I found Donald Padelford's letter to the editor (2-20-08) regarding let teachers teach disturbing on a variety of levels.
As a special education teacher who travels to the child's home, I have to be aware of certain allergies that the children have in order that I don't bring it in on my clothing (ie stopping at Dairy Queen for a bathroom break (where they use peanuts) and then going to the child's home). In the classroom, the teacher is the one who is with the children during the day. The teacher as well as the substitute needs to know about the allergies and what to do if it occurs.
Another issue that disturbed me was Mr. Padelford's phrase, "Fetal Alcohol Kids." Chidren are first of all children. They should not be known for their diagnosis. They are not "Fetal Alcohol Kids," but kids (children) who have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which is now referred to as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum.
Yes, teachers need to teach, but teachers teach because they care. They care for the safety of the children in their care during the day. That includes keeping them safe from life threatening allergies.
/s/ Karen Cummings