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Two-year-old suspended from daycare for bringing cheese sandwich

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Is that a cheese sandwich in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

CBC Ottawa reports that a two-year-old was issued a three-day suspension from daycare after she showed up with a cheese sandwich in her pocket.

The girl’s father, Randy Murray, explained that he gave each of his two children a cheese sandwich to eat in the car on the way to daycare after running late and leaving himself too little time to fix breakfast at home. Little did he know that his daughter Faith elected not to eat the sandwich in transit, instead slipping into her pocket for later consumption.

[Watch an interview with Randy Murray and others involved in this tale]

But as Murray was escorting the kids into Centre de l'Enfant aux 4 Vente daycare, a staff member espied the contraband and confiscated it in keeping with the policy that forbids outside food from being brought onto the premises.

But denying Faith breakfast was just the beginning. Murray was told that his daughter was on suspension for three days.

Deb Ducharme, director of the daycare, defends the policy, which states that (a) if outside food not containing peanuts is taken into the facility, the child automatically receives a mandatory three-day suspension, and (b) if the food does contains peanuts, the child is permanently expelled. (It’s easy to imagine an option “c,” where the child feeds food containing peanuts to another child, in which case she is executed on the spot.)

All kidding aside, the concern over peanuts has merit, though the "correction" for it seems a little extreme. But an automatic three-day timeout for bringing any food into the facility?

"We need to ensure their well-being and safety,” Ducharme argues. “Most parents are comfortable with our rules because it creates a safe environment for their children.”

And what does Murray say? He says he’s “speechless,” adding:

I wish they had handled it differently. 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. There's no logic to it. I'm going to the media because I think people have to speak up when something's fishy.

Murray says he’s planning to send Faith and her brother Michael to a different daycare facility.

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