Irene Ivanyk was confused when her six-year-old daughter came home from school suffocating – but later found out that her daughter had been in contact with a dog who had been adopted by the school despite her severe animal allergy
Photo: Irena Ivanyk)
A mother and father say they have become furious after their daughter’s school refused to part with her dog despite allergic concerns.
Parents Mark Gordon, 53, and Irena Ivanyk, 44, have quarreled with The Mead School to remove the pet for their daughter, Yana’s health.
The six-year-old was diagnosed with a severe allergy to animal hair after having unexplained allergic reactions.
The parents say they have had no choice but to homeschool their child – and have been doing so since 16 September.
Irene said: “We just did not realize that this was an allergic reaction to animals in the beginning.
“She started getting something resembling a virus and it just kept happening, we couldn’t understand why.”
But Irena’s confusion became apparent when she attended Yana’s parenting night.
After walking through the corridors of the school, she encountered the school dog and immediately became concerned.
She maintains that she had not been informed of the school’s decision to introduce a dog – although she has confirmed from her GP about her daughter’s allergic reactions to dogs and cats.
The night Irena started teaching her daughter at home, she claims that Yana became very ill and started “suffocating and getting suffocated”.
The parents insist that it was clear that the reaction was the same symptoms that were present when she had previously been diagnosed with the allergy.
Now Yana has to stay on an inhaler for another four months.
Irena said: “It was very hard for me to look at and it was just so hard for the whole family, we were so stressed and worried”.
In the school’s response to the parents, they said they had made plans to reduce the chance that Yana and Mitzi were in the same room at once.
They also insist that all children should disinfect their hands after coming into contact with Mitzi and they will require Yana to bring all necessary medicine to school.
However, Irena insists that it is still not safe for her daughter to return before the dog is removed from the school grounds.
She said: “Her airways become inflamed when she is around animals, so until the dog is removed, it is not safe for her.”
“I do not want my daughter to be addicted to an inhaler for the rest of her life.”
A spokesman for The Mead School said: “I’m afraid we’re not able to comment on ongoing parenting talks.
“But The Mead is committed to providing a safe, happy and enriching educational experience for all of its students, and we are working with the family to resolve this issue.”
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