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Due to two students' latex allergy

October 20, 2014 Citizens Watchdog

I arrived at the Harbor Springs High School, earlier this month, to do my regular lap swim atthe community pool, and was startled by this new sign at an entrance door:


“Latex safe”?

Rubber bands are a tried-and-true school staple, as are balloons, if you consider how often they are used during high school graduations, holidays, birthdays, and proms.

Well, color me behind the times. Apparently, some American public schools have been instituting this policy to accommodate those students or staff who are have an allergic reaction to the natural rubber in latex products.

I reached out to the principal of Harbor, Susan Jacobs, to learn more about the ban, since I own rubber-laden pool paraphernalia—swim caps and goggles. I wondered to her if these products, also, would not make the cut one of these days. Are those who use the facilities on the weekend, when no students are typically around, going to have to go silicone?

According to the American Latex Allergy Association “some latex-allergic individuals may react to chlorine and/or latex proteins released from swimsuits and pool items due to chlorine.”

Ms. Jacobs responded to my query in an email: “We have not included the pool area at this time because neither of our allergy students are [sic] in PE. If this does present a problem the current restrictions would be reviewed.”

Neither of our allergy students? Whoa. Is it only behind-the-times me, or is it a bit draconian to accommodate two people (in a student body of over 300) to this degree without explaining (I saw nothing on the web site) why the rest of us have to immediately adapt to the new status quo?

In the meantime, I continue to wait to hear from Superintendent Mark Tompkins (who seems to be in no hurry to respond to my questions) for a more detailed explanation regarding this new policy.


Views: 50

Comment by Peggy McClain on October 26, 2014 at 1:23pm
I assume then that the school nurse will not be distributing condoms?
Comment by Harry Mathews on October 26, 2014 at 3:17pm

Good point!


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