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mom sues school over cheese sandwiches and buttered popcorn

Posted by Anonymous
  • 86 Replies
A Hamilton, Ont., mother has filed a human rights complaint against her daughter’s elementary school, claiming it discriminated against the six-year-old for failing to accommodate her life-threatening allergy to eggs and dairy.The case, which seeks to ban milk products and eggs from her daughter’s school, comes at a tense time for parents and school boards struggling to meet the safety needs of some students without putting out the rest, and as the Ontario Human Rights Code expands to include “invisible” disabilities.Last September, Lynne Glover pulled her daughter, Elodie, out of Grade 1 at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Elementary School after more than two years of trying to work with staff on a strategy that would keep allergens away from her daughter.

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 Valentine’s Day, Elodie’s cards went straight into recycling for fear of contamination. Elodie was also “segregated” 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 daughter’s teacher had been eating buttered popcorn.“They left me no choice but to file a claim to get them to the table because I wasn’t getting anywhere,” said the stay-at-home mother of five girls in an interview with the Post on Monday. “I’m not looking for a guaranteed allergy-free environment because I know it’s not possible. But reasonable accommodations that fall in line with our doctor’s diagnosis is just plain common sense.”While the school is designated peanut and tree-nut free, she said, parents of Elodie’s classmates were not told about her daughter’s egg and dairy allergy, apart from in one school newsletter that was sent home.

“The vast majority of parents are finding ways to work with the schools and vice versa,” she said. “It’s unfortunate when these situations escalate.”Ms. Harada said it’s difficult to monitor dairy and egg allergens since they’re 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 “now that it’s been brought before the Human Rights Tribunal.” Nor would it elaborate on the school board’s typical response when it becomes aware of students’ life-threatening allergies, though guidelines posted online say schools must take “special precautions with respect to the food provided for school celebrations and extracurricular activities,” and provide parents of classmates with a list of appropriate food substitutes that don’t 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.
Posted by Anonymous on Apr. 21, 2014 at 12:34 PM
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by Queen Annie on Apr. 21, 2014 at 12:36 PM
3 moms liked this

I'm all for requiring schools to protect children, but maybe that little girl should be homeschooled until she's older. 

How sad. 

by on Apr. 21, 2014 at 12:37 PM

i can see moms point but in a school, one child's disabilities/allergies shouldn't define the other children's activities. and swollen eyes from buttered popcorn? i dunno about that.

by Baby T-rex Arms on Apr. 21, 2014 at 12:39 PM
1 mom liked this

Homeschool that kid. Damn.

by ☆Mrs.Winchester☆ on Apr. 21, 2014 at 12:43 PM
4 moms liked this
IMO this little girl needs to start learning how to handle her allergy. They cant ban dairy and egg from the world. She will need to know how to handle things as she grows. Honestly, i think kids with severe allergies should be home schooled till middle school or older. Just till they are mature enough to handle things.
by Anonymous 2 on Apr. 21, 2014 at 12:56 PM
2 moms liked this
Lets just ban EVERY allergen from schools...this shit is getting out of hand...
by Ruby Member on Apr. 21, 2014 at 1:01 PM
11 moms liked this

I think its better to teach your child how to live with their allergy instead of expecting the world to cater to it. 

by Bronze Member on Apr. 21, 2014 at 1:04 PM
I'm sorry but I call this mom lazy my son is 6 he's got a severe wheat allergy he has known since 4 don't eat unless u ask when it comes to party's I make and send lots of wheat free snacks if the school can't provide lunch then I do they had play do in kindergarten I made gluten free play do kids r kids u can't banned everything for one kid valentines I made a cute little bag full of gluten free candy 26 pieces and asked teacher to have kids send cards with no candy then when they were passed out the teacher handed Robert his bag with candy in it. As a mother u have to teacher your kids about there allergy's young if u hide it u r only hurting them why can't she send her own popcorn in milk free coco in a thermous she seems to make excuses and blaming the school instead of taking responsibility for her kid
by on Apr. 21, 2014 at 1:05 PM
So she expects the school to basically cut programs do they can afford food for everyone because of one child?
by Anonymous 3 on Apr. 21, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Pretty soon kids will not be able to eat or drink anything at lunch.  There is a girl at my sons school who is allergic to water.  I didn't even know that was possible but the school needs water to operate so she just avoids it.  Kids with allergies have to learn to protect themselves at some point and a mom suing for this isn't going to help.

by Metal Awareness on Apr. 21, 2014 at 1:06 PM
There should just be no food items allowed in school. Parents must accommodate their children's dietary needs off campus.
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