The internet was buzzing recently with an article from CapeNews.net stating that the Oak Ridge School in Massachusetts considers severe nut allergies a disability.
Like many schools across the county, Oak Ridge is dealing with food allergic children and trying to keep them safe while at the same time deal with outraged parents over a nut ban.
The Massachusetts Department of Education published a series of Guidelines for managing food allergies in schools several years ago, however they are guidelines and not required policy. This leaves many schools in Massachusetts, as well as other states, grasping at straws to find a solution that pleases both sides.
Under Section 504 law, it clearly states that no child should be discriminated against due to a disability and that he or she should receive an equal education to that of his peers. To determine disability, a life function must be affected such as breathing in the case of anaphylaxis and asthma. Life threatening food allergies are also covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This isn’t new news, but with the rise in food allergy diagnosis and students entering schools—many school districts are realizing they need to act quick not only to keep food allergic children safe, but to avoid breaking the law.
The full referenced article can be found at the following link:
Ruth LovettSmith is the mother of a child with multiple life threatening food allergies and founder of Best Allergy Sites: Your Food Allergy and Gluten Free Guide http://www.bestallergysites.com/