The parents of a 7-year-old girl with a severe peanut allergy have filed a federal lawsuit against an elementary school principal who they say failed to ensure their daughter’s safety and well-being and took retributions against them after they informed her classmates of her allergy.
Calling her allergy a “disability” and claiming rights under the Americans for Disability Act, the parents allege that not only did the principal of Ashland City Elementary School in Tennessee harass them and become angry at them on the phone, but someone from the school called child welfare authorities shortly after their conversation with him and claimed they were abusing their child. Child welfare visited the home saying that reports of “Munchausen by Proxy” had been made and their investigation ultimately found those reports to be unsubstantiated.
The allegations state that on September 30, the girl’s mother had a meeting with Chip Roney, Ashland City Elementary School principal, to request that a peanut-free table be designated in the school’s cafeteria so that their daughter and her friends could eat safely together. The principal, the mother alleges, became angry and refused. On November 6, a telephone meeting with Roney and the child’s mother, who recorded the call, had him angrily berating her for distributing an educational flyer about peanut allergies to her daughter’s classmates. He told her that she and her husband were banned from campus, claiming that the flyer “baffled” people and was “peanut-free propaganda.”
The lawsuit requests that a federal judge declare a violation of the ADA on the school and demands justice and recompense for the falsified report to child services and the harassment and hostile treatment the parents and their child endured. They want the federal judge to order the school district to provide a safe environment for children with food allergies.