Petition takes aim at food allergy policy
SV board hears from student
April 15, 2013
JACKSON TWP — A student Monday night presented the Seneca Valley School Board with a petition signed by 500 students urging the district to reconsider its food allergy policy. Kristen Welsh, the daughter of school board member James Welsh, told board members that students “don’t always need rules to act responsibly.” The board last year passed the new food allergy policy to protect students. It bans most snacks and foods from being eaten in school. Welsh said that students are even getting in trouble for having water bottles or snacks that are on a “safety snack list.” Such a policy prohibits students from curbing their hunger despite the fact that some haven’t eaten for five or six hours. “In pursuit of safety, you’ve forgotten common sense,” she said. Superintendent Tracy Vitale responded to Welsh’s comments and said the board pored over the details of the policy before enacting it. It was not a “policy enacted overnight,” she said, and instead took months of readings and alterations before being passed. “I certainly understand your perspective, but we have to look after 1,200 students here,” she said. Regardless, Vitale thanked the student for having the courage to speak to the board.