With food allergies on the rise and more families and schools impacted by them, this story out of Florida, and reported by CNN, feels timely:
Parents in this Edgewater, FL. community are mad about the impact of new, federally mandated rules to protect the life of a little girl in a public school there. Her allergy is so severe that exposure to peanut dust could kill her. But the classroom safety measures, which include mandatory hand washing and mouth rinsing after lunch for all children, feel burdensome to the families of her classmates. Alleging that compliance takes 30 minutes per day and that this time would be better spent on learning, they've taken to the streets to picket. They say their children should not have to accommodate the girl with the allergy and that she should instead leave the school.
Dr. Scott Sicherer, Professor of Pediatrics at Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center, who was asked by CNN to comment on the story, points out that the protesting parents may not have considered two very important points: one, that the child's allergy is a true, legally protected disability, and two, that the community (both parents and kids) could learn a lot by working together to protect her, rather than rallying to exclude her.
Has your child's school imposed burdensome restrictions because of food allergies? Do you think the Edgewater parents have a valid point?