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January 25, 2006

Mad As Hell? What can we reasonably expect?

In a UPI article yesterday, we learned about a show down in Nashville, where officials declared a boy's peanut allergy does not entitle him to long-term home schooling at the taxpayers' expense.

The story is about a 9 year boy who suffered a near fatal reaction reaction from his food allergy at his school back in September 2005. School officials said they had taken all steps possible to make Stratton Elementary School as safe as possible for the boy.

The district had provided short term home schooling for the fourth grader but would not continue the program into 2006. And when he returns to school, officials say they can not guarantee a peanut-free environment for the boy. His mom is "mad as hell" and considering legal options.

This is a tough situation. We all want to keep our kids safe. Sure, we just want them to be treated as regular kids at school but safety must come first. Here the 4th grader experienced a very scarey situation and his mom wants more assurance from the school.

On the other hand, what is reasonable when 1 or 2 kids at the school have a severe child food allergy? Home schooling for all funded by the taxpayers? A guaranteed peanut free environment? I'm not sure what the answer is.

What I do know is that we, as parents and our child's protector, need to communicate clearly, calmly and often with those who also care for our children. Schools, churches, camps, karate class... all of these situations require education of the leaders in those programs. I think all we can really hope for is well-educated, caring people who put forth a genuine effort to keep our kids safe.

Posted by David at January 25, 2006 5:45 PM