PARENTS
01/16/2014 12:51 pm ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014

Mom Says School's Response To Child's Severe Food Allergies A Human Rights Violation

According to one mother, a Canadian school is violating her daughter’s human rights.

Lynne Glover recently filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School for allegedly discriminating against her daughter. The girl, Elodie, is severely allergic to dairy and eggs, and her mom says the school has failed to accommodate the child’s “disability," according to Canadian outlet The Spec.

Glover pulled Elodie out of school earlier this year, but she wants the school to create an environment that would allow the 6-year-old to re-enroll, the outlet notes. Elodie has gone into anaphylactic shock nine times after being exposed to eggs and dairy.

"I want to ensure all children have access to a barrier free education, that anaphylaxis is more readily recognized as the disability it is. I would love to see board officials be required to undergo mandatory human rights training, there is a lack of understanding, compassion and empathy toward those with anaphylaxis," Glover said, according to the outlet.

The mom has previously tried to work with the school's board to create a safe environment for her daughter, but she says she does not think the school implemented enough precautions, CBC News reports.

A spokeswoman for the school board told the outlet she could not comment on the case. CBC News notes the board's policy requires schools to take “every reasonable effort” to accommodate children with allergies, although it “cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment."

The mother's case seeks to ban dairy and egg products from the school, the National Post reports.

They left me no choice but to file a claim to get them to the table because I wasn’t getting anywhere,” Glover told The National Post. “I’m not looking for a guaranteed allergy-free environment because I know it’s not possible. But reasonable accommodations that fall in line with our doctor’s diagnosis is just plain common sense."

When speaking about the case, Anaphylaxis Canada Executive Director Laurie Harada said schools need to make necessary accommodations for dairy allergies, just as they have for students with peanut allergies, according to CTV News.

“There’s a lot of misinformation about food allergies and what can happen and what constitutes risk,” Harada told the outlet. “Certainly, it’s difficult when you’re handing your kid off to a school where they’re spending the better part of their waking hours, wondering if they’re going to be safe.”

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