Violet and Zoe Michener were extremely sunburned from a field trip at school because the school district has banned sunscreen because it’s state law.
A law that exists because of the additives in sunscreens can cause an allergic reaction in children, and sunscreens are regulated by the FDA as an over-the-counter drug.
Dan Voelpel, Tacoma School District Spokesman said, “You have to really monitor that.”
Tacoma School District isn’t the only school to ban sunscreen, many other schools across the country, have the same ban on sunscreen without a doctor’s note over fear of causing reactions in other children.
Jesse Michener, the mother of the two girls discovered that the sunscreen ban exists in 49 states nationwide; California is the only state to allow sunscreen in school without a doctor’s note.
To make matters worse, Violet, 11-years old and Zoe, 9-years old both have a documented form of Albinism and associated 504 plan, in which the teachers and staff are aware of their extreme sensitivity to the sun. Their mother did not apply sunscreen to them before they left for school because it was raining, but even if she did, doctors recommend reapplying sunscreen every 2-3 hours.
Jesse Michener, wrote in a blog post, “Not only does a parent have to take an unrealistic (an un-intuitive) step by visiting a doctor for a ‘prescription’ for an over-the-counter product, children are not allowed to carry it on their person and apply as needed. Had my children gone to school slathered in sunscreen (which they did not, it was raining), by noon – when the sun came out – they would have needed to reapply anyway.”
The Tacoma school district has apologized to the Michener family, and said a new policy will be revised in October to allow more leeway for districts to decide what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to applying sunscreen at school.
There are concerns as to why the mother didn’t apply sunscreen known their skin condition and having a field trip that day whether it was raining or not that morning. On the mothers blog, comments like one from Daniel state this concern. Daniel says, “I am very sorry that your kids got very bad sun burns yesterday. However, I find it interesting that YOU and ZOE are aware of her skin condition, yet, knowing that she was going on a field trip you neglected to apply any sunscreen, and you have failed to in the past get the doctors note for the prescription (I do understand the costs associated with this) so that Zoe can apply sunscreen herself at school. While I agree the policy needs to be changed/updated, don’t go blaming the school district for YOUR lack of preparedness (prescription for sunscreen) and lack of action(apply sunscreen in the AM, and give her a hat, and a shirt that will cover her shoulders) for Zoe’s sunburns.
Others are sticking up for the mother saying that she’s darned if she does and darned if she doesn’t. For instance, LRH says, “Shame on those of you blaming the mother. That is what is wrong with society, people blaming parents for everything. I didn’t even have to read this (but I did) before it occurred to me–had the parent applied the sunscreen ahead of time, it would’ve worn off by the time of the trip anyway. As for alternative clothing, what if the child lost it? Or, even more likely, what if she had put it on? You know what would’ve happened? Some of you meddling goody-two-shoes types would’ve been screaming ‘look at that poor child, it’s 95′F out here and her stupid mother made her wear that hot shirt! Poor child is probably burning up in that thing.’ She’s darned if she does one thing, and darned still if she does the other one–thanks to goody-two-shoes such as those of you criticizing her and standing up for stupid insurance company butt-kissing policies. Screw the stupid policies. A policy that says you can’t apply sunscreen to a child is stupid–and yes, I’m including the possibility allergies could exist. And quit blaming parents for being, at worst, human.”
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School Sunscreen Ban
Sunscreen Banned at School