Mom petitions against peanut bans in classrooms
Published Wednesday, October 31, 2018 5:41PM EDT
The Waterloo Region District School Board bans nuts in schools where there are students with life-threatening allergies.
A Cambridge mother says that food choices should be personal, and has started an online petition to re-allow peanuts in schools.
Alyssa Holstock’s daughter Zoe attended a school with a nut ban, but Holstock says her daughter wasn’t eating anything else.
“I did try feeding her other things, but it got to a point where she just wasn’t eating,” she says.
She says her daughter was coming home tired and exhausted, prompting Holstock to remove her from the school.
A Montreal school board determined in 2017 that it could not prohibit foods from schools.
“Every child has the right to go to school and be safe and be protected, and their parents knowing there is no risk of them potentially going into anaphylaxis,” says Stephanie Bonnick, whose child has a peanut allergy.
About 2.4 per cent of children in Canada have peanut allergies.
“It’s not a choice to be allergic,” says Jennifer Gerdts, the executive director of Food Allergy Canada. “Avoidance is the only mechanism for preventing reactions and staying safe.”
Holstock says she had offered to label her daughter’s lunch if it contains allergens, and that her sitting on her own would be an appropriate way to manage peanuts in classrooms.
“We just don’t want to end up in a position where, in order to accommodate everyone, we have no choices left in order to feed our kids,” she says.
For its part, the Waterloo Region District School Board says it did not plan to review its police on allergies.
They say that parents have the right to send their kids to school knowing they will be safe.