Greenfield schools’ new food allergy policy is raising confusion

This school policy was created to protect students who are allergic to certain ingredients like nuts and gluten

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – No more passing out brownies and cookies in class.

Greenfield Public Schools are forbidding students from bringing in any food into the classroom without pre-approval.

“It does kind of stink its nice to celebrate your birthday with your class,” said Olivia Guilbert of Springfield. “When I was a kid, we used to bring in cookies and share them with everybody.”

This school policy was created to protect students who are allergic to certain ingredients, like gluten and nuts. Oftentimes, teachers and students don’t know the ingredients in food, before it’s shared in class.

“They are responsible for caring for all these kids in a day,” said Eric Winter of Greenfield. “They just don’t want to upset parents with allergens and stuff.”

This policy was approved by the School Committee in May. It bans students from bringing in baked goods for special occasions like birthdays. The school committee is revisiting their policy now because of recent confusion expressed by parents on what their child can and cannot bring in.

“Does it mean students can’t bring in their own lunches? No it doesn’t. Basically there just needs to be controls on what foods are in the classroom and to make sure its safe for everyone and everyone can participate,” said Tim Farrell, Member of the Greenfield School Committee.

Farrell 22News food can still be brought into the classroom for curriculum purposes, but it must first be approved by the teacher, school nurse, and principal.

The Greenfield Public School District is working on setting further guidelines to help better explain the policy to families.