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Should the Children be Protected as a Standard Practice
Missouri Kids Health Analysis
DESE changed the meaning of healthy building practices and provisions for sensitive populations in their recommendations not as a standard practice to protect all children who are the sensitive population or with consideration for promotion of working collectively as a school community for health concerns but according to legal requirements that must be enforced.
Compare to the original wording in the Illinois document that DESE was so intent on immolating.
On page 28 under Sensitive Populations the Illinois document DESE was immolating stated
“Identify those building occupants with individual medical needs and health sensitivities such as those with illnesses, allergies, or compromised immune systems, or women who are pregnant or nursing babies. Develop a plan to address the individual needs of people with sensitivities”.http://www.standingupforillinois.org/uploads/GreenCleanFinalGuidelines.pdf
Here’s DESE’s changed version for Missouri that was submitted and approved by the Board of Education on January 16, 2009: "Respond to those building occupants with individual medical needs and health sensitivities such as those with illnesses, allergies, or compromised immune systems or women who are pregnant or nursing babies and who request accommodation pursuant to law."
Missouri Kids Health Coalition Comment: We think they missed the boat
The laws they are referring to are related to IDEA and 504 (disability laws). Now how many pregnant and breastfeeding women qualify as disabled and are able to request accommodations? Also this tells us that protection and safety is only recommended after injury is so substantial that it meets disability law requirements.
We think this convoluted the whole reason to go “green”. Schools should provide a healthy environment for the children who are the sensitive population – hence women who are pregnant and breast feeding as well. It should also provide encouragement to listen to people with health concerns and working together to provide a healthier environment.
Note: During the December 17, 2008 meeting there was a committee member representing the Missouri School Administrator's organization who had a problem with designating the children as the sensitive population. Here's what she had to say “Some will argue that the guidance creates an inference, coming from a state agency, that additional protections should be afforded to all students due to the designation of “sensitive populations”. School districts are not equipped to handle these requests. I hesitate to give the impression that rights or accommodations will be extended beyond those currently required by law. There were several emails exchanged discussing this topic. To examine how this change was decided/determined, letters shared among committee members will be provided here for review and educational purposes. (Soon to come)...
Also, check out the authoritative version of the sensitive population and protections that should be afforded to this group by Philip Landrigan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
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