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2-year-old suspended: Cheese sandwich yields suspension for Canadian 2-year-old

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A 2-year-old suspended from a Canadian daycare showed up munching on a cheese sandwich, violating the strict policy of “no outside food allowed.” Three days after Faith Murray brought the sandwich into the Centre de L’enfant daycare in Barrhaven, Ottawa, her dad was informed she was suspended.

According to Yahoo! Shine on Thursday, a 32-year-old dad “gave his two-year-old a cheese sandwich to eat before leaving for her daycare. He didn't realize she decided to keep it and tucked it away somewhere for later snacking.”

Here's the dad's explanation:

“Faith must have snuck a cheese sandwich into her pocket, into her hand, and nobody saw it, and went into the classroom,” the girl’s father, Randy Murray, told CBC News. “By the time she was two steps in one of the teachers saw it, handed it back to me and then the next thing you know, I'm told we're suspended.”

The daycare and school is charged with close to 150 students between 18 months and 12 years of age, many of whom have allergies to certain foods.

“We need to ensure their well-being and safety,” daycare director Deb Ducharme told the Ottawa Sun. “Most parents are comfortable with our rules because it creates a safe environment for their children.”

Ducharme said they have reminded parents of this “no outside food” mandate, one that many schools now practice, multiple times throughout the school year.

“We do have children with multiple allergies, and the parents are more than happy that we have all these things in place to protect the children,” the daycare director affirmed.

Randy says he understands the policy, and has abided by it, but that a suspension was “severe” and thinks the daycare should reevaluate its policy.

“I’m speechless. I wish they had handled it differently,” Murray told the Ottawa Sun.

“They freaked out. If I got a warning, I’d admit my mistake and move on. But it seems they want to penalize the parents,” Murray added. “There’s no logic to it. I’m going to the media because I think people have to speak up when something’s fishy.”

But the daycare rules clearly show that if you send the child to school with food (or fail to impress on your child that you cannot bring food in), you could be subject to a three day suspension.

According to the Babble.com article carried by Yahoo! Shine, the writer said:

Nothing's fishy, Mr. Murray. While suspension may seem extreme, the daycare has the policy in place likely because several children have severe food allergies. Know what can happen as a result? Death. Death isn't fishy or illogical. It's pretty clear cut.

What are your thoughts? Is the school being too harsh over what appears to be an accident or is the suspension serving as a wake up call to the importance of allergies?

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