Peanuts. Tree Nuts. Walnuts. Coconut. Seafood. Fish. Shrimp. Eggs.
What do these all have in common? They’ve all been suggestively banned from H’s school.
I have a number of issues with this. Right off the hop though, I will admit that I support the ban on nuts. I understand how serious of an allergy this can be, how the oils are easily transferred and how deadly the reaction can be.
I do take issue though with the rest. Specifically egg and fish. Firstly, tuna and eggs are a cost-effective source of lean protein, easily prepared and procured. Our school has a high demographic of low-income families, and the more bans put in place, the more we strip them of healthy options for their children.
Yes. I realise I am arguing convenience against potential health risks. However, banning is not the answer. Education is.
If a child in 2A has a serious egg allergy, then perhaps the students and families of 2A need to learn a little about this allergy, and then perhaps 2A has a ban. But if no allergies are present in 2C or 3F then why should the ban be in effect there?
It’s unenforceable across the school, and the division does state that the onus is on the parent to ensure their child knows not to eat food not prepared by their parents.
Do we need to acknowledge and respect the severity of the allergy? Of course. We also have to know that children are capable of more than we give them credit for. They know they have an allergy. They know to ask and to be careful. And if they are in a classroom which is educated and monitored they will fare much better than a loosey goosey rule with a disclaimer attached.
When these kids hit any outside venue, from professional sporting events, to public transportation, to movie theatres, friends houses, malls and more they are potentially going to be exposed. Educating them is going to help them. Assuming that the rest of the world is going to just stop using products is naive and unacceptable.
That being said, there are also children with gluten and milk allergies, should those items be banned as well?
What about asthmatics? Should gym class be cancelled because they may have an issue, and it’s unfair to let them watch their friends have fun?
The world is a harsh existence, and we are doing our future generations no favours. The banning of potential allergens is just one avenue. The lack of personal responsibility and motivation is yet another.
My daughter’s class will not be given homework. The teacher’s reasonings is that children are so busy with extra curricular activities, it’s unfair to burden them with homework.
I want my child to be pushed. To learn. I want her to be taught how to properly study, and how to apply those skills. I want the school to give out assignments that require time management skills.
I want my child to fail if she does poorly. I don’t want to curriculum re-written to suit her needs. That doesn’t benefit everyone. When our kids hit the job force and they are unable to do the tasks required of them, their boss is not going to adjust their job description, they’re going to replace them with someone who is capable.
I want my kid to have to work hard to succeed and run the risk of failing along the way. The only thing failing her is our education system. She is in grade 7 and I have yet to see a benefit to public schooling her versus home schooling aside from the socialization aspect.
Grading by percentages are going by the wayside, and everyone is being coddled and wrapped in chiffon and being sent out to be devoured in the real world.
The expectation seems to be that someone else will take care of it. I get the ‘it takes a village’ mentality, but it also takes personal responsibility and ownership.
The best way to ensure you will be secure, safe and successful is to take it upon yourself. Do what is best for you, know the situation you are getting into and work for what you want.
I know this started with allergens, but the expectation that everyone else will make sure the environment is safe is ludicrous. You should be able to rely on your neighbour to help you, but education is where it will be key.
Back to the allergies, I believe the best way to combat it is to inform the parents of the students in class with a child of the severity and to request they refrain from sending food with X ingredients. And then enforce it. I think a blanket banning is asking for trouble.
I also believe the best way to ensure our children succeed is to find out what motivates them, give them encouragement, and let them fail from time to time.
Please, for the sake of future generations, let’s make them work for it.