Luckily for us, the State of West Virginia has put into place laws protecting our children in school. Unfortunately, not all school personnel are very familiar with them. Knowing these laws is very important for parents as they will help you to work with your schools to create safer environments.
WV state code §126-27-6.
This section addresses a child carrying their medication...
6.5.b. Self-administer prescribed emergency or acute medications, such as but not limited to epinephrine, insulin, asthma inhaler or ibuprofen when the prescription indicates that said student may maintain possession of the medication. The student must be able to bring the medication to school, carry the medication in a safe and responsible manner, and use the medication only as prescribed. At the discretion of county boards of education, high school students (not below grade 9) may be allowed to carry and
self-administer non-prescribed OTC medication with parent/guardian authorization, unless restricted by the administrator/principal.
Simply put, your child's medication can not be locked away and they MUST be permitted to keep it with them, as long as your doctor writes as such. The best thing to do is simply have the provider write *student must be permitted to self carry* in the comments section of your Administration of Medication form. This INCLUDES carrying on the bus. Some counties still refuse to train bus drivers on using it, but your child can NOT be told they can not carry it on the bus.
WV State Code, 126.86.5.
The section that is most often referenced for allergic children is the section on distribution of *other foods*....
Due to special dietary needs and food safety concerns, foods and beverages brought or delivered from outside sources may only be consumed by individual students for which they were brought or delivered, not by the general student population. Only a parent, guardian or family member may deliver outside foods and beverages to a child at school. Direct school deliveries of food and beverages by local vendors and restaurants are prohibited. Organized food events and celebrations held during the school day shall be regulated and monitored by school personnel to meet the requirements of this policy.
This means it is not permissible for parents to bring foods into the school or classroom to serve to other children. A parent can bring lunch or snacks for their own child, but can not for example bring cupcakes to a class for a birthday party, or bring snack bags in for Halloween.
In reference to events such as Halloween and Valentine's day, there is a section that also addresses candy specifcally.
No candy, soft drinks, chewing gum or flavored ice bars will be sold, served or distributed during the school day, except that, WVa State Code 128.2.6a permits the sale of soft drinks to students in county high schools except during breakfast and lunch periods.
Does this mean your school can not have parties? Of course not, it means they need to find fun, healthy and safe alternatives to serving unhealthy and potentially unsafe foods. We have plenty of suggestions!!!!
Go FOOD FREE!
You don’t have to have food to have fun! Children are excited to do anything different from the regular school day. With schools struggling to find time to incorporate art, music and gym into each day, party time is a great time to provide these educational, healthy and FUN activities. Ideas include:
Glow-in-the-dark dance party Minute-to-Win-It Contests Cup Stacking Contests
Karaoke Party Sidewalk Art Day Bubble Bonanza
Movie Day Hula Hoop Contests Mix and Match...use several ideas to create a fun, active day!
Gift bag items can include, small stickers, erasers, tattoos, mini glow sticks/bracelets, bouncy balls, and so on.
When using food in your parties, following these suggestions can keep everyone safe and healthy, as well as help keep your school following state policy.
-NO outside food.
All snacks should be prepared at the school. Volunteers are welcome, but all ingredients
should be purchased by the school and verified as safe for all students.
- Everyone is included.
All students should be served the same snack, therefore the snack should
be safe for all students, from allergy kids to diabetics. This may, at times, mean a certain classroom
needs a different snack from the rest of the school, but it should be similar in nature.
With the growing numbers of health issues among WV children, healthy options make the most sense.
Using fresh fruits and vegetables can also help make avoiding allergens easier. You might make
healthy part of the fun by letting your classes prepare their own snacks, such as assembling their own apple
chompers or banana ghosts for Halloween. Just be sure to choose a snack that is safe for all students.
It may not be easy to find something safe for all, but your snack is out there, we promise!!
If you need help, please contact us and let us help you find it!