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Celiac.com 09/13/2017 - Facing charges that it forced a young boy with gluten-intolerance to eat outside in the rain, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has issued an official statement in which it denies violating any laws or mistreating an 11-year old Maryland boy with a food allergy, while he was eating in Shields Tavern with a school group in May, according to a filing Monday in U.S. District Court. The lawsuit, filed by a Maryland family, alleges that Colonial Williamsburg violated federal and state law by discriminating against the boy, referred to as J.D. in court documents, by not allowing him to eat his food inside Shields Tavern May 11. The suit further contends that the boy was forced to eat alone in the rain. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation claims that staff informed the boy's school no outside food is permitted in its taverns. They also claim that Shields Tavern offered to accommodate J.D. by preparing a gluten-free meal for him, and that the school had in fact ordered gluten-free meals ahead of J.D.'s visit to Colonial Williamsburg. The foundation contends that the incident occurred only after J.D.'s father refused the tavern's gluten-free offering, and chose to eat his own food, in violation of Williamsburg's rules. The foundation also stated that they never asked the family to leave the tavern, but that they chose to leave and eat outside. The Foundation claims that the tavern's head chef is trained to prepare gluten-free meals, that Shields Tavern routinely prepares gluten-free meals for guests, and that they did so for the J.D. In a statement, the family's attorney, Mary Vargas, said Colonial Williamsburg's response to the lawsuit falls short. "Colonial Williamsburg's Answer does not accurately portray the facts or the manner in which this child and his family were treated before, during, or after his exclusion from Shields Tavern and is internally inconsistent in multiple respects," Vargas said in an emailed statement. "Ultimately, a jury will have to decide whether sending a child out in the rain because of his disability is what the Americans with Disabilities Act requires." So, did Colonial Williamsburg wrongly force a gluten-free kid to eat outside in the rain? Or did they accommodate the child with gluten-free food only to be rebuffed by the boys father? Sounds like we'll need to wait for more news from the lawsuit before we have a good answer to that question. Stay tuned. Read more at: vagazette.com
DS was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 12 months and is now a healthy, gluten-free 5-year-old in kindergarten at our local public school. We do not have a formal 504 in place, just verbal understandings with his teachers, the school nurse, and the district's head dietitian. He brown-bags it every day for lunch, but is allowed to get gluten-free items like milk and fresh fruit from the cafeteria. I specifically addressed the issues of Play-Doh (I prefer he never use it because I am worried it will get under his nails and find its way to his mouth) and papier-mâché (which they say they never use). I did not, however, think to address the issue of ice cream cone crafts. Apparently this week the kindergarten class made a Christmas craft by covering a sugar cone with green icing and sticking little candies all over it. On Friday they brought home their creations. I am hopping mad that (without DH and I being consulted or notified) they had DS make a delicious treat that every OTHER kid can eat, but he can't. DS says he did wash his hands afterward (apparently all the kids did, as you can imagine how messy this project was), so he wasn't put particularly at risk. (This is a kid who would NEVER risk eating wheat in a million years... one of the advantages of being diagnosed so young. So there was no real risk of him sneaking a taste.) I am mad because to me it just seems insensitive, even cruel. Especially when they make gluten-free sugar cones. On the other hand, DS does not seem bothered at all. He just enjoyed making the craft (he loves all art projects) and he is actually as excited to watch his (non-celiac) big brother eat the treat as any other kid would be to eat it themself! Am I overreacting here? I feel like this is a sign that this informal verbal understanding is not enough and we need a formal, written 504. But is it really as big a deal as I think it is? What do you all think?
Has anyone here ever been discriminated against for being gluten free. I feel as though everywhere I go whenever I mention my problem I sometimes get the rolling eyes in the back of the head treatment. I was even recently denied being able to bring in my own food to an event at an A's baseball game. Is this even legal? I am just disgusted and to the point where if someone says the wrong thing to me again and associates my disease with being a wimp it's going to take a lot not to deck them out.