get to dictate what's in it. A committeeincluding you and school employees will decide what's on it. 504 plans for allergies are pretty much unheard of.

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:36 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • Unheard of may have been the wrong term. But that is not what they are intended for and they make up a very small portion of 504 plans.


     

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:14 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • Yes, they do make up a small portion. The 504 provision is designed to provide accommodations for individuals that, because of disability or chronic health conditions can not function under normal circumstances. Food allergies, asthma, etc do fall into that category. My DDs allergies are severe. She can not be anywhere without her EpiPen. The school's 'no medication administered' rule requires a wavier. If the school did not have provision to provide said wavier and to keep the EpiPen (and her benadryl) on campus to administered if needed, I could request a 504 that would legally stipulate trained personnel to maintain her medications on site. Because her medical condition *is* documented by a physician and the medication is required to be with her at all times, the ADA guidelines cover the accommodation. (the box is small so I'm running out of space. Let me continue in the next box. . .)
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 7:22 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • Regarding where a child eats - yes, it can be covered. As can requiring 'hand washing' of all students after snacks or lunch. Specific requirements about field trips, craft supplies, snacks served, etc can all be covered under the 504.

    Again, I don't have one for DD. Her school does an excellent job of keeping her safe without a plan. Anything I would have requested in a plan is already being done without having to document it in legal agreement. We're lucky that way.

    I'm not trying to pick on your Anon. I understand what you're saying and I agree - what ends up in that plan is a compromise between school and parent in the best interest of the child. There's a lot of misunderstanding, however, (not saying you, just in general) what "reasonable" accommodations for food allergies may entail and what legal support allergic individuals actually have in getting those accommodations. It's my hot button. ;)
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 7:28 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • I know you're not picking on me :) I can see where you're coming from. But in previous a post from this mom made it clear she expects to dictate to the school how they should handle the allergyeven though they've told her they can't do what she wants safely. Sometimes parents think the purpose of a 504 plan is force schools to do what they want. The purpose is to protect the child and make sure they are able to learn, not to appease parents.

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:43 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

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