by Graham O.
OES recently modified its nut policy, going from “Nut-free” to “Allergy-aware.” But what exactly does allergy-aware mean? I decided to interview Elaine Elliott, our school nurse, and find out. “The nut-free title had to go. It was very misleading. I went to allergy aware because I thought it was more comprehensive. The policy still says ‘no nuts on campus.’”
Unfortunately, OES doesn’t have peanut-sniffing aardvarks patrolling campus (why are we not funding this?), which means that students actually CAN sneak nuts into school. “We were never actually nut free. The ‘nut-free’ title gave the misconception that we actually policed peoples bags and backpacks,” says Elaine, explaining why the change was a more accurate reflection of what was really going on at OES.
The policy change has been under development since August. It took place just a few weeks ago after going through many intensive levels of scrutiny and was discussed at the highest level of OES faculty and staff. “The nut-free policy was written about 15 years ago, but, as with anything, the wording had to change to provide clarity.”
If this is the first time you’ve heard of this change, that’s because it wasn’t presented to students. “It wasn’t presented to students because there wasn’t a change in policy,” said Elaine. “I changed the wording so that it more accurately reflected what we were actually doing, because anybody who thought we were completely nut free was misinformed.”
An important note is that students are still not allowed to bring nuts onto campus. However, OES wasn’t living up to its promise when it guaranteed parents that there would be absolutely no nuts, because students can bring nuts to school pretty easily, but nuts will never be served in the dining hall, because that’s something that OES can control and regulate.
For the lazy readers: the policy change isn’t really a policy change, and you still can’t bring nuts to school. You don’t have to worry about the secret Nut Police kicking down your door at 4 AM to relieve you of your contraband, but seriously, don’t bring nuts to school.