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AIBU to think the school shouldn't demand replacement gifts?

(42 Posts)
AnnieLobeseder Fri 12-Dec-14 18:29:05

Our school does a fundraising thing at Christmas where children bring in small Christmas presents, and then the next week they have a Secret Santa sale where the children can buy the presents for £1 and have them wrapped. All in all a lovely way for the kids to but presents themselves for mum/dad/friends.

Today was the day the children took the presents in. No "rules" were stipulated (AFAIR). This afternoon an email came out: "

"Thank you for bringing in the Secret Santa gifts today. We have noticed that some of them such as Milk Tray, Toblerone, Quality Street and Celebrations contain nuts. We would appreciate it if you could collect these and exchange them with an alternative gift."

Now, a nut-free policy is all well and good, and I can understand if they can't sell them in the sale. And I understand that they can't just bin them or scoff them in the staff room. But to insist on a replacement? It seems a bit rude and grabby to me. Wouldn't "We would appreciate it if you could collect these as we cannot use them for the sale." be more appropriate? Some parents would then happily take a replacement. But some other parents might not be able to afford to just buy something else.

ssd Fri 12-Dec-14 18:31:27


this hasnt been handled well by the school at all

Merguez Fri 12-Dec-14 18:31:52


School is being very silly.

Hatespiders Fri 12-Dec-14 18:32:37

Well they should have stipulated this in a letter before the presents were bought. I agree it's a bit cheeky to ask that they be replaced!

itiswhatitiswhatitis Fri 12-Dec-14 18:33:00

It was their error not to stipulate they didn't want anything with nuts so they should suck it up this year and be more specific next year. Very rude to ask for replacement gifts. Also IME anyone with a nut allergy (even children) are pretty switched on about what to avoid so are unlikely to choose one of those things anyway.

lapetitesiren Fri 12-Dec-14 18:33:39

It is a bit rude. I'm surprised nuts in a sealed , wrapped box are posing a problem though. It's not as if they will be opened at school. Can't they just put a sticker- warning contains nuts on the outside wrapping as a precaution?

Altinkum Fri 12-Dec-14 18:33:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gatehouse77 Fri 12-Dec-14 18:37:58

Our primary only stipulated no alcohol or anything U18s cannot buy legally. Chocolates in a sealed box seems a bit OTT - do nut allergy people never go to supermarkets?

MrSheen Fri 12-Dec-14 18:38:48

It shouldn't be that hard to ensure that things with nuts in aren't sold to nut allergic children and to tell everyone that they aren't allowed to scoff them in school.

Ds has a nut allergy and hates it when some new rule comes in that he gets blamed for. ('We can't have snacks at playtime anymore because of MiniSheen' when he hasn't said a damn word about it)

PowderMum Fri 12-Dec-14 18:39:26

Ridiculous I understand having a nut free policy for school lunches but not for wrapped gifts.
I wouldn't even think about the policy when grabbing a box of something to send into school and wouldn't be replacing it.

AnnieLobeseder Fri 12-Dec-14 18:39:36

Altinkum - indeed, people were a bit silly to bring in items with nuts, but it was no doubt an innocent mistake.

And perhaps they did stipulate no nuts - I can't remember how the original email was worded though I don't remember anything about nuts.

It's the demand for a replacement that annoys me.

WooWooOwl Fri 12-Dec-14 18:44:11

YANBU, the school are being ridiculous.

AnnieLobeseder Fri 12-Dec-14 18:49:42

These gifts aren't even for the children, they're for the children to give to other people. So if a child at school has a nut allergy isn't really relevant since the gifts won't be opened. And the person the children are buying for might be allergic to nuts, milk, soya, perfumes in cosmetics, anything in any gift, really! So pretty much every gift you could think of might be a risk to someone!

This secret Santa has been going on for a number of years. I can't believe this is the first year that parents have given boxes of chocs. But they've never complained about the offerings before.

Oh well, we gave toiletries so I'm safe. grin

RedToothBrush Fri 12-Dec-14 19:22:05

Its either a gift or a requirement.

If its a gift, then its entirely down to the giver what that is (and for the school to match up with appropriate receiver - like MN did for their secret santa for example). And its rude for the school to complain after the fact if the gifts are not suitable if they didn't make clear rules to begin with.


Bulbasaur Fri 12-Dec-14 19:31:28

So if a child at school has a nut allergy isn't really relevant since the gifts won't be opened.

grin You must know some really nicely behaved kids. I can think of plenty of reasons why a child would pay $1 for a tub of candy and simply dig right in unaware of there being nuts, even if its on the bus or at home.

Or a child might have younger siblings still at home with that sort of allergy who simply wouldn't know better to stay out of the candy.

If there are allergies, it isn't worth the risk.

But the school should have stipulated this before hand. Are they generally a nut free school? If they are and you aren't allowed to bring nuts for snacks, the parents were being very unreasonable for sending them in the first place. If not, then the school should have told them before hand.

PowderMum Sat 13-Dec-14 06:26:34

Yes all the children I know are well behaved at primary they don't go home on the bus, the parents collect them and if they have an allergy then they are either old enough to be fully aware or the parents are vigilant.

As already posted there are many allergens other than nuts.

FishWithABicycle Sat 13-Dec-14 06:38:16

YANBU and the school should be told how rude and grabby that message is. Suggest to them that they withdraw it at instead send around something like:

"thank you very much to everyone who has contributed to the Secret Santa Sale. Unfortunately we forgot to warn everyone that the school nut-free policy covers this sale. If your donation contained nuts please come to the school office by #Xdate to collect. Any items not collected will be donated to the local foodbank. We will continue to accept donations to the SSS until #Ydate"

SeaUnicorns Sat 13-Dec-14 06:40:21

The point has been made that the gifts aren't for the children, but that's exactly it the school do not know wether parents grandparents other family members and neighbours may well be allergic! And it's very unlikely a primary school child would know or even think to check. A year 6 might but a reception child wouldn't!

That said it has been badly handled by the school, in the letter requesting gifts it should have stipulated that no gifts that can not be brought by under 18's and no nuts in line with the school policy.

To send it out after the gifts have been brought and expect a replacement is them being unreasonable.

And yes there are other allergens than nuts but are they airborne like nuts!

mrsmilesmatheson Sat 13-Dec-14 06:49:55

From the point of view of someone working in a school, might it be that they are concerned they won't have enough gifts to sell? I can see this being a problem if each child brings one item in and each child wants to buy one to take home, if some gifts can then not be offered for sale.

I agree the wording of the note was not great but my first thought is that the school doesn't want children disappointed at the sale by there not being enough stock.

My school does an event like this. However, the PTA buy all the gifts wholesale and then sell them to the kids at inflated prices (think £3 for a £1 bubble bath). I think the idea of donations might work better, I'll suggest it. Then maybe some of our lower income families could afford for their kids to bring money in.

3bunnies Sat 13-Dec-14 06:51:58

Surely they could just have warned parents that some of the gifts did contain nuts and then anyone with a nut allergy would be aware and direct their child accordingly, the rest don't need to worry.

My understanding is though that nut free schools aren't ideal for those with allergies. Nut free school lunches yes, because the child can't see how it is cooked. For other things the child needs to learn to check all labels themselves. If they think that it must be ok because it is in school then they might not check.

MrSheen Sat 13-Dec-14 07:50:14

A primary school child may not know that their intended recipient is allergic to nuts but if they are allergic, they aren't going to accidentally scoff it down just because they've been given it any more than they would if they were allergic to cpm or chocolate. They might be selling bubble bath that some recipients couldn't use because of the ingredients, or non vegetarian sweets that a child may buy for a vegetarian.

Legodino Sat 13-Dec-14 07:57:35

I would email the school and suggest they have two Santa sacks. One for nut free people and the other non allergy folk.

Legodino Sat 13-Dec-14 07:58:24

Or they can mark the gift with a marker pen N for nuts

Legodino Sat 13-Dec-14 08:01:47

Couldn't they have sent out an email to parents asking if any child needs to collect a nut free gift to let them know and they will label the gift with child name.

Minions Sat 13-Dec-14 08:29:20

I think Mrsmiles might be right. If 20 kids brought presents in and 20 kids each have £1 to spend but there are only 15 gifts left after the nuts have been removed then some kids won't be able to buy anything. Not sure the best way for the school to fix it. If the school buys replacement gifts then it's no longer a good fundraiser. Asking the parents puts financial burden on some which isn't right. Perhaps the school could ask if anyone is able to provide a second gift and apologise for the mistake?

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