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What Can I Achieve with a 504 Plan?

Question of the Week: Answered!

Every week, is answering one of the questions posted in our community.

Our Answer:

We are sorry to hear that your daughter has had so many reactions. All kids deserve to feel safe in school, no matter what the situation.

If you sign your daughter up for a Section 504 plan, the school then sets up a meeting (usually involving teachers, parents, school personnel, etc.) to develop a plan appropriate for your child. The school must provide reasonable accommodations. If you disagree with the evaluation, you can file a request for an impartial hearing or file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights.

Aside from that, you can talk to your daughter’s teacher and to parents of her classmates. Inform them of her allergy and even ask if you can reserve a day to discuss the situation with the kids. Let them know that in order for your daughter to be completely safe, her friends need to wash their hands thoroughly with warm water.

We asked our Facebook fans for their input, and you can read their responses by clicking here.

Yes difficult
My daughter has had a peanut allergy and is now 15, she is greater than 100 out of 100. It will depend on notes from your Doctor and allergist 504 and how hard you push.Sadly the school will do more than any other spot in life I.E College and work.

My Daughters class room/s have always been Peanut free but never the school, she also has a Peanut free table.

The worst of human beings comes out when they are asked or told what they can or cannot do. ""Why should i , My Childs write is to eat Peanut butter"" When my daughter took a flight they asked to refrain from peanuts and some fat lump next to me could be heard complaining and saying , ""what next"" I Told him that it was for my daughter and he soon shut up.The disability act came about because people had to be told how to behave with compassion.There is talk of standardized rules at the fed level for schools.

There are certain realities for people with disabilities , yes it does isolate children , better than having a reaction. If you dont get what is safe then you will have to work with what you have. Your child will have to wear gloves on the play ground or wash hands well after playing.

Push hard no your writes and you might be surprised, cross that bridge after if it is not optimum

Wow, thats a lot of reacting! I am so sorry to hear that. I cant believe the school isnt doing something with all your daughters contact. The most important thing is to make sure that your daughter knows it is not safe to put her hands in her mouth (or nose) at school (or any hands for that matter). And that she washes her hand before lunch and snack.
My 5 year old goes to a NYC public school and has a 504 which got him a health para. The para is in the classroom as extra eyes and assists the teacher, too. His school serves peanut butter sandwiches daily, if the students dont want what is on the menu. He sits with his friends, but on the end of the table with no one in front or next to him with peanut foods.
My son is off the charts, his allergy could kill him, but cant afford $45000 for private school. All the public schools (but one that we didnt get a space at) in our district are not peanut-free.
If there is a problem at school, I feel that with the 504 and the health para, I would have grounds to make huge changes at the school. That said, if there is a problem, I will homeschool my little guy until we can get him into a peanut-free school.
The new thing is to have a peanut table, instead of a peanut-free table. The children that are allergic dont have a choice as to what to eat, the others do.
Get a 504, maybe the school will take you more seriously!

Are you comparing or labeling those with nut allergies as ""disabled""? Just wanting to understand your point.

1. (of a person) having condition that limits movements, senses, or activities.
""facilities for disabled people""
synonyms: handicapped, incapacitated; More

It does all of the above, it is a health condition that limits her socially and physically with possible disastrous consequences for the child. I liken it to the world we live in fearing and planning against terrorists, every step of daily life has to be evaluated, just like a diabetic or person with seizures.

I am so sorry for all the issues. You absolutly need a 504. What that gives you is a clear defination of expectations for both the school and you. As well as the ability to hold them accountable for their failure to keep your daughter safe.

With out knowing more you have a few options. Most ISDs have a 504 cordinator. This person is specially trained in understanding the laws and following them while protecting the ISD. Dont confuse thier true loyality it is to the ISD. You need an appointment with that person, the campus principal and the campus 504 person.
Go to that meeting with all your knowledge and begin by educating them on the seriousness of the danger they placing your child in. You can also reach out to a center for independant living as a resource for who to call or general knowledge of 504 laws if you need. The center is in most communities and often they have great knowledge of folks who specialize in protecting indiividuals with disabilities as defined by the 504 act. So that defination is any condiditon that effects any vital life function . Breathing is about the most vital of all life functions.
Google 504 plans there are many to refenence. In my daughrters we had over the years different things based on grade and campus. Basics were her seating at lunches, other students required to wash hands, nut free classroom. We never asked for a nut free campus as the world is not nut free. However my case was always that her classroom (and any other she went to ie art, music etc) had to be a place of safety so she could be focused on her class and not on worring about being safe.
Our daughter was always given the ability to leave any room at any time if she was not safe. She was to go dirrectly to the nurse and tell the student next to her to tell the teacher. This empowered her to protect herself without having to worry about getting in trouble. She did have to do this a few times but surprizingly it was mostly in high school where teachers seem think no one can tell them what to do in their classroom. They were wrong of course and our daughter learned that not everyone will do the right thing. As well as how to deal with them.
I also pointed out to a couple of campuss that if I choose I could require an aide for her to go to every class, clean every surface and that they would have to pay that cost. With that in mind often the things we asked for became acceptable as they would cost them no money. Sadly education is all about the money. So if it will cost them they will advoid. I also made sure that every person that signed her 504 understood that I would hold the ISD and each of them accountable.
It is so unfortunate that even now 14 years after she started school that there is still ISDs that dont get it. When we started out she was 1 in 20 now the average is 1 in 4 so ISDs really need to figure out how to provide a SAFE school for everyone.