A mom and dad are refusing to send their daughter back to school until they get rid of the school dog.
Six-year-old Yana Ivanik is in Year 2 at The Mead School in Tunbridge Wales and is allergic to animal hair.
Her parents, 53-year-old Mark Gordon and 44-year-old Irena Ivanik, have asked for the pet to be removed from school, as it is seriously affecting their daughter’s health.
Since September 16, Yana’s mother, a property developer, has home-schooled her.
talking to cantlive, Irena said: “We didn’t know at the beginning that it was an allergic reaction to animals”, but she suspected for a while that something was wrong with her daughter’s health.
“She started having something like a virus and it just kept happening, we couldn’t understand why. She was at home a lot of the time because she was unwell, but it kept happening again and again.”
When Irena attended the parents’ evening at school, she saw a dog named Mitzi in a nearby classroom and became concerned.
She says she was not told earlier that there is a dog in the school.
KentLive saw a letter from a GP who confirmed that Yana suffers from allergies to dogs and cats and will be on the inhaler for the next four months.
Yana’s parents told how, on the night of 16 September, Yana began to “suffocate and suffocate” and became very ill.
He said it was “absolutely clear” that the symptoms he presented were the same as those he had previously suffered when diagnosed with allergies.
“It was so hard for me to watch, and it was so hard for the whole family, we were so stressed and worried,” Irena said.
While Yana has avoided direct contact with the dog during the day, tiny dog hairs that wind up can potentially trigger her symptoms. Because of this his parents decided to keep him away from school while the dog is still there.
Irena said that her daughter does not understand why she is being kept from school.
“I’m forcing her to go to school, but it’s not about me, she’s missing out with the other kids so badly.
“I don’t have the words to explain to her why she can’t go back,” she said.
The school responds to the parents, planning to minimize the risk of contact between Yana and Mitzi.
The plan involved getting the kids to clean their hands after touching Mitzi and making sure Yana had the medicine she needed at school.
However, Yana’s parents do not think that their daughter will be safe at school until the dog is removed.
“I don’t want my daughter to be dependent on an inhaler for the rest of her life,” Irena said.
“She loves to read and really loves being a part of the school, she loves being around other kids.
“Her airways swell when she is around animals, so unless the dog is removed, it is not safe for her.”
Speaking to CantLive, a spokesperson for The Mead School said: “I am afraid we are unable to comment on the ongoing parent-child conversation.
“However, The Mead is committed to providing a safe, happy and enriching educational experience for all of our students and we are working with the family to resolve this matter.”
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