Some days I start shaking my head in disbelief, even before I get out of bed. We have a shortstop who thinks its funny to print an insult on his cheek patches, a mayor who wants to spent $300 K removing a bike lane on a downtown street so that car lovers will save 2 minutes on their morning commute, and a huge chunk of American voters who think the philosophy of Ayn Rand will save the Republic. In my city of Toronto, no longer run by an Orange Lodge clique, we have people who thought it was a great idea to put black students in separate schools. I thought that was an idea from another century. Now there is talk of having “gay-centric” schools — presumably to save our non-heterosexual children from being bullied.
Where on earth do all these dumb-ass ideas come from? If we want to isolate some children from the mainstream we should think about schools that are “allergy-centric”. Now that’s going to get a few knickers in a knot!
Just think about this. We know that anything containing nuts, especially peanuts, is forbidden in our schools. That’s because every school has someone with a nut allergy and even peanut breath can cause severe harm to that kid. My granddaughter goes to a school where there is at least one child who has a dairy allergy. Therefore, no milk, cheese or yogurt is allowed in the daily lunches of every other child. Thus, the majority of children are deprived of such nutritious foods as peanut butter or cheese sandwiches that may be washed down with milk. Does that make any sense to you? It doesn’t to me.
We are far better off when all races, orientations and creeds go to school together, play together, and know each other rather than segregate one another. Within a block of my house, in any direction, there are Europeans, South Asians, Asians, Africans, Americans, West Indians, even a few native borns. Scarborough Village is one heck of a neighbourhood where we are all pursuing the so-called American Dream (except we are doing it non-violently). Such is the beauty of living in one of the more diverse communities in the world.
So why can’t the kids with allergies have their own safe, secure and hypoallergenic refuge and let the rest of our children get on with their normal lives and eating habits?