(EDGEWATER, Fla.) -- A Florida elementary school is at the center of a controversy as parents of first-graders there are protesting the accommodations that have been made for a student with a potentially life-threatening nut allergy.
The student, a six-year-old girl, is severely allergic to peanuts. She can't come in contact with the nut, nor ingest it. In response to her condition, the Edgewater school has taken precautions to protect her by having her classmates wash their hands, rinse their mouths and clean their desks with disinfectant.
Parents of the girl's classmates argue that the precautions being made are taking time away from their children's studies and are calling for the girl to be home-schooled. But the school district says federal law requires the student to be accommodated.
"Students who have disabilities, and this is considered a disability it's a health impairment that is life threatening, must have accommodations in place to make sure they can have a free and appropriate public education," says Volusia County schools spokeswoman Nancy Wait.
Wait says the students will no longer be required to rinse out their mouths but says all other procedures are part of the federal Disabilities Act.
"Our district and school administrators are meeting with the parents who are upset to address their concerns, to clear up any misinformation and to clarify exactly what the procedures are that their children will be doing in the classroom," she says.
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