Mother Wants Oak Trees Removed at School Because of Allergy Threat
The mother of two kids going to St. Stephen Catholic elementary school in Vaughan has an unusual request of the city, but she swears it's all in an effort to provide a safe environment for children.
Donna Giustizia wants all the oak trees removed near the school because she believes the acorns from those trees pose a deadly threat to her two children. They have severe tree-nut allergies and while the school is nut-free, she thinks the acorns from the oak trees also pose a threat.
She told Vaughan's committee of the whole, "Many of the students unfortunately mistake the acorns for hazelnuts as they look similar. I implore council to consider the mental well-being of these children and the cruel and unusual environment we would be subjecting these students to if we do not relocate these trees, not to mention the fear that could arise should these acorns eventually be used as bullying tactics."
The Star quotes medical authorities as saying they are unaware of any cases of anaphylactic allergic reaction to acorns and if it were to occur it would only be if the child were forced to eat acorns, which are very bitter.
It's worth noting that Donna Giustizia has received awards for her work in helping Canadians diagnosed with anaphylaxis. In fact Vaughan City council gave her the Civic Hero Award in 2010.
Vaughan council requested a report to be presented at the next meeting, on Nov. 20.
(Partial files by D. Agar)