Yesterday, the Ottawa Sun reported that a two-year-old girl who attends a Barrhaven daycare centre has been suspended for three days for bringing a cheese sandwich into the facility. The headline is rather alarmist, isn't it? It insinuates that the child is somehow at fault, but we all know it's a rare toddler who's already making their lunches (wouldn't that be great, though?).
In order to protect children with anaphylactic allergies who attend the centre, parents are made aware at registration of Centre de l'enfant aux 4 Vente's strict no outside food policy. Despite being aware of said policy, toddler Faith Murray's father Randy feels it is an unfair and excessive rule. Says Mr. Murray, "They freaked out. 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."
Hmm, so let me get this straight, Mr. Murray—you signed your children up for a daycare centre that has a strict policy regarding outside food (which was reiterated to all parents as recently as January), yet you chose to break the rules and are now complaining that the rules are too harsh and the repercussions unfair? How does that work, exactly?
Since starting this blog, my opinions regarding outright food bans in schools have somewhat changed, that is true. But in a private setting where children as young as infants are involved, I believe bans are a smart way to protect the kids who haven't yet developed the ability to protect themselves. And regardless, this parent totally ignored the rules of the centre in which his kids are registered. So, who's to blame here? To me, this isn't really about allergies, but about one man's mission to break the rules without consequence. I say the blame is all on this parent, but I'd love to hear what others think.
Is it acceptable to go against the rules of the daycare your kids go to, just because you think they're unfair? Or is it our obligation, as parents, to follow the rules we signed up with and agreed to?
Read about the woman who filed a human rights complaint against her daughter's school over food allergies. And find out why Sabrina's Law is so important.