Halloween Hungover????

I hope all of you had a fabulous Halloween yesterday.  And I hope that your classroom isn't suffering from the Sugar Hangover too badly!   Somthing happened today in our classroom that really started me thinking...so I decided to share, and I'd love to hear what your thoughts are about this...

I have really mixed feelings about this issues around Nut allergies.  As a parent whose child is NOT allergic to nuts, I somtimes resent the fact that when I am packing his lunch, I need to steer away from things he loves (like peanut butter) and find nut-free alternatives, as there is a child in his class who has a severe nut allergy. 

However, as a teacher, I often work with children who have severe nut allergies.  So I am aware of the consequences that a reaction can have.  And I am careful to keep my classroom nut-free. 

This morning, one of my students came to me with his Halloween candy.  I mean, ALL of his Halloween candy.  He wanted to share it with the class.  It was full of chocolate that contains nuts.  What would you do???   I decided that I would throw it all out.  This might seem very severe, but I could not let him keep it in his backpack.  There was sooooo much of it, that I was worried about the allergic child reacting to the smell (I've seen this happen, so it's not a myth).  I couldn't keep behind my desk as the children often come up to my desk for help, and the allergic child could be exposed.  So where else was I supposed to put it???

I teach in an inner city community where most of my students do not speak English at home.  It's very difficult to get the message across about nuts, especially when there are cultures that use a lot of nuts and nut oils in their cooking.  It's not like I could call home and tell the parents that they needed to come and pick up their child's Halloween candy.  Finding an interpreter is not easy.   Most of the parents in my school speak some English, but I knew that this child's parents did not speak it well enough for me to communicate over the phone.  So I threw the candy out.

Fortunately, the child who brought the candy, understands English well enough that I could explain to him that I was going to make sure that he got more candy to take home.  He didn't seem too upset about it, but you never know if some kids are simply putting on a brave face.  My plan is to run down to the drug store at lunch and hopefully find some candy on sale. 


Anyway, on to a happier topic.  I hope you all enjoyed your Halloween last night.  If you have small children, I hope that they are recovering from the sugar overdose from yesterday.  (I know that mine are)  Here are some photos from my neighbourhood last night.

Does anyone know how to make one of these????  My neighbour told me that she bought it at a craft fair.

Some of my favourite Jack's from last night.  Connor (my son) named them all.

Here is Jack-O-Mad!!! 

 Here is Jack-O-Kitty

Here are Jack-O-BIG-and-SMALL. 


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  2. While I completely and totally understand why you threw the candy away, I think I would have recommended stashing it in the school's office for the day, instead. The commenter before me recommended stashing it in a high cabinet, but the students REACHING the candy wasn't the entire issue; you also had the smell to contend with, which is why I think the school office would've been the best solution. Hindsight is always 20/20, and I don't want to berate you for trying to protect your peanut-allergy kid(s)...I'm just saying I think I would've handled it a little differently. In any case, I'm curious to know how the candy-bringer reacted to a different set of candy at the end of the day. I commend you for replacing his candy with your own money. I also know you are a savvy enough teacher to have made a big deal about the fact that the kid brought his candy to share -- so sweet! Hope things turned out OK.

  3. Love your blog! I'm your newest follower :)

    Too bad about the peanut candy. I have two allergy kids in my class, too. It's strange how it's so much more common now than years ago.

    Have a great evening!

    Grade ONEderful

  4. It is obvious that you went through a struggle within yourself on what to do, so there was no ill will here. Try not to be so hard on yourself. I commend you for replacing the student's candy. Like one of the other posters...hindsight is 20/20 but I think maybe trying to get it out of the classroom...like storing in the office would have been my reaction. But like I said, you were just trying to do what you think was best for your peanut-allergy kiddo! We've had kids allergic to peanuts...and some that was just near it were at risk. Hope everything turned out ok. Thanks for coming by my facebook page. If you aren't a follower at my blog, I'd love for you to be! I'm your newest follower.


  5. Thanks ladies for the kind comments.
    I spoke with the boy's mother (through an interpreter) and she had no idea he was doing this. (I don't think she really understood the whole concept of Halloween) but I bought him some new candy that was nut-free (with mom's permission) and everyone is happy. I gave the little boy some bonus points for his table group because of his generous gesture. He seems to be happy about this.

  6. This would be a tough one to handle. Based on what you knew at the time, and by reacting to your instincts, I would say you did the right thing. I can see how taking the candy to the office might be better, but there's no way of knowing how many kiddos with nut allergies are in the office each day. This is one of those fly-by-the-seam-of-your-pants type of events...