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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:23 pm
Posts: 810
Location: Kingston
School faces human rights complaint over student’s egg, dairy allergy

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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.


Quote:
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.”


http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/01/13 ... y-allergy/

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2928
Location: Toronto
Mary, Thx for posting the update on this situation.

It does appear that Ms. Glover tried to work with the school but ran into repeated roadblocks, before deciding to file the human rights complaint. I do hope this can resolve amicably for the child's sake.

I'd really like to hear from some parents dealing with dairy allergy. How much do you expect of the school? As milk and yogurt are so popular as kid foods, is a sort of "ban" the answer, or is there a better way?

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 684
Location: Cobourg, ON
Hi Gwen,
We are very fortunate to have excellent support from our school community. Our daughter is allergic to milk, PN and TN. Her accommodations are so routine now. Schools make so many accommodations for a wide range of student needs every single day. In many ways, accommodating allergies is easier than many other needs. It takes good communication and a willingness to find a way to make things work.

I had an opportunity to speak about our school experience on Metro Morning today. The interview is available to listen to on their website. This situation is very unfortunate. I hope they can resolve it soon.

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11 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, eggs and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
9 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 790
Location: Vancouver, BC
Thanks Kate - great interview! Our local support group has been having an active discussion on FB about this and food bans in general after the story broke. I'll post your interview as well.

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DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:35 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:23 pm
Posts: 810
Location: Kingston
Ottawa Citizen commenting in Editorial

Allergies and schools

Quote:
However sympathetic her plight, it’s a shame to see these disputes end up in judicial tribunals. They are very complex and emotional issues involving not just the rights of one student, but an entire school’s philosophy when it comes to risk. A resolution should be rooted in reasonable accommodation, not legal fiat. And if the two sides would talk, there might be a more reasonable compromise than a school-wide ban on several staple foods.


Quote:
Ontario has legislation to protect students with severe allergies and it requires reasonable measures because no one can guarantee allergen-free zones in schools. Parents and school authorities have a shared responsibility to these children, whose rights must be balanced with that of other children. The best solution to this heart-rending problem is discussion and compromise. Glover and the school should go back to the table and talk.


http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/ed ... story.html

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:23 pm
Posts: 810
Location: Kingston
CBC Interviews Hamilton Mother

Should allergy protection in schools be a human right?

Listen to the interview: http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Ontario Ministry of Education has a major initiative Safe and Accepting Schools.
Quote:
A safe, inclusive and accepting school environment is a necessary condition for student success. Students cannot be expected to reach their potential in an environment where they feel insecure and intimidated. We are committed to providing all students with the supports they need to learn, grow and achieve.


Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with anaphylaxis and really, only deals with the discipline of bullies.

Anaphylaxis, falls under the Healthy Schools program which deals with foods sold to students at school and focuses on the sodium and trans fat contents of these foods.

In order the the Ministry of Education have any weight in this issue, this has to change. Otherwise, our only recourse is the Human Right's Tribunal.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:23 pm
Posts: 810
Location: Kingston
Allergies worth accommodating

Quote:
Arguments saying the mother should enroll her daughter in a private school that is willing to accommodate the child’s predicament or begin homeschooling are short-sighted. Excluding a child from public school should be an absolute last resort, as most private schools are expensive, and homeschooling requires time and resources that many families don’t have.

Before effectively excluding the student, the school could institute measures to isolate her from allergens. The child in question could be completely separated from the other students during lunch, or the school could institute a strict hand washing or sanitizing process for students who have eaten lunches with allergens.

The school shouldn’t fear the inevitable backlash from other parents as their concerns don’t compare to those of the mother whose child is in danger.

There are limits to accommodation, but they haven’t yet been reached in this case. The school could, and should do much more to protect the child who barring extreme circumstances should have a place in public school.


http://queensjournal.ca/story/2014-01-2 ... mmodating/

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