Ottawa daycare suspends 2-year-old over cheese sandwich

Shereen Dindar
Contributing Writer
Shine On
An Ottawa-area daycare suspended a child for bringing a cheese sandwich to the facility earlier this week. (Thinkstock)

By now you've probably heard about overzealous zero-tolerance policies at North American schools and daycares that have led to kids being suspended for everything from pointing their finger like a gun to dyeing their hair to playing with an imaginary grenade.

But now it appears, the most recent threat to children comes in the form of a contraband cheese sandwich.

An Ottawa father is speaking out against a strict "no outside food" policy at his daughter's daycare that led to her being suspended for three days, reports CBC.

Randy Murray claims it was an accident when his 2-year-old daughter Faith carried a processed cheese sandwich inside a plastic bag into the Centre de l'enfant aux 4 Vents on Monday.

Murray says he thought Faith had eaten the sandwich in the car, but instead she had tucked it in her pocket.

Faith was immediately spotted by an employee who told Murray that his daughter had to leave, but that his 4-year-old son could stay.

Also see: Mother fined for not including Ritz crackers in child's lunch

"I thought they were joking, actually," Murray says. "I was like 'Why would I bring one kid home and be home from doing work... I'd bring them both home and that's the end of that."

The daycare has a policy that requires a three-day suspension for any child who brings in outside food due to the possibility that it could trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction in other children. If the food contains peanuts, the child is expelled.

"We do have children with multiple allergies and the parents are more than happy that we have all these things in place to protect the children," explains daycare director Deb Ducharme.

Also see: Foods that contain a surprising amount of sugar

Ducharme says that parents sign the policy when they join the daycare and that there is a French notice on the entrance door explaining the policy. The policy was also outlined in both official languages in their January newsletter, reports the Ottawa Sun.

Nevertheless, Murray is considering pulling his kids from the daycare as a matter of principle.

What are your thoughts on this incident? Should the daycare have made an exception and let Faith stay? Sound off in the comments below.