The Current

Should allergy protection in schools be a human right?

Exposure to just a little milk or egg may be enough to kill a Hamilton Ontario girl with allergies. Her mother doesn't believe the school took the condition seriously enough.
Exposure to just a little milk or egg may be enough to kill a Hamilton Ontario girl with allergies. Her mother doesn't believe the school took the condition seriously enough. <a href='http://www.flickr.com/photos/buzzymelibee/8673392635/'>anotherlunch.com</a> via <a href='http://photopin.com'>photopin</a> <a href='http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>cc</a>
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A food allergy can be a terrifying problem for a young student. In Hamilton, Ontario , one parent believes it isn't just a problem; it's a disability that the school didn't adequately address. She's filed a complaint with the Human Rights tribunal.

Hamilton, Ontario mother Lynn Glover believes school just isn't a safe enough place for her six-year-old daughter, Elodie.

Elodie Glover, 6, was pulled out of her Grade 1 class in October over severe allergy concerns. (Courtesy Glover family)

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

Lynne Glover was in our CBC studio in Hamilton.

In 2006, Ontario created the first law in the world to protect children with food allergies. Sabrina's law was named after Sabrina Shannon who suffered a fatal reaction to dairy in her first year of high school in 2003.

The law requires every school board in Ontario to establish and maintain an anaphylaxis policy.

Clinton Davis is the Chief Psychologist for the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board; Elodie Glover's schoolboard . He was also in Hamilton.

So what exactly constitutes a failure to provide reasonable accomodation for a severe food allergy? Is it enough to breach their human rights?

Pamela Chapman is a professor of Law at the University of Ottawa and a former Member of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Professor Chapman also has first hand experiences with allergies as she suffers anaphylaxis reactions to nuts. She joined us from Ottawa.

If you've had experience - as a parent or teacher, or someone who has a severe allergy - let us know how you manage, and how your school deals with food restrictions.

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

This segment was produced by The Current's Sarah Grant and Sujata Berry.

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