Parents Sue School Over Food Allergy Policies

A couple has filed a lawsuit against their child's school district, alleging that the district didn't do enough to accommodate their son, who has a severe allergy to peanuts.

According to Daily Item, the parents say that district administrators gave no indication that they were willing to make accommodations the parents saw as necessary, so they pulled their child from the school. The Midd-West School District is now arguing that a judge should dismiss the suit because the boy is not enrolled as a student in the Midd-West district.

Court documents identify the student as J.P., and his parents as K.P. and S.P. In court proceedings, the parents say they want to re-enroll their son in the school district, but only if the district agrees to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which the parents say requires accommodations that go beyond the food allergy policies currently in place in the district.

According to the lawsuit, the family moved in 2008 from Iowa to Pennsylvania, where their home is in the boundary of the Midd-West School District. That spring, they enrolled their child in kindergarten. However, he missed so many school days that he ended up repeating kindergarten the next year. The school, after being made aware of the boy's allergy, send a letter to other families with kids at the school advising them that peanut products would no longer be served at school and asking them not to send peanut products to school with their children.

Despite the precautions, say the boy's parents, he was exposed to peanuts at school three times, and way subjected to bullying by his classmates. According to the complaint, school officials did not follow their own policy, aimed at preventing the boy from coming into contact with peanuts. On January 3, 2011, the boy's mother filed a complaint alleging that the school's conduct amounted to discrimination because of his peanut allergy.

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