It's exactly what happened to a dad in Canada, and it ended in a suspension for his toddler daughter.
According to The Huffington Post, Randy Murray gave his two-year-old a cheese sandwich to eat before leaving for her daycare. He didn't realize she decided to keep it and tucked it away somewhere for later snacking.
Administrators at Centre de l'Enfant Aux 4 vents in Ottawa brought the hammer down on the little girl for violating a "no outside food" policy. Bring food to school, and you're out for three days. If the food has peanuts, students can be expelled.
Regardless of the policy, Murray is upset he didn't just get a warning.
"They freaked out." He told the Ottawa Sun. "If I got a warning, I'd admit my mistake and move on. But it seems they want to penalize the parents. There's no logic to it. I'm going to the media because I think people have to speak up when something's fishy."
Nothing's fishy, Mr. Murray. While suspension may seem extreme, the daycare has the policy in place likely because several children have severe food allergies. Know what can happen as a result? Death. Death isn't fishy or illogical. It's pretty clear cut.
The daycare director confirms the policy is in place for a reason. "We do have children with multiple allergies, and the parents are more than happy that we have all these things in place to protect the children."
I'll admit, I didn't really understand the gravity of food allergies and how intense having a child who is allergic to things can be for parents until I met a really great couple with a daughter who is allergic to a lot of foods, including peanuts. Seeing what her parents go through to keep her safe and imagining the stress they must feel when they can't be there to watch what she eats must be overwhelming. Think about it: every day they have to send their daughter off into the world knowing that simply coming into contact with a commonplace food item could seriously hurt her. I would be a wreck.
That's why when the day I packed peanut butter crackers in my daughter's preschool snack box earned me a strict talking to, I didn't mind for one second. It's easy to see how one careless move on my part could have resulted in tragedy for another family. Thank god for allergy awareness and vigilant teachers. While I understand the cheese sandwich was an oversight and that suspension is harsh, Murray should understand that it's because food allergies are serious business. He apparently doesn't see it that way and says he's looking for new childcare options for his children.
What do you think? Is the school being too harsh over what was an accident or is the suspension a great wake up call for someone who clearly isn't taking food allergies seriously?
Photo source: flickr.com
-By Monica Bielanko