Life-Threatening Peanut Allergy: Should a 1st Grader Be Home-Schooled Because of It?

Filed in Gather News Channel by on March 22, 2011 0 Comments

Should a first-grade girl with a life-threatening peanut allergy be home-schooled? Many parents in Edgewater, Florida think so. The child’s allergy is severe enough to be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act,  and the school says that they are required by law to accommodate her.

To do this, the students in her class are required to wash their hands before entering the classroom in the mornings and after lunch, and rinse out their mouths. The school had a peanut sniffing dog check the school during spring break.

Some parents are asking that the child be home-schooled, according to Yahoo! news. Accommodating the disabled is one thing, they seem to be saying, but it should be reasonable. Upsetting the structure of the classroom and students and placing the responsibility on 6-year-olds to wash their hands and rinse their mouths has become a controversial subject in Edgewater.

With all sympathy to the little girl suffering from a  life-threatening peanut allergy, is it really best to place her in the classroom, exposed to that one 6-year-old classmate who may have forgotten to wash or rinse, as all children might do? What burden would the offender carry? Should the worst case scenario happen, what would the legal repercussions be?

One father thinks that small accommodations have added up to frustration for many. “If I had a daughter who had a problem, I would not ask everyone else to change their lives to fit my life.”

Home-schooling would be a “reasonable” accommodation in this case, as is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.  What is unreasonable is placing small children in the position of potentially, even if inadvertently, causing the death of a fellow student.

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Retired Mainiac who likes to write humor about life in general, politics when necessary, and dysfunctional family life in particular.

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