Children's food allergies are no joke. As the parent of a child who is allergic to nuts, I appreciate the fact my son's school is nut-free. I think it's wonderful that classrooms across the country take the health threat seriously. However, even I have to admit that some schools take things too far. Case in point: a daycare in Ottawa suspended a 2-year-old for three days because she was in possession of a cheese sandwich. The situation is even more ridiculous once you learn the details.
Like most parents, Randy Murray is desperate to get food into his kids' tummies every morning. When 2-year-old Faith didn't finish the cheese sandwich she was eating for breakfast, he allowed her to continue to munch on it on the way to school. At some point, the little girl shoved it into her pocket, and in the rush of things, dad forgot all about it.
A problem arose when a teacher spotted the culinary contraband as they entered the school. She promptly handed it back to Murray, and he was told his little girl would be suspended for three days as a result. He thought it was a joke at first, but administrators weren't kidding. The school has a strict "no outside food" policy, and even though this was an honest mistake, they are not budging on the penalty.
Murray understands that the policy is in place to protect kids with allergies, which he can appreciate, but wishes they had handled the situation differently. He says a warning that she would be suspended if this happened again would have been more appropriate. I have to say, I agree with him. For one thing, it was clearly accidental. For another, the child is 2 and made a mistake that is completely age-appropriate.
Now if it were a high-schooler, then maybe more serious action should be taken. And what purpose does the suspension serve? It only seems to harm the little girl, who doesn’t even really understand what she did wrong. Major FAIL on the part of this school.
Do you think the school acted too harshly or did this family get what it deserved?
Image via CBC News