Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A 504 Speedbump

The first day of school started with a small- but incredibly aggravating- bump for me.  My kiddo was pretty well unaware of it, which I like.  Less stress for her.

I discovered on the first day, upon dropping my kiddo off, that her teachers had not yet been epi-pen trained.  As it is spelled out in her 504 that each of her teachers needs to be epi trained, I was more than a little aggravated.  A 504 violation on the first day of school does not make a mama feel warm and fuzzy.

My first step was to pull her homeroom teacher into the hallway and give a down and dirty 45 second training on how and when to use the epi-pen.  The second step was to high-tail it to the principal's office and share my concern.

I adore that the principal in her building made time to listen to me on the first day of school.  I was a teacher.  I understand how chaotic and bumpy the first day can be.  (I did make it a point to make sure I took less than 3 minutes, AND to let her know I appreciate her making time for me.)  She not only listened, she heard me!  She apologized for the situation and advised she would solve the problem.

I sent a follow up email recapping the situation and again thanking her for taking the time to listen.  By the end of the day I received a response that contained her assurance that the situation had been resolved.  She also encouraged a review of our 504 to be sure that we were all on the same page with the new teaching team, and that no updates needed to be made.  I love it.

Any story with a happy ending is a good one in my book.  I love that my daughter didn't have to know that her teachers were not trained, so her stress level on the first day was not impacted.  (Who needs extra stress on the first day of school?!)  If my daughter had been younger and less able to advocate for herself, or more prone to risk taking behaviors or frequent reactions, I would not have left her there without training EACH of her teachers.  But my kiddo is a big girl now, and has a great track record for making mature decisions.  So. It allowed for a happy ending.

I'm also pretty proud of myself.  I hate confrontation, of any sort.  I hate to make waves.  Being an allergy mama has taken me out of my comfort zone many times, requiring me to confront unsafe situations and make small waves when needed.  I was polite, but firm.  I am getting better about speaking up promptly and with directness.  It is still not comfortable, but I'm getting better at it.

Allergy parents: how did your first week of school go?  Any shining moments to share?  Any speed bumps?  Let me know!

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