Allergy Policy Introduced

Due to major food allergy concerns, teachers can’t hand out candy  anymore. Students are upset.
By Daniel O’Malley and Larissa Crater
Informer Staff  

     To help protect students with severe allergies, the administration has just implemented a new policy banning teachers from handing out food during class, a decision that has angered many students. Dean of Students Mr. Shank said that the reason for the ban is: “There are students in the building with severe food allergies. It gives us a huge risk to students if teachers hand out pieces of candy or food.” Students are irked about the ban, which means they will no longer get candy from teachers as an academic reward. Teachers may hand out non-edible items, instead.
     “I understand [the reasoning behind the policy], but I think it’s unfair,” senior Cameron Foster said. “It stinks that kids who use candy as a motivator lose motivation to do well,” junior Robby Williamson said. “If a kid has [food allergies], they should know not to take candy.
      However, at least one student is okay with the ban. “I’m totally fine with it,” junior Leo Kates said, “especially because it makes the environment safer for students. Sacrificing a Starburst is not a big deal when making the school a safer place.”
        Director of College Guidance Mr. Hoffman, who had a “legendary” candy jar in his office for seniors to enjoy, said he understands why the change was made. “I think student health and safety is of the utmost importance.”

       24 STUDENTS WITH FOOD ALLERGIES: There are 24 students at Woodlynde with food allergies, according to a school official. To help prevent allergic reactions, all students will be asked to wipe their hands and their desk after snacking in class. Mr. Shank said that the policy covers all food, not just food with nuts. “Not everyone knows what ingredients are in what foods, so therefore you run the risk of handing out the wrong food to the kid who has the allergies, so it’s better to not give out food all together.” There has been some discussion on whether the new rule preventing teachers from rewarding students with candy will hurt some students’ motivation to do well in class.
     “Honestly, I think it will change in a way for some students, and Woodlynde students like candy and it is a good motivator,” Mr. Hoffman said. “Teachers are going to have to find different motivators.” Students and teachers may be unhappy with the decision, but Mr. Shank pointed out that, “in public school, most teachers don’t give kids any food.”

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Woodlynde School is a private, co-ed college prep day school located in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that serves intelligent, talented students with learning differences in grades K - 12. Woodlynde provides a comprehensive, evidence-based Kindergartenelementarymiddle and high school program in a challenging yet nurturing environment for students with average to above average cognitive abilities (IQ) who have language- or math-based learning differences (such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia or Dyscalculia), Executive Function Challenges, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Auditory Processing Disorder. Even for those students without a diagnosed learning disability (LD), Woodlynde offers expert and caring teachers in small classroom settings that support academic success. Woodlynde School also offers a post-graduate (PG) program in partnership with Rosemont College as well as a regional Summer Camp for students who learn differently.