At earlier board meetings, parents who spoke in support of the proposed policy said having the wrong food in a classroom could be a matter of life and death to their children, and Maxon-Kennelly, the Policy Committee's chairwoman, previously said the last revision to the policy was in 2004 and that changes are needed because of a request from the school district's Central Office, state legislation, parental concerns and legal obligations, according to minutes of previous meetings.
ATTENTION CT FOOD ALLERGY FAMILIES - URGENT CALL TO ACTION!!! As many of you know, I and a few others have been working over the past three years for new and improved legislation to protect the health, safety and inclusion of our food allergic children in CT schools. Most recently, I served on the State Food Allergy Task Force charged with studying these issues, writing a report and submitting recommendations to the Public Health and Education Committees.It is NOW TIME for YOU to ACT. On Wednesday, the Education Committee raised bill # 7200 An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Task Force on Life-Threatening Allergies in School. They have scheduled a public hearing on the bill for this coming Monday, March 6th in Hartford at the Legislative Office Building. WE NEED YOU THERE TO TESTIFY!!! We also need you to submit WRITTEN TESTIMONY BEFORE THE HEARING!!!The bill is a work in progress and a far cry from representing the actual recommendations of the Task Force. We need to make our collective voices heard once and for all and direct this legislature to take a firm position and put forward legislation that will ensure existing federal laws are enforced, that there will be oversight and accountability, that our kids will have the equal and safe access to their schools and the educational experiences that they are rightfully afforded under federal laws, such as Section 504, ADAAA, USDA and Child Find. The Education Committee would like to see much of the public testimony PRIOR to Monday's hearing. It is also very beneficial to also come and speak in person at the hearing. They need to SEE us - to see this is important to us and that WE ARE MANY and WE ARE INFORMED and ENGAGED. This is our chance folks.... many of us have had awful experiences dealing with our schools or our districts or other families....if not overall at least in one area like exclusion from before or after school programs, no access or unsafe access to school bus transportation or school lunch program, bullying,being denied a 504 plan, being denied the right for your child to carry their epinephrine, being excluded from class curriculum or parties because they involve food. WE HAVE LIKELY ALL EXPERIENCED SOME OR EVEN ALL OF THESE ISSUES. The legislators on the committee and YOUR legislators from your district need to hear from you. We are there constituents and they must hear our needs and our call for them to ACT. Here is a link to the bill as it currently reads (it will not stay this way)... https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/TOB/h/2017HB-07200-R00-HB.htmso in your written or verbal testimony thank them for raising this bill but tell them you want to see either the full list of recommendations from the task force implemented (and explain why they are important) or pull out specific areas of importance to your family and share your experiences.If you are afraid to go public (out of fear of retaliation), you can testify without having your name said or face shown, and you can submit written testimony anonymously (but if you do so, please state that you are submitting anonymously because of that fear, and be sure to send it from a dummy email address that does not identify you as this becomes part of the public record.Here is a link to the Task Force Final Report. https://www.cga.ct.gov/…/Life%20Threatening%20Food%20Allerg…It is long and you don't need to read the whole thing but it is important to read the recommendations the task force put forward (which can be found up front) as this is what we are advocating for. We know we will not get everything detailed in this comprehensive list but we need to aim high and explain why each of these is important to the health, safety, social emotional well being and inclusion of our food allergic students. And again, remind the legislators of exisitng laws that need to be enforced.Again, lets get these testimonies in to the Education Committee prior to the hearing if we can so they have an understanding of the complex and pervasive nature of these issues and what matters most to us and our children. KEEP IN MIND - EVERY OTHER STAKEHOLDER GROUP HAS LOBBYISTS, OR UNIONS OR AT LEAST ASSOCIATIONS, REPRESENTING THEM - THE SUPERINTENDENTS,THE BOARDS OF EDUCATION, THE NURSES, THE TEACHERS, THE BUS DRIVERS, ETC...OUR CHILDREN HAVE US AND ONLY US TO REPRESENT THEM....THIS OPPORTUNITY IS A LONG TIME COMING AND MAY NOT COME AGAIN.Finally, please spread the word. If you know anyone willing to testify on behalf of these issues please contact them ASAP. IT WOULD BE ESPECIALLY HELPFUL IF WE CAN GET MEDICAL EXPERT TESTIMONY IN FAVOR OF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS - THEY ARE IN LINE WITH WHAT IS RECOMMENDED BY ALL THE LEADING FOOD ALLERGY ORGANIZATIONS AND MEDICAL AUTHORITIES. THEY ARE ALSO BACKED UP BY RECENT RESOURCES PRESENTED BY THE OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS AND THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS. Here is a link to the Education Committee Website and also the Public Hearing Agenda. You need to sign up in advance that morning, to give oral testimony. You can reach out to the committee clerk for more information if you need it. It may be a long day so prepare for that. I understand this may involve taking time off from work, or arranging for childcare and that can be difficult but this could not be more important. They need to see many parents. And if you have older children with LTFA who may be wiling to testify themselves, having the legislators hear from students directly is invaluable. On the webpage you can find the link to submit testimony. just look up HB 7200.https://www.cga.ct.gov/ED/https://www.cga.ct.gov/…/eddata/pha/2017PHA00306-R001100ED-… Thank you and hope to see many of you in Hartford on Monday and to written your written testimony.WRITTEN TESTIMONY CAN BE EMAILED TO: email@example.com Be sure to reference House Bill 7200 specificallyAN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE TASK FORCE ON LIFE-THREATENING FOOD ALLERGIES IN SCHOOLS.
Connecticut task force report. I know this is LONG, but would really appreciate some input . . . Not exactly sure what impact this task force report wll truly have . . . yet
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