Checking-In: Food allergies in schools, Disability & the Justice System and the grey wolf no longer endangered?

Grey wolves from Alberta and B.C. have pulled wolf packs in the U.S. back from the edge of extinction. Now the U.S. government wants to take them off the endangered species list. (CP/AP-National Park Service, MacNeil Lyons)


Schoolchildren with food allergies walk a tightrope between a perfectly safe environment and catastrophe -- much like people who enter into marriage. We share our listeners' thoughts on some of the other stories of the week, Plus, the grey wolf may be moving off the endangered list.

To help wade through your tweets, posts, and e-mails, Anna Maria was joined in studio by The Current's executive producer -- Jennifer Moroz.

school-allergies-thumbnail.jpgAllergies in School: Last Friday, we spoke with Lynne Glover... a mother from Hamilton, Ontario, who says school isn't a safe place for her six-year old daughter, Elodie.

Like many children across the country, Elodie has a life-threatening food allergy. Her mom removed Elodie from her Hamilton, Ontario, school last fall because she believed the school didn't offer enough protection. She's since filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario claiming her daughter faced discrimination.

Should allergy protection in schools be a human right? We asked you to write in with your opinion and experiences.

And boy did you ever! Jennifer Dorner from Montreal writes:

"I am a mother with a child who has life-threatening food allergies. I wish this mother the best of luck and can only hope that we in Quebec will one day catch up. I feel that schools need to do so much more to educate their communities because I strongly believe most parents would much rather buy different ingredients for their kids' lunches than to discover that their negligence killed a child. Changing habits can be challenging at first, but certainly manageable and easy to get used to."

Kate Caldwell is a teacher and parent from Cobourg, Ontario. She writes:

"Everyday thousands of students attend school in Ontario with food allergies safely. Our daughter is one of those students. She is 12 years old and allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and milk. We were able to work with the school staff to develop a plan to keep her safe. This plan includes a number of risk reduction strategies such as close staff supervision while students eat, hand washing by all students after eating, desk cleaning after snacks and lunch."

Christine McDonald from Toronto also has serious allergies, but she doesn't support the human rights' complaint:

"What hooey! I was diagnosed with anaphylactic peanut allergies in 1958 when I was 3 years old. It is now 2014 and I am still intact although I have now become anaphylactic to the entire legume family as well as tree nuts. I went to kindergarten, public school, high school, and university, and back then I can assure you that my allergies were certainly not common. I never had an EpiPen until 25 years ago. I knew from a very early age what I could eat and what food to avoid. If I wasn't sure I would take a pass. Still do. And if by chance I ate something that I shouldn't have, I knew exactly what to do. What a silly, silly mother."

Charlotte writes:

"I live in a very small town and we adjust our kids lunches to meet the kids who have allergies. Even preventive measures like washing hands with soap and brushing teeth help. If it was one of my children, I know I would get community support so I help in any way possible. We are talking about children after all. To adjust food to save lives is no inconvenience for me."

Susan McInnis disagrees. She posts:

"Since when is it the responsibility of the schools to police your child? If your child has such severe allergies, maybe you should home school and not expect the school to do your job for you. It's enough that schools won't allow peanuts and peanut butter, how can they make sure ALL allergens are kept away? I think this is taking things just one step too far!"

Tripsa Daisy is thinking big picture on Facebook. She posts:

"I think we should figure out the reasons behind the rise in food allergies and address that."

benn-daughter-thumbnail.jpgBrenda Hardiman & Nichele Benn: Yesterday we spoke with Halifax mother Brenda Hardiman and her 26-year-old daughter, Nichele Benn. Nichele has a brain disorder that makes her prone to violent outbursts, and she has been in and out jail over the past six years.

Next month, Brenda and Nichele will join others in Nova Scotia for a province-wide demonstration, demanding an end the criminalization of people with special needs.

After that interview, we heard from Winnipeg lawyer Martin Glazer, who says the case reminded him of a young man he once represented. Martin Glazer was in Winnipeg.

Divorce-thumbnail2.jpgDivorce: Comedian Louis CK, may be right -- divorce is forever. And in our adversarial system it can be a rough emotional and financial ride. Canada's laws may be just, but perhaps not very gentle to families breaking-up. January is considered "divorce month" in Canada and on Tuesday we convened a panel to weigh in on what should change.

Ken Miles from Sydney, Nova Scotia, writes:

"I was particularly interested in how pop culture not only tolerates divorce but actually promotes it. I was also reminded of an episode of the TV show "Glee" in which one of the characters who was having a difficult time choosing a prom dress was reminded, "You can get married as many times as you want. You only have one shot at your Junior Prom." Oh what troubling times!"

Jeff Germundson posts:

"Don't kid yourself: divorce is a lucrative industry, and family law has been molded to keep the cash flowing to those that make their living off of other people's misfortune."

Gordon Ashacker agrees:

"My parents blew half their assets listening to family law attorneys. Eventually they sat down together, just the two of them, and agreed on a fair deal."

Michaelle Haughian had a similar experience. She tweets:

"When talking settlement the guests have missed that pushing settlement might push a person to accept an unjust settlement. Three lawyers later I finally pursued child support as an unrepresented litigant and settled it myself."

On Facebook, Kim Bronius posts:

"Emotion should be taken out of it when dealing with a marriage that was headed downhill fast. The reasons why. Kids should not be used as pawns and not alienated from either parent."

Angela McInnis from Ottawa was one of the only listeners who wrote in about a satisfying divorce experience. She says:

"I just completed the best divorce I could ever have asked for. I think that it's possible to have a positive divorce, without destroying the happiness and well-being of one another, if you are committed to your ex-partner and the shared goal of dissolving only the marriage. We discussed at length how to move forward fairly and ended up with terms that have been easy for us to manage even as we move forward into new relationships and new lives."

And we'll give the last word on divorce month to Josee Leger:

"After working in real estate for 8 years, I've noticed the same trend. Families get through that last Christmas then call their realtor in January."

grey-wolf-thumbnail.jpgGrey Wolves: Yellowstone National Park may be an American icon, but if you hear a wolf cry there, there's a good chance that it's a Canadian wolf ... or at least its grandparents were.

Nearly two decades ago, the U.S. started bringing Canadian grey wolves to Yellowstone and other specific places in the U.S. where wolf populations had been almost totally wiped out.

And it would appear the project may have been too successful for some people.
The grey wolf may soon be taken off the endangered species list ... all because of the impact of that Canadian pack.

Paul Paquet is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, and works with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. He was on the line from Meacham, Saskatchewan.

To add your voice to any story you hear on The Current, get in touch any way you can.

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Follow us on Facebook. Or e-mail us through our website. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current's Peter Mitton and Shannon Higgins.

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