On the first day of school the teacher requested we have a meeting after school ended that day (half day the first week). I went to the meeting where she said she and the principal felt for my daughter's safety it was best that I be the only one to supply her with a snack. To make sure that she knew the difference between her snack and her lunch and to make it healthy (did I mention it can only be store bought O_o. )
So after paying for all the tuition, all her uniforms not to mention shoes, socks, all her supplies and making sure she has Gluten free supplies, Trying to anticipate all of her art supply needs So I can order the gluten free versions of those and buying the Gluten free shopping guide for the teacher thinking she would actually use it. I have spent a lot of money.
Now My daughter having gone to school with many of these children last year at the same school is used to being able to eat snacks that are GF and eat the ones I provide when they are not. So I tried to explain to my 5yr old how she would no longer be allowed to eat what other children brought in. I said that I would send her a snack everyday and she would eat that instead. She paused for a moment and was fine with it.
Today when I picked her up she starts chattering away about random important bits of her day. I was listening and it was a happy banter until this came up My daughter (MD): Mommy they had Motts for snack today not the juice I know it is GF the fruit snacks you need to check that in your book and see if it is gluten free. Me: Did you have your banana chips? MD: yeah I ate em all up. Me: Great! Did all of you wash your hands after you ate? MD: We DIDN'T even wash them before! (I look at her in the rear view mirror hoping she is kidding. She is not. Me: So you used a wipe, germ X, or Purell. She shakes her head no and then Says mama I think they were gluten free so you need to tell them. Me: baby you can not have what they are eating anymore. MD: Why mommy? Why not? (my heart breaking and years of teaching her she is the same as everyone else shattering as well) Me: Because you teacher says so. MD: Why Mama they didn't do this before why would she do this? Me: I don't know baby.
I am frustrated, angry, hurt, disappointed and want to do something. I don't want to be rash in my decision and burn bridges where they need not be burned. I want my child to be included and not ostracized though. I don't want her peers who go to school with each other for 10 yrs or more to look at her differently. I don't want her to feel bad about yourself. I got her to stop saying I wish I was a gluten girl mommy and I don't want that back.
I see that while the teacher clearly made my daughter bring a snack for her safety she is not taking proper precautions to eliminate cross contamination. I think her explaining to me she would be put at a separate table with her GF playdough is what she thinks is the proper procedure even though I wrote what is and is not proper. I had not gone to the school to ask them to provide GF lunches to be made available because they worked with me before and why push something when it is going so well. Well now it is not going well and I want my child to be able to buy lunch if I am tired, sick, or just to have that experience in life. They had bake sales all the time last year and will be setting up for ice cream and topping soon. Well she should be able to enjoy that. Without it being cross contaminated.
I could save all the money we are spending and home school my child but there are always going to be these issues or people that pop up in life. She does not need a protective bubble she needs to learn how to function in the real world. Like I told the teacher I am realistic there are times where I can not control if she gets gluten on her or in her. Then there are times that I choose to weigh if this life experience is worth putting up with the contamination fallout.
Thank you for reading through that here is my question. What would you do as a mother or parent if you were in my shoes? Would you try approaching the teacher again? Would you go to the principal? Would you get the laws to back you up? Would you just look for another school? I need some input from other people please.