An Ontario community is considering removing oak trees near a school because of tree-nut allergy concerns.
A mom of two children with allergies visited a recent meeting at city hall, “begging” the city to remove three oak trees behind a local Catholic school. She says the trees are shedding acorns, endangering her kids. According to the mom, Donna Giuztizia, if the committee doesn’t agree to remove the trees, she’s prepared to bring the issue to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
According to Giustizia, the oak trees – which are planted on city property near the playground of St. Stephen Catholic School – are a threat for students with tree-nut allergies. Giustizia is the founder and chairperson of the St. Stephen’s allergy awareness committee. She recently commented:
“Tree nuts are a life-threatening form of allergy. There is no cure. Strict avoidance is the only way to ensure the life of an anaphylactic child.”
Oak Trees Causing Anxiety
She claims that children with severe allergies suffer “extreme anxiety” near the playground. She also noted that St. Stephen has been declared a “peanut and tree-nut safe school environment,” but that the acorns dropping from the city-owned oak trees has “now encroached on this accommodation.” Sounding the alarm, Giustizia explained: “I’m sure you can appreciate the level of anxiety these students now face when they see acorns in the schoolyard being collected and tossed around by their peers… I implore council to consider the mental well-being of these children and the cruel and unusual environment we would be subjecting these students to if we do not relocate these trees… It’s a disaster. This is a mercy call.”
What do you think? Should the city remove the oak trees near the school?