Well, it certainly wasn't what I was hoping for. I really just wanted the teacher to say that the note was not to be taken literally. That it could be interpreted to mean a healthy snack and not just limited to fresh fruits and vegetables. But I was not so lucky.
She called Matt after school yesterday around 3:30. Matt expressed his concern with Caitlyn not being allowed to have a snack when hers was deemed inappropriate. Mrs. L replied by saying that she handed out snacks on Wednesday and Thursday to those children that didn't have any. To which Matt quickly replied that our child wasn't even in school on Thursday. And he wasn't concerned with those 2 days, he was concerned with the Friday that his daughter was without a snack. To which she really had no reply other than the fact that it is the responsibility of the parents to provide the snack, not hers. Correct me if I am wrong, but I did provide a snack and you told my child she couldn't eat it???
Matt also questioned what the policy would be if our daughter needed a special diet. He mentioned that she was born extremely premature and often times we boost her food with some added calories to help out in the weight arena. She of course said she knew nothing about Caitlyn's medical history and Matt was quick as a whip in telling her that it's because she just assumed that all was well and she could take his daughter's food away. Every now and again a side of Matt comes out that I just love ;) Matt was worried once he said this that it would prompt the teacher to say that maybe Caitlyn would need a 504 plan if she had special dietary needs. And she may just do that. But this lady certainly doesn't want to play the special ed game with me. Cause she will surely be fighting a losing battle. See in the world of Chicago Public Schools, 504 plans are handed out for some really inane reasons; and mostly incorrect reasons. Her dietary needs in no way impact her educational performance. Thus, no need for a 504. So I dare the woman to spout that shit at me.
Matt also questioned whether or not dried fruit would be allowed. Mrs. L's response was that it is not fresh fruit and not as healthy. It's healthy in other ways. It has many benefits. Benefits that are different than those of fresh fruit. I can print out the literature if she needs me to. I would be more than happy to do that for her.
She did say that it becomes difficult to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables at the height of winter for obvious reasons. But basically said that still only fresh fruit and vegetables would be allowed. I call bullshit on that. In the winter months I am not willing to pay an arm and a leg for these things when I can provide her with dried fruit.
Mrs. L said that as teachers we should understand that if the rules are bent for one child, then other parents will want them bent as well. News flash lady, I wasn't asking for the rules to be bent. I was asking that you allow any and all snacks that are in fact healthy. Whether or not you believe them to be, there is nutritional value to Cheerios and raisins. And dried fruit.
The most amazing thing to me is that there is a large population of children in this school who are receiving free and reduced lunches and breakfast. There are many families who receive state aid who have children that attend this school. While Matt and I can certainly afford to go out and buy fresh fruits and vegetables weekly, there are many families in this community that can not. How dare this woman decide how other families spend their money?
Caitlyn also mentioned when we were at the store that they are only allowed one snack at a time. Last night when I was making lunches, I packed her grape tomatoes and green grapes. I DARE this woman to tell my daughter that she can't have what was packed for her today. I will follow her guidelines, but you can bet your ass that I am going to push the envelope every chance that I get. Unless of course it starts to impact Cate. Then I will follow the rules nicely.
(until the end of the year when I key her car)
This saga is not going to end anytime soon. I think that it is now becoming a power struggle and is going to continue through most of the year. Back to School night is on the 25th; it's a Thursday and I have class. But I will be talking to my professor about missing that night. I want to bring this up in front of all the parents and see what their point of view is on all of this.