House Bill 231, also known as the Allison Rose Act, has passed within both chambers of the General Assembly and is headed to the governor’s desk. The bill, which was introduced by Ohio State Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake), encourages school districts, community schools and STEM schools to create food allergy training for staff members and students.
This bill is named in recognition of Allison Rose Suhy, who passed away in 2017 at age 18. Allison was a freshman at Ohio University when she suffered an anaphylactic reaction due to a peanut allergy after eating a donut.
“We are extremely honored and proud that the General Assembly has overwhelmingly passed the Allison Rose Act, and thankful to all the State Representatives and Senators for their belief in and support of food allergy education,” said Allison’s father Michael Suhy, co-founder of the Allison Rose Foundation. “It has always been our goal to prevent another family from experiencing a tragedy like ours, and with both the Bill and more mainstreamed food allergy education in schools, we are confident this will help save lives.”
House Bill 231 works to remedy the concerns of food allergies by encouraging in-service training for students and staff members at public grade schools. The training helps individuals identify and respond to someone experiencing an allergic reaction; simultaneously, it would also qualify as a professional development activity for the renewal of educator licenses.
Additionally, the bill includes age-appropriate instruction for K-12 students on these allergies and how to assist those suffering from a reaction. Further, it requires the Ohio Department of Education to compile an annual list of organizations to offer free EpiPens to qualifying school districts.
Greenspan notes the bill does not create additional taxpayer-funded programs, rather it increases awareness about existing private programs and pushes for the implementation of allergy safety training within Ohio schools.
“Today, I am grateful to (Ohio Senate) President Obhof and the Ohio Senate for passing the bill and sending it to the governor’s desk,” Greenspan said in a release.