St. Giles plans to go 'nut-free'

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By Ken Trainor

Staff writer

Oak Park's St. Giles parochial school plans to become a "nut-free" campus.

The school board is currently considering a policy that addresses peanuts and other nut-related student allergies. St. Giles, 1034 N. Linden, is following other schools in the country trying to keep kids safe from food-related sensitivities.

Other Oak Park schools already have such policies and procedures in place.

At elementary school District 97, some classrooms are "nut free zones," meaning no nuts of any kind are allowed in. Tables have been set up in the lunchroom for, say, students with peanut butter sandwiches so that they don't sit next to kids with peanut allergies.

Oak Park and River Forest High School has a similar "food-allergy management program." Peanuts, for example, are not banned on campus.

Parents are required fill out an allergy history form. Also, staff members trained in emergency response are designated to help students with an allergic reaction.

 

Contact:
Email: ktrainor@wjinc.com

Reader Comments

3 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Krista from Oak Park  

Posted: May 30th, 2013 10:33 AM

This is great news. I wish District 97 would consider a similar policy. The problem with with a policy anything short of a nut free school requires the teacher/lunchroom assistant to be the gatekeeper. Bravo, St. Giles.

Preschool parent  

Posted: May 29th, 2013 4:05 PM

Thanks, Joan, for your insight. I think a lot of us coming from the other direction on this worry about schools being too involved. It's one thing to work with families to create a special plan for their child. It's another to try to come up with rules or guidelines for everybody including kids without allergies. It's not the schools job to create a safe zone of protection. That's up to the parents to figure out if their child can navigate a normal school day with their allergy.

Joan Callahan from Chicago  

Posted: May 29th, 2013 3:47 PM

I am a school nurse and work with this issue every day. Nut Free is impossible, a misnomer, and may be a legal liabilty. The better direction is "Food Allergy Aware" and work to educate the community. Nut Free gives a false sense of security. It will be impossible to screen every lunch or food item brought to school. Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) has an excellent school resource for designing food safety policy.

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