2-Year-Old Suspended for Bringing Sandwich to Daycare in Canada

Friday, 14 Mar 2014 07:01 AM

By Michael Mullins

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A 2-year-old was suspended for bringing a cheese sandwich to a Canadian daycare center which has a zero-tolerance policy for bringing in outside food.

The suspension was issued Monday to 2-year-old Faith Murray, three days after she had brought the sandwich into the Centre de l’enfant aux 4 Vente in Barrhaven, Ottawa.

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"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 school, which has 148 children between 18 months old and 12 years of age, says there is a zero-tolerance policy because of the food allergies some children have.

"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 also pointed out that in the daycare's newsletter that went out in January, parents were reminded of the policy.

The 32-year-old father said that he felt the way in which the incident was handled was wrong and that the facility should rethink its policy overall.

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

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"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."

The school's heavy-handed reaction to a girl bringing in a cheese sandwich is reminiscent of the overreactions of U.S. school administers, who, in the wake of the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., suspended children if they in any way pretended to play with a fake gun, such as by making Pop-Tarts in the shapes of a pistol or making a hand gesture in the shape of a gun.

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