“School faces human rights complaint over student’s egg, dairy allergy”

by Walter Olson on January 16, 2014

National Post via Free-Range Kids:

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 … seeks to ban milk products and eggs from her daughter’s school.” …

Ms. Glover wants the allergens removed from the school, and school and board staff get human rights training. She wants to “bring to light the fact that children have the right to a barrier free education.”

“Anything short of that is discrimination,” she says.

{ 9 comments }

1 Boblipton 01.16.14 at 10:23 am

I am eagerly awaiting disparate impact theory to hit Canada and anticipate much fun over its effect on grade point averages.

Bob

2 Roy B 01.16.14 at 2:54 pm

I feel sorry for the girl but must ask about the rights of every other student in the school? Are they to live their lives according to the needs of one student? What about her future, will any college of company be required to give up their rights so that this one person may be comfortable?

3 Bill Poser 01.17.14 at 1:46 pm

There is a difference between the situation of an adult employee with a life-threatening allergy and that of a young child in school namely the fact that the adult can be expected to avoid eating or coming in contact with whatever he is allergic to while a young child cannot. An adult, or older child, can also be expected to handle such contact as does occur, e.g. by carrying and using an epipen (if only the school will back off from insane war on drugs policies that treat things the same as crack).

4 Jazzizhep 01.17.14 at 4:26 pm

Bill,

I agree, the school should be take extra care to not offer the child foods because she may be, at 6 years old, incapable of distinguishing between “good” foods and “bad” foods. However, if you read the attached links the mother is upset because the school still serves milk, yogurt, and eggs to other children (not to mention the crime of permitting chocolates to be eaten on Valentines Day). The mother seems particularly upset that her child had to endure watching her teacher eat buttered popcorn.

There was no mention that the school actually fed the child harmful foods, only that the student suffered because she had to watch other students consume foodstuffs she herself could not enjoy. Not being a lawyer, or familiar with all the things the U.N. deems as human rights, I can only guess that “freedom from seeing other people enjoying themselves” is not actually a human right–but I could be wrong.

5 Bill Poser 01.18.14 at 12:11 am

Jazzizhep,

Good points. I wasn’t defending the suit but merely responding to the slippery slope argument made by Roy B by distinguishing the cases of adult employees and young schoolchildren.

6 Bill Poser 01.18.14 at 12:14 am

BTW, the only legal enforcement of the “freedom from seeing other people enjoying themselves” of which I am aware is found in some Muslim countries, which prohibit public daytime eating and drinking during Ramadan.

7 Jazzizhep 01.18.14 at 5:17 pm

Bill,

Ok, apologies for the misinterpretation. Your comment does makes sense as a response to Roy.

8 gasman 01.18.14 at 11:09 pm

http://hnoj.hwcdsb.ca is the school. Looks like a private school, but not certain what that means in Ontario. Could be that private schools there have less freedom to decline to accommodate every parental whim as they still do in the US (although that appears to be eroding).

The mother claims that the child has had 9 anaphylactic reactions. Sounds like the kid is not safe even under mother’s watchful eye. Perhaps the state should step in and take the child for her own safety.

9 Lee 01.20.14 at 11:14 pm

I wonder if the school had not previously banned nuts from the premises, presumably as demanded by a different parent, they would not now be facing additional demands.

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