Complete Protocol Disaster Yesterday

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 2:42am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00


Wow, where to start. This will be long. I'm sorry. I will start by admitting that I need a 504. I have a very specific IHP for my son.

Yesterday, every procedure, protocol, safeguard went down the toilet while my son was at school.

It was teacher appreciation day. I am a class mom and was supposed to be in classroom to monitor the kids while the teachers had their appreciation lunch. I had an emergency and had to go to work. Another mom filled in.

Here's the breakdown
1. We do not have a cafeteria. Lunch is eaten in the gym. The gym was used for the teacher lunch, so the kids ate in classroom. The monthly calendar indicates this and parents are supposed to avoid sending PBJ on these days.
If someone does have PBJ, the teacher is supposed to isolate these kids at a table next to her desk. The area (table, chairs are to be cleaned immediately and the kids sent to wash face & hands immediately).
The calendar neglected to indicate lunch in rooms.
The teacher set the 2 kids with PBJ at the table, left the moms in charge without giving directions to clean the table and to have the kids wash after eating.

2. My child became itchy during recess, approached the teacher when he returned to classroom after recess to ask permission to go to the nurse. She did not allow him to address her and told him to sit down. (we had a similar problem about 2 months ago). Finally, he is itching to death (he is an itchy kid, when he complains, it is rare). He has the hives, she says, oh yes, go to the nurse.

His IHP states that he will not be sent to the nurse unattended. (no escort yesterday).

3. He shows the nurse his arms and she puts witch hazel on it and asks if it is better. she calls me. I am driving 95 mph up the NJ tpk trying to get back home in time for pick up. She tells me it is a small red rash on his forearm. I say is it the hives? She does not answer me and says, here let me put him on. I speak with him, ask if she listened to his breathing, if the rash is anywhere else, all the questions. He says no. I get back on with the nurse and say is it hives? She says, Mrs. XXX I told you it is a red rash. Being that she isn't giving benadryl and she's saying its a small red rash I tell her to apply topical cortisone we have on hand. I am thinking the pollen caused irritation during recess.

4. She calls again in 45 minutes. DS says he is still itchy, let me put him on. I say, DS what is going on? He says, I don't know, but I am really hot and itchy. I say, stay in the office I will be right there.
I get there and he has raised skin, bright red from his wrist to his elbow on both forearms. There was the big red welting with at least 10 individual hives. I was so alarmed, shocked, angry, concerned. I said, why didn't you follow the IHP and give him benadryl immediately? Why didn't you tell me it was hives? I do not have a good rapport with the nurse and we have had several altercations. I was so angry and knew my child needed attention immediately that i whisked him to the car without even signing him out.

We get in the car and I immediately give him benadryl. I lift his shirt, he is retracting. I give him his inhaler. Right now, the pollen is very high and it aggravates him. So, I'm not sure at this point what the source is. I take him home, put him in the shower and the hives are cleared up. An hour later, the hives are back. We applied cortisone, gave him his allegra (which he usually takes at bedtime) and they cleared again.

So, at this point, I call the principal and LM that I need to talk to him. an hour later I call again, leave another message.
At this point, I am told of how the day went with the first things in this post.

Additionally, I find out that the mom who filled in for me passed out Kit Kat Bars to almost every kid in the class. There are 4 kids with PA in his class. She didn't distribute to them as well as a few other select kids.

Additionally, a kid was eating my son's chips. One of the moms told him to stop, but he continued. My son told him to stop and he didn't. My son did not eat his lunch. There is no food sharing policy at his school. His IHP states no food sharing with him.

Understand, I found all of this out in reverse of how it is posted.

His IHP says that benadryl should be given immediately for hives. That nurse should look for other allergic signs. (she did not follow).

When my son was a toddler and before PN diagnosis, we were up to our ears in mystery hives. But, since diagnosis and allergy shots, we have had very few hives or mystery reaction.

This case of the hives yesterday was one of the worst I've seen on my DS in years. I've seen a lot of hives!!!

So, right now I am sitting here in frustration because the principal hasn't called me, the special services director is out of district until monday. I emailed superintendent of schools and she said principal is on a field trip and those are the individuals I need to address.
I am so angry, so worried, so frustrated today.
Thank you for listening.

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 3:30am
caryn's picture
Joined: 11/20/2002 - 09:00

I totally agree with your frustration and I am thankful your son was persistent with the teacher - who made a giant mistake not listening to him the first time. the nurse -- boy that is a concern - she never really got the hive thing and that could be and awful outcome in the future.
my son had one reaction starting when he got of the school bus this year -- one small red circle on his cheek -- it progressed fast and i took pictures - sounds crazy but you can never imagine or explain it to anyone
i am glad your child is okay -- i too do not have a 504 -- please fill us in on the schools response to each problem area - there were so many breakdowns for you it is scary.
keep reassuring your son he acted appropriately too!

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 3:56am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

Wow is right! How is your son today, have the hives returned?? I don't usually do the right things, but if this were my son, I'd keep him out of school until I had a face-to-face with the principal and nurse and got this ironed out. Everyone always tells me to document everything, so go write down what happened yesterday and print it out. They messed up on soooo many levels, you have every right to be upset and even shaken. I hope once the principal is back she and the nurse will fess up to their wrong-doings. They better count their lucky stars he didn't get into *serious* trouble, he sounded very close(with the asthma and everything...I probably would have done the Epipen and called 911 if my sons asthma came into play like that). HUGS to you, I totally understand how serious this/was/could have been, shame on the get this taken care of asap....good luck to you!!!
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited May 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 4:01am
lilpig99's picture
Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

Wow is right, I can't believe how so much went wrong in one day. You are right to be angry, so many people let you and your son down. I am so sorry this has happened. I can only imagine what you must be feeling.
I hope your son is doing better.
Keep us posted on what the school says.

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 4:21am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

My mouth is still hanging open.
Protocol was just flat shattered.
For me -- the 2 employees charged with your son's safety and life (in other words, with the *most* amount of responsibility and liability here) just plain FAILED:
Teacher refusing to listen to communicating child,
Teacher sending reacting child *alone* to nurse,
Nurse NOT following meds protocol to the letter.
Given your son's level of reaction, the level of incompetence proven by teacher & nurse, and the added allergic/sensitivity right now for your son, IMPHO, I would keep him home if at all possible until . . . the procedures and safety net for your son are reviewed and verified in place again -- don't know how you do that, but I'm thinking a re-training meeting & signed statements by teacher & nurse that they "get it" (in appropriate legal-ese) and have been trained appropriately in event of allergic reaction.
Certainly, I don't need to tell you or anyone else *here* this, but, this could have been disastrous.
Lots more I could say.
I won't. (For now.)
So glad the ultimate health-outcome for son seems to have been positive.
[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited May 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 4:42am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

[b]O. M. G.[/b]
Let me also add that I am SOOOOO thankful that this had a positive outcome.
But how perfectly AWFUL.
I'd request a 504 evaluation IMMEDIATELY. Use your momentum while the school can clearly understand all of the disparate elements which came together here to nearly cause a tragedy.
You can clearly point to X, Y, and Z (grrrr, and a few more letter as well... ) and explain that with a 504 plan and input from all concerned, EVERYONE will finally be on the same page.
It sounds as though this teacher problem needs addressing immediately, however-- before you allow your son to go back, as others have said.
I am sooooo sorry.

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 5:19am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]I'd request a 504 evaluation IMMEDIATELY. Use your momentum while the school can clearly understand all of the disparate elements which came together here to nearly cause a tragedy.[/b]
I completely agree. There is a momentum factor. Plus, it would feel good to do this now and get the 504 desigantion completed before the end of the year.

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 6:39am
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 6:59am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Wow, that is so awful. I am really sorry to hear that. I would write a letter to the principal telling the whole story from start to finish and request a 504 evaluation in the letter. Also, I would have used the epi. I know you said he has asthma, but there is really no way to know if the wheezing was due to asthma or due to the allergic reaction. Either way the epi would have helped. Because of the hives in addition to the wheezing and especially because of the retracting, I would have used it.

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 11:51pm
mcmom's picture
Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

I am so sorry this happened! I hope your son is better today.
I agree with others _ I would keep him out of school until this is addressed in a face to face meeting, and I would make sure it is known that it is the reason he is not in school. The teacher not listening to him and the nurse not following the action plan for hives are the two biggest red flags. Good grief!
Is the nurse a "real" nurse, ie, an RN? Unbelieveable that she would let his symptoms progress like that!
Big hug to you, I am sure you need it. Please let us know how this goes.

Posted on: Thu, 05/10/2007 - 12:06am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Well, I've been sitting here (not literally) since Tuesday afternoon just seething and steaming over this whole thing. I am frustrated that I cannot just let someone have it....
I am sure the principal will phone this am.
I did speak with his teacher (who only knew a tad bit about what happened from the letter I sent in with DS yesterday.)
She was very apologetic and even said she was not proud of how things unfolded in her classroom. When I mentioned that this was a pretty serious reaction and that the nurse also did not handle her end appropriately and that I had contacted the superintendent of schools, she looked quite shaken.
She has been a teacher for who knows how many years....she is in her late 50s, very hip very good teacher. She said that after recess my DS and about 5 other kids crowded around her desk. She was shutting them all down. She said that if DS would have gone to the door as we've agreed (ds didn't and we've talked about this) she would have addressed him.
I think my biggest problem is with the nurse. I've had issues with her since kindergarden. I don't like the way she handles things.
I know of stories from other moms. I expect the school nurse to treat the situation. If a child comes in with a stomach ache...take temperature, evaluate color etc. I cannot tell you how many moms she's called xx has a stomach ache, what should I do. No info on fever, color etc. She basically shoves the phone to the kids ear.
But, when it is something serious, she almost never calls. One friend has a first grader and a 3rd grader. First grader has some anxiety with school and ends up in nurse often. She called my friend 3 times in one morning about her daughter. My friend told the nurse that she doesn't want her putting the DD on the phone. (she is going to nurse hoping she can speak to mommy and go home.) She keeps doing it. Same day at recess, her DS is running around playing football. Turns to catch a ball, catches it turns to run and literally smacks into a tree. Huge goose egg on his forehead/temple area. She doesn't call until end of the day. She sent the kid back to class with icepack. The kid had a mild concussion. She repeatedly sent a girl back to class in K who was complaining of extreme pain in her side. The girl's appendix burst at pick up in the parking lot. I could use all my fingers and toes to count the times children have had cuts that could have used a stitch or two, she's called saying xx cut herself today, I cleaned it up and put a band aid on it. Mom picks the child up and sees that it isn't just a this time it is usually too late to get stitched.
So, I've always been weary of this woman. She is a tenured staff and I know getting rid of her won't be coming any time soon.
Does anyone know about tenure? What about firing a tenured person for incompetence? What are those chances?
I guess that I will follow protocol suggested by the superintendent. I will make appt with the principal today, explain what happened. I will made an appt. with special services woman who is in charge of 504s and the school nurses. I will have to see how it goes with them. I am going to file for section 504. You all are right about having some momentum.


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