mom sues school over cheese sandwiches and buttered popcorn
While she was assured the school would do everything it took to keep Elodie safe, the school continued to run its milk and snack program, which handed out puddings, yogurts and cheese, and hold bake sales and pizza days. She was excluded from many a fun day and BBQ. While students ate chocolates on Valentineâs Day, Elodieâs cards went straight into recycling for fear of contamination. Elodie was also âsegregatedâ at lunch and snack time in kindergarten, and put at risk in Grade 1 when she had to sit at a separate table in the classroom while her classmates ate their cheese sandwiches and drank their milk. When Elodie came home from school one day with watery eyes and shortness of breath, Ms. Glover said it was because her daughterâs teacher had been eating buttered popcorn.âThey left me no choice but to file a claim to get them to the table because I wasnât getting anywhere,â said the stay-at-home mother of five girls in an interview with theÂ PostÂ on Monday. âIâm not looking for a guaranteed allergy-free environment because I know itâs not possible. But reasonable accommodations that fall in line with our doctorâs diagnosis is just plain common sense.âWhile the school is designated peanut and tree-nut free, she said, parents of Elodieâs classmates were not told about her daughterâs egg and dairy allergy, apart from in one school newsletter that was sent home.
âThe vast majority of parents are finding ways to work with the schools and vice versa,â she said. âItâs unfortunate when these situations escalate.âMs. Harada said itâs difficult to monitor dairy and egg allergens since theyâre so much more common in everyday foods.Elodie has had nine anaphylactic reactions in her life, Ms. Glover said, and she does not want to simply move her to another school since three of her four sisters also attend Holy Name of Jesus.Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic School Board spokesperson Marnie Jadon said the board is unable to comment on the complaint ânow that itâs been brought before the Human Rights Tribunal.â Nor would it elaborate on the school boardâs typical response when it becomes aware of studentsâ life-threatening allergies, though guidelines posted online say schools must take âspecial precautions with respect to the food provided for school celebrations and extracurricular activities,â and provide parents of classmates with a list of appropriate food substitutes that donât induce anaphylactic reactions.
According to a record of the incidents, many of Ms. Glovers efforts to reduce dangers to her daughter were thwarted: When she baked 560 cupcakes for Snuggle Up and Read Day, the school served them with dairy-based hot chocolate. When she brought allergen-free pancake mix to school for Shrove Tuesday, the school had purchased buttery syrup. She acknowledges principal Pat Akers tried to accommodate Elodie, asking if there was a safe hot chocolate and being open to switching pizza providers for pizza day.Â