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March 24th, 2011
09:36 AM ET

Parents picket girl with peanut allergy, ask her to withdraw from school

A student at Edgewater Elementary School in Volusia County, Florida is being asked to withdraw from the school by her classmates' parents.

The student has a life-threatening peanut allergy and, as a result, her classmates are asked to make accommodations to ensure her safety. Some parents of children at the school say the extra steps their children are taking to ensure the girl's health, such as washing their hands or rinsing out their mouths, are taking away from their own children's learning. Meanwhile, the school is standing by its decision to make accommodations for the student.

Do your kids have allergies? What's your take on the situation?

Jason Carroll reports on the controversy in Florida.

Dr. Scott Sicherer, Professor of Pediatrics at Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center, talks to Kiran Chetry about how to handle food allergies.


Filed under: Education • Food • Health
soundoff (808 Responses)
  1. gotallergies

    Mild allergies are one thing, but severe life-threatening allergies require more vigilance all-around. I for one have opted for home schooling due to the seriousness of the allergy. We have a home-school cooperative with several children suffering similar allergies (although not all to peanuts), which means everyone is accommodating of each other in group settings.

    March 28, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  2. SZ

    My whole school district went peanut free because of this issue. Not a big deal, the kids that have no allergies to peanuts can eat them at home. Not every meal needs to have peanut butter.

    March 28, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  3. Matt, Charlotte NC

    I think if I was the girl's parents, I would remove her from that school anyway. I wouldn't want my daughters life in the hands of these people who obviously don't understand or care very much.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  4. SLBushway

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. If this were my child I would look into every other option before asking the entire school district to change for one child. While everyone is entitled to a public education I'm positive that those who drafted the free education policy did not envision that a single child with a peanut allergy would turn the system on top of its head. In most states the school budget needs the citizens permission to pass – rather than picket – just vote no.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  5. Mary

    My kids attended a small public school and there were an amazIng number of children with life threatening nut allergies attending – probably 5% of the school population. The school had to declare a peanut free policy. It was no big deal. My own three children don't have peanut allergies, but both their father and I do. Peanut allergies are a bit different to manage than other food allergies. Peanuts are ubiquitous. They are oily. They get on little hands from cookies and sandwiches and get smeared around on chairs, desks, door handles where an allergic child can come into contact with them. They are aromatic so the smell ends up everywhere (and a few airbourne particles are enough to set off reactions in many people). Kids share their lunches without thought. Peanuts can be hidden in all kinds of things. It's just a no brainer to keep the peanuts at home. I don't understand why people make such a giant fuss about this idea. It's not like you can't pack other things as snacks and lunches!

    March 28, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  6. Noel Farkingweigh

    Funny how we all ignore natural selection. A deadly allergy, and any number of diseases, premature births, and other common causes of death that hubris and technology attempt to quell, are simply nature's way of culling the heard. So now peanut girl grows up to reproduce even more allergic spawn, further weaking the human gene pool.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  7. Dave

    I am color blind. Can you imagine my embarrasment in school when the teacher was so calus as to tell the class to get their green crayon out of the box and I couldn't tell which one that was! I had to read the color on the side of the crayon to find the green one. There was no special accomodations for me. I had to find my way in the world seeing only a scant few colors in a world full of colors! On the other hand, it would have been stupid for anyone to make special accomodations for one person at the detriment of the rest. I am sorry this yound lady has a potentionally life threatening allergy and I am sure she will learn to accomodate. Carry the epi-pen, be careful of what she touches and especially what she eats. She can wash her hands more often than her classmates too! When she grows up and gets a job, is the whole company going to be expected to accomodate her? I doubt it.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:36 am |
  8. whatupwitdat

    Shame on the parents of this little girl for puting her through all this and risking her very life. This girl should NOT be in a public school. I cannot believe that they are entrusting their daughters life to school administrators and a pack of kids. If my child could die from exposure to a common material she would be HOME SCHOOLED!!!

    March 28, 2011 at 9:35 am |
  9. shelia Pharess

    This child has a medical condition, she doesn't have the choice to be something different. According to Special Education law, no student shall be denied an educatuion for either a medical or developmental reason, and certainly not for the convenience of other students or their parents. Reminds me of when children with HIV were denied schooling, these parents don't even have to worry that their children may develop this condition. What's next, only blued eyed children allowed in school???

    March 28, 2011 at 9:34 am |
  10. Mrs. J

    I can see both sides of this argument. While it's easy to say these parents are selfish and aren't caring for another human being, I do feel that most of the responsibility to eat properly and be safe should fall on the girl herself and the teachers. Last year in my daughter's preschool class there was a little girl who was deathly allergic to peanuts AND eggs. So that meant no peanut butter and no mayonnaise. Where does it stop? As allergies continue to grow and people are deathly allergic to more and more food are we to accommodate everyone? Is it fair to keep the majority from having treats for valentines or christmas or birthday parties because of one or two individuals? That is what they didn't mention in this particular article that is really upsetting these parents that I read in another article elsewhere. Just questions to think about.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  11. BrennaLyons

    Of course, the parents asking for the child to be removed are ALSO being idiots. Ask the school to be reasonable. Don't exclude a child for the mistakes of adults.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  12. interestedparent

    A similar situation occurred at my daughter's school. My daughter, at the time was in 1st grade. She was outraged that she could not longer have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and began to boycott lunch completely. She felt like she was being "discriminated against because she loved peanut butter". She took her argument to the principal.

    Let me say, her friend was one with a severe peanut allergy and would never suggest her friend not attend school. Her concern was that her friend might be harmed if she didn't learn to manage her allergies.

    She wanted the school to focus on allergy education and cleanliness for everyone. She thought it would be safer for her friend to eat in a "peanut free zone" that can be cleaned more often with more supervision from teachers (an easy access to their epi-pens).

    Surprisingly, he agreed and change the rules in the cafeteria. This was three years ago and everyone is getting along great!

    March 28, 2011 at 9:26 am |
  13. alaskanpoet

    We in California suffer from the NIMBY curse
    But in this Florida town they have it much worse
    Parents picketing to get a little girl to leave
    What kind of images for their children to weave?
    The nation would be in outrage if this girl were Black
    Or Jewish or gay and subject to this kind of attack
    But because it's only a peanut life ending threat
    They can hound this girl without regret
    Over wanting their kids to wash their hands
    These parents must not understand
    School is not just about learning to read and write
    It is also about helping others and removing intolerance blight
    You do not from society cleanse those of imperfect health
    Any more than you would discard those of imperfect wealth
    No more NIMBYs and now no more NIMS!
    No more pruning tolerance and compassion from schoolyard limbs!

    March 28, 2011 at 9:26 am |
  14. Rick

    The girl should be home-schooled with their county public school teachers tutoring her in all essential subjects.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:26 am |
  15. ron proskey

    Sorry but this is part of our country's problem-catering to everyone. What happens when this girl graduates to high school? College? What happens when she gets a job? The whole world can't be expected to pay for one persons misfortune. She is going to have to learn to deal with this at an early age so she can protect herself for the rest of her life. Seriously, are we going to ban peanut products in all public places?

    March 28, 2011 at 9:21 am |
  16. YouKnowWho

    Allergies are considered a hidden disability and covered under the Americans with Disabilities act, stupidity is not. If you have a problem with the circumstances, ask to speak with school administrators – do not stand outside the school with picket signs. Yes, I understand why you feel this is an issue, but your issue has become not with the school but with this little girl.
    Remember, birthday treats, snacktime, school parties, etc add up to time taken away from school as well. Good handwashing is for your child's benefit as well as it will help to keep germs at bay.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:21 am |
  17. Lindsey

    Why aren't the picketing parents at work?

    March 28, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  18. BrennaLyons

    The school is being idiotic. I'm a teacher and deal with kids who have these type of life-threatening allergies...the type of kids that have an EpiPen in the nurse's office 24/7. I've dealt with kids with allergies to everything from peanuts to eggs to seafood, and we have a couple of common sense rules that have kept us from having any issues for years.

    Snacks with the affected items are not allowed for children in the same classroom, BECAUSE snacks are eaten in the classroom.

    Lunches with the affected items are allowed. Lunchboxes/bags must be kept in the cubbies/lockers. If the cubbies are in the classrooms, a simple wipe-down with an alcohol wipe or anitbac wipe before entering the classroom is enough. Keeping the lunches in the hall is stupidity.

    The same holds true for the children and teachers...coming in in the morning or after lunch. You do not have to do the wipe-down every time a child leaves the room, and it does not have to be a full hand washing. Ideally, the children should have both hands and face wiped with the wipes...just the twice a day.

    Teachers should avoid cooking activities that include food stuffs children are allergic to, whether or not the child can be segregated from it, because the molecules can be carried on clothing.

    The affected child's work space should be cleaned with antibac wipes every day, the lunch table said child uses (if he/she is even allowed to eat in the lunch room) should likewise be wiped, and the lunch table should be a free zone of whatever allergy the child has. Said table should be in the far corner of the room, where other children do not have to walk past the child in question, and IDEALLY (not always possible) in an area the child in question can get to without passing everyone else.

    Since the child in question is highly allergic, that child...that child only...should be required to wipe down bathroom door handles, sink handles, and toilet handles before touching them. Since some students will use bathrooms after eating what this one child is allergic to, it is the responsibility of that child/parents to safeguard the child when bathrooming.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:17 am |
  19. RTM

    I'm absolutely disgusted that any parent would object to limiting their child's access to peanut products because it could *kill* another child. Is it more important to ensure your child can have a PBJ sandwich than that another child can live? What the hell are you people thinking????

    March 28, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  20. Bella

    The picketing parents should be ashamed of themselves. If this was their child they would be the FIRST to demand their child's right to attend school. It is a shame that the picketing parents are disgustingly ignorant and missing a great opportunity to teach their children compassion, tolerance and care for other people. Every time they show themselves on tv and speak about how "their" children are suffering because they have to wash their hands and rinse their mouths they are showing the world just how pathetic and heartless they are. They deserve all the negative attention they are getting. Their kids should be banned from school for being delinquently ignorant. Scary that these children will be our future. Those parents need to wake up and get some humanity...quick! God forbid they have children with special needs when they have kids...THEN and only then will they understand how horrible they and their parents are being.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:11 am |
  21. Beth

    Obstetricians need to counsel their patients to not overindulge in peanut butter when pregnant. That is what causes the peanut allergy. Being pregnant is not a free pass to go hog-wild on whatever you want to eat. If pregnant women knew to eat a more balanced diet, there would not be peanut allergies and all the drama that goes with it.

    March 28, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  22. Baba Wawa

    Are we going to allow Medicare to step in and be joined by the FDA in condemning this young girl? No way. No how. As long as there is peanut butter in my veins I will not stand idly by and let this girl be abused by her classmates who are trying to murder here with the fabled poison of ancient peoples. Peanut butter brew is a witch trick. Watch out. That little girl may be onto something. You don't want your child washing their hands do you? Mind you. With these kinds of people it starts out innocent enough. Today peanut butter. Tomorrow who knows, ice cream or worse green beans. Yuck.

    March 28, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  23. Lunch Lady

    I am the sole cafeteria monitor of an elementary school with 800+ students, with aprox 225 kids seated at a time in each lunch bell . I have kids eating in the cafeteria who have SEVERE food allergies, including peanut, treenut, wheat, shellfish, fish, etc.. In our district, kids are NOT allowed to carry an epi-pen on them, but they are kept in the clinic. Stressful? You bet. But it's a big part of my job to keep the kids safe, and I'm glad to do it. I have to physically separate peanut butter eaters from the allergic kids all day long. You would be stunned at how many parents come in with cupcakes who roll their eyes at me and get visably annoyed at the 'inconvenience' when I ask them to bring the food to the clinic to check if any child in the class has a food allergy! Oh, and the school where I work has the highest percentage of seafood allergies in our district–but we still have at least one 'Fish and Shrimp' day each month. One of our teachers is highly allergic to shrimp, to the point that the oil from the shrimp causes a moderate reaction if she touches it. ALL of her students wash their hands with soap and water after lunch. Nobody has picketed us yet. If I was the parent of this little first grade girl, I would sue the parents organizing and/or participating in the picketing for the emotional abuse they are heaping on the child. If simply having children washing hands and keeping their lunch boxes in the hall is too great a problem for these parents, perhaps they should homeschool their own little darlings. If the kids are anything like the moron adults targeting the first grader, the shool would be better off without them. Kids learn a lot from observing how we conduct ourselves as adults. I hope someone intercedes and explains that this type of behaviour is bullying in an adult form.

    March 28, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  24. Debbie

    I think the parents in this interview who are concerned about their children losing "academic" time b/c they have to wash their hands- SOUND like they have lost some academic time when they were in school.

    How selfish are they!

    March 28, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  25. pat

    I feel bad for all involved, but something is confusing to me. Where did all of these "allergies" come from? Getting to the root cause of all this might prevent future generations from suffering. When I grew up, NO ONE had food allergies (or ADD or Autism for that matter). I remember everyone as being skinny too, but that's beside the point. Something has changed in our environment in the past 50 years. Why are so many kids growing up with these problems? All we are doing now is reacting to these problems. Treating the symptoms with drugs, isolation and avoidance. But no one is asking the big question...WHY?

    March 28, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  26. PracticalMom

    The parents of this child are way out of line for a whole lot of reasons. If this child is not taught how to protect herself (e.g., with an Epi-Pen, desensitization techniques, etc.), her quality of life both physically and psychologically will be incredibly bad.

    If the child's allergies really are that bad, it is NOT approrpiate for the school to have to take on what is truly an unreasonable risk to protect her; this is her PARENTS' responsibility.

    True story: Kid with supposed "incredible peanut allergy" was in my son's first grade class. We were going on a field trip to the zoo. Paretns showed up before the field trip with a 10 page typed instruction manual for those of us who would have that kid in our group. here's what I did...

    I handed the manual back to them and told them that one of them was going to call into work right now and would be attending this field trip with their son. We "room mothers" refused to take this on. We were not going to risk living with something happening to this child because his parents would not accompany him.

    Bottom line is that the accomodations asked for with the child above, and in the news story ARE NOT REASONABLE. There is no way an entire chool, or even a group of moms on a field trip can control microscopic particles that may or may not contain peanut material.

    Truthfully, I think the parents have a serious untreated anxiety disorder (or Munchausens by Proxy or somesuch) that they are passing down to their children, and CPS needs to take a looksee. It is absolutely nuts to expect to OTHERS control YOUR CHILD'S environment to this degree.

    If she truly is this ill (which I doubt), she needs to live in a hospital, like the "Boy in the Bubble." I would love to hear her physician's medical "take" on this whole thing...

    Oh, and the boy on the field trip; he is now in college and EATS PEANUTS AND PEANUT BUTTER....His "condition: mysteriously "disappeared" in high school, about the time he was out of the "clutches" of his crazy parents....Go figure...

    March 28, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  27. Witness

    We need to rethink – not halt – the integration of the handicapped into our schools. The guideline used by business in HR matters, "reasonable accommodation", needs to be followed.

    It is unreasonable and detrimental to the victim's self-esteem to have so many people so regularly imposed upon. Either the parents are exaggerating or the child needs to be in a virtual bubble or surrounded by people who will VOLUNTARILY follow the guidelines.

    The same problem exists on a larger scale with Special Ed students. With almost a third of Americans not even graduating high school, it is unreasonable to mainstream the most disruptive kids. It's a waste of money and costs others their education.

    US education is a mess and it's not the teachers. Partly, it is the homage paid to credentialism at the expense of common sense. The biggest problems are management, uncommitted parents, and the pols. Read today about Rhee's "achievements" in DC being exposed as a mirage.

    March 28, 2011 at 8:43 am |
  28. Jae

    I can see both sides here. I don't think the majority should have to make extreme accomodations for one student. Sorry, this kid is going to have to get through her life. As she matures, she and her family are the ones who are going to have to deal with her medical condition. Her college, her work plae environment, are not going to make changes for her. I agree that hand washing is no big deal so there must be more to this story. It may even be affecting what sort of food is provided in the school or some other thing. If this child's needs are simple I don't think that homeschooling is needed however there are probably some unreasonable demands being made to get these parents up in arms. Perhaps this kid's parents are the unreasonable party here.

    March 28, 2011 at 8:31 am |
  29. Siculari

    This just shows how stupid people are. You think people are smart? Think again. Here is your example here. Selfish parents and you wonder why so many kids grow up to be irresponsible adults

    March 28, 2011 at 8:22 am |
  30. frank

    My child likes pb&j. He takes it to school for luch. Someone else has a peanut alergy. Thats their problem, not my childs problem. I will send my child to school with what ever I choose to send him with for lunch. I'll raise my child you raise yours, end of story.

    March 28, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  31. Hmmm

    My son goes to a preschool where we can't give him peanut butter for lunch/snacks and we have to clean him extra if we fed him peanut butter during breakfast. It is a mere inconvenience at worst compared to the danger to the child with allergies; we are more than happy to accomodate this.

    The other parents in this story who are demanding that the child drop out of school are being selfish, lazy, and should be deeply ashamed of themselves for alienating a child instead of teaching their own how to help care for others.

    March 28, 2011 at 8:16 am |
  32. morigainne

    to paraphrase Spock, perhaps the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one?

    March 28, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  33. Meggie

    The other asthmatic and allergic children also have needs. Some classes cannot take a field trip to anywhere that might expose children to grass, horses, dogs, or cats.

    If people had any idea how much money is spent in our schools to supply the needs of a few children, and how little is left for the rest of the kids, they would understand why we spend so much on education. We must – as someone here was quick to point out – provide a free appropriate public education for all the children.

    Federal laws and judges have placed a terrible burden on all of us, to the extent that perhaps it is time to rethink the idea of free public education for all.

    March 28, 2011 at 8:11 am |
  34. claire.voyente

    I am totally disgusted that parents of children with allergies don't teach them to how to take care of themselves.

    March 28, 2011 at 8:09 am |
  35. claire.voyente

    This is the slippery slope you have been warned of....

    March 28, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  36. Public School Employee

    As the director of a public school program for 22 years, I have had many students with allergies, and some have had multiple allergies. Each year, approximately 5% of the 225 students are some type of food allergy. These have included wheat, peanuts, nuts, soy, milk, all dairy, garlic, peas, beans, beef, lamb, strawberries, eggs, raw apples, shellfish, to name just a few. We even had a student allergic to the SMELL of eggs. We feed the students twice every day (no one brings his/her own food), and every food label is photocopies and signed off on by the parents of the students with allergies. Every table is sanitized before the students sit down, and their seats are cleaned before the allergy child sits in one, in case someone had an allergen on his/her hand at a previous seating. All students wash their hand prior to eating. We do a lot of cooking activities with the students, and most students can participate safely in all of them. Alternate activities are provided if an ingredient is unsafe. However, many other students choose the alternate activity, so no one feels isolated. We also accommodate for Lent and Passover diet concerns as well. All of this his can be done safely and successfully, if people put others' feelings ahead of their own.

    March 28, 2011 at 6:59 am |
  37. Scott

    I think the basic question here is: Where should the line of accommodation be? For example, should the school ban peanut butter & jelly sandwiches? How about requiring all the kids to shower immediately before entering the classroom? Another way of stating this question is: How far should society be willing to curtail the rights of others to accommodate the few? A school can take prudent and reasonable actions, such as requiring more frequent hand washing, to accommodate this child. But even these actions are voluntary, and indications are at least initially, the parents agreed to these actions. My guess is that at some point, the parents were asked for more, and are now wondering: How far will we be required to go for this one child? What started as voluntary actions now appear to be required, and more seem likely. Is this right? Peanuts are not bad for everyone – which is why this issue is more about the rights of others, not the expectations of a few.

    March 28, 2011 at 6:22 am |
  38. Nojokefolks

    So all of you parents who believe it is the responsibility of the school to bring in dogs as a measure to CYA, when the policy is enough to do so, won't mind refraining from using any type of perfume, fabric softener or scented products when laundering or bathing your children. Same for most soap and cleaning products and bleach. Yes folks, my children have seizure type reponses when in contact with products. Are you prepared to change how you live at home to show your compassion for my child at school? Don't be so quick to judge.

    March 28, 2011 at 6:10 am |
  39. Hibijibi

    These parents sound cruel and selfish, and are teaching their own children a lesson in nastiness.

    But I have to wonder– why is it that here in France, where I live (I'm American), they don't seem to suffer at all from the peanut or other allergies that we have in the USA? You never meet anyone here who says they have an allergy and it's never even mentioned in the media. Yet in the US there's an explosion of allergies.

    Where did all these allergies come from? I can't help wondering if the French are protected because they eat more healthily (cooking from scratch, fewer antibiotics and hormones in their meat, local produce, etc.) and are not as obsessed about cleanliness as Americans.

    Meanwhile, those parents need to realize they're making themselves and their school look terrible.

    March 28, 2011 at 6:08 am |
  40. truthsmiles

    There is no easy answer here.

    Like many have said, it seems appalling that parents of the "healthy" kids would protest a little girl's presence at a school just because she's "different". It definitely comes across as selfish and intolerant.

    However, as others have pointed out, if her allergies are really THAT bad, she should probably be home-schooled for her own safety. Despite all the precautions the school and other parents might take, there is always the possibility that some kid staying with grandma and grandpa one weekend brings a PB&J to school and accidentally kills this poor little girl.

    I'm all for making reasonable accommodations, but if I were the little girl's parents, I would seriously assess the risk of trusting a bunch of 9 year olds to NEVER eat a peanut and then breathe on my daughter.

    In any case, it's not up to the other kids' parents – it's up to the administration and the girl's parents how much they want to gamble with her life.

    March 28, 2011 at 5:45 am |
    • Dave

      It's not peanuts. Look at all the products that CAN cause a peanut allergy. If its even processed in a plant that uses peanuts somewhere it's hazardous. My kid brings stuff home all the time because teacher wouldnt let them open it due to an allergy.

      March 28, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  41. olivia

    Peanuts aren't a paramount staple to our diet. Cavemen were not sitting with a jar of highly processed peanuts in their caves. If this slight limitation can keep a child alive then why would you even consider not doing it? where does it stop? it stops when it gets too hard, but from what I can see this can be done and therefore should not be of concern to the parents as they don't have to go to school themselves.

    March 28, 2011 at 5:43 am |
  42. Rudy

    Wow. Its that black and white according to the majority of comments on this board. So when this student goes on through life, how will she function? I guess if she goes Christmas shoping she will require the store greeters to wash make sure their hands are clean, and don't forget the salvation army guy. Oh, if she for for a job interview, better require a peanut free environment, that's fair right?
    People, there are reasonable and unreasonable requests. If the school is infringing on the majority of the children's rights, then it needs to make accomodations for peanut allergy girl. That might mean one on one tutoring which it may not want to pay for or a smaller class size. Pretending she can fit in like the other children does a disservice to her. She is already not like the other children, and needs to learn how to function in society as a whole. That doesn't mean other people are "mean", she is the one with the problem and cannot reasonably expect everyone in the world to jump in line because her Mom & Dad don't run the universe and don't lover her like they do. Maybe she needs to learn certain behaviors to avoid or wear certain outfits. I don't know, but treating her like a little dictator is not going to help in the long run.

    March 28, 2011 at 5:36 am |
  43. dina

    PULEESE !!! the whole school is being told what they can eat ....what if my kid barfs at pork ? or my other kid is lactose in tolerant ? what if my last kid uses a wheelchair, does everybody at the school stop walking?
    if the child needs special accommodations , they should be in a special CLASS . as an adult, i have the right to eat what ever i want, food allergies hurt people who are allergic AND EAT the food they have an allergy of.
    the peanut sniffing dogs?!!!! what if my kids are allergic to dog hair? peanuts aren't illegal like drugs.....maybe your kid should wear gloves and a mask to school

    March 28, 2011 at 5:22 am |
  44. NanceB

    If I were her mother I would be afraid to let her go to school now anyway. Now that this has turned into a circus, how long before some kid at the school decides it would be funny to "provoke" her allergy by purposefully exposing her to peanuts? Sad as this is, and as detrimental as it would be to her social development, maybe safer is better than sorry. Many kids don't have the judgment or empathy they will earn later in life.

    March 28, 2011 at 5:11 am |
  45. MakesSense

    I was bothered a bit by this story at first, but then I realized it was taking place in Florida. A peanut allergy seems like a perfect excuse for the parents move. Who really wants to raise their kid in a school district full of close minded obese trailer trash?

    March 28, 2011 at 4:41 am |
  46. South GA Teacher and Mother

    Shame on those of you without any compassion for people with life-threatening conditions. My kids can eat anything, thank goodness. I can't imagine the worry and stress this whole family has to endure, without the protests and ugly behavior of others. This is why American children are, as a whole, selfish and self-centered – the apple does not fall far from the tree. The root of these protests is IGNORANCE and SELFISHNESS.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:26 am |
  47. Karin

    I'm disgusted by a lot of what I'm reading. This child deserves enough accommodations so she won't develop anaphylactic shock from peanut exposure. She also most probably has the legal right to a free and appropriate PUBLIC education.

    I worked in a school which had a well-developed no-nut policy. Every office staff member, substitute teacher or office staff & pertinent teachers were trained to administer an epi-pen in case of necessity. No nuts were allowed in the main office, affected classrooms or the lunchroom. A detailed list of allowable snack foods was updated yearly. Also, as some smart posters have pointed out, this child may be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. She may also be qualified for special education as health impaired, especially since her severe allergies definitely seem to affect her education. If necessary, I hope the picketing parents have some effective education given to them by lawyers well versed in special education & disability law. The words lawyer & lawsuit often work wonders.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:35 am |
  48. Jeff

    how sad that the vegan children will no longer have a major source of protein available for their lunches.

    how sad that hundreds of children and parents will have to modify their dietary routines to avoid harassment by the nut sniffing dogs being brought on campus.

    how sad that the school has not removed all plant life to accommodate the children with bee sting allergies.

    how sad that the school does not provide a milk free lunch meal for those children unable to eat mac and cheese due to milk allergies.

    how sad that the school has not removed all tall playground equipment so as not to alienate the children suffering from a fear of heights.

    where does it stop? who gets to decide where it stops? why is the one child more important than any other one child? and kudos to those that believe the school is doing good to single out this poor child to the rest of the hundreds of children who need to be careful not to kill her. thats not the least bit traumatic.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:17 am |
    • Rob B

      Nice try....but things we fear, like heights, do not cause us to go into shock...for our throats to swell shut, and for us to literally choke to death on our own tounge. That is what heppens when my children come near eggs. I have actually watched, praying that the ambulance shows up before my son dies. Ever had that experience? Keep your candy ass " I am sorry" to yourself. No one wants or needs your condescending comments.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:39 am |
  49. daniwitz13

    While it is easy to say the washing of hands or rinsing out ones mouth won't hurt anybody and just do it, is not about rights and freedom. While the little girl has certain rights, the other students have rights too. Her rights should not supersede the others rights. The parent of the child has the responsibility to to inform the school of her child's allergies and the child's responsibility to monitor what she comes into contact with. It is not for others to either be denied or disrupted because someone has a particular problem. The problem is for the parents and child to worry about, not the whole school. The school is wrong to take away the rights and freedom of the other students and forfeit to another singular person. If the parents are so concerned, THEY need to monitor their child personally, at home if necessary.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:48 am |
  50. NS

    I know may of you folks will be upset over my comments, but let me tell you my experience on a long haul flight. A kid had peanut allergy and 3 rows of seats including ours were literally forced not to have peanuts.

    This was Cathay Pacific and they did not serve much food, I had to take my kids on a walk on the plane and give them the only snack available i,e peanuts when they were hungry.

    I dont mind 13+ hrs of inconvenience, however I can empathize with all the other kids who have to put up for the sake of one special needs kid. If the kid feels others HAVE to adjust I dont feel that way. Parents with spl needs should keep their kids else where.. so that they dont feel they are special.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:27 am |
  51. Michael B. Adam

    Majority rules? Hello? This is still America right? Normal people should not have to cater to the unreasonable needs of a single defective human being. Either kill it, or keep it in the cellar, don't burden the good people of society with this abomination. It would be like a blind childs parents asking everyone to poke their childrens eyes out, to make their defective little offspring feel equal to others!

    March 28, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  52. lsantos

    What I love is I am headed to a pricey private university that can better manage my disability needs and program needs, fully state paid! Thanks all to the taxpayers that do not want me in public school at 53 years of age and having graduated with international honors, without a full brain and three degrees gpa 3.54. Onward Masters here I come. Tell peanut girl, the ignorant abled ones will keep paying her way her whole life through as long as she keeps fighting them to allow them to show others how ignorant they really are!

    March 28, 2011 at 2:08 am |
  53. Paula

    Like most everyone commenting here, I am shocked that so many parents would be so opposed to slight, and in any case generally healthful, accommodations for an allergic child. I fear this shows how far there still is to go before people seriously recognize minority rights, disability rights, and doubtless women's rights, old persons' rights, and finally all our rights (for we all, in one way or another, in a small minority or a vulnerable group–or will be at some time in our lives). I do understand the parents who say "Oh but why for a peanut allergy whereas no accommodation is made for my child's (different) allergy?"–Yes indeed, an accommodation should be made for that child, too. And no, it won't bring everything to a stop. As a teacher commenting here notes, what is harming kids' eduction is the cutbacks to school budgets and the threats to teachers' (workers') rights to unions.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:06 am |
  54. Juliana

    @Lea: Asthma can kill, too. Just like an epi-pen does not guarantee someone with a severe allergy will survive, nor does an inhaler guarantee the survival of someone with a severe asthma attack.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:00 am |
  55. lsantos

    I seizure to flouresceent lighting and movement! I am sunk with high levels of this lighting in busy stores and will seizure sometimes. I attend school and am headed for my Masters in Fall as a adult student with this disability already having had brain surgery for epilepsy for over 50 seizures daily, but still seizure, just not as much.
    I was able to complete 3 degrees last year, after part brain removal 8 years ago. I cannot afford to have any more brain removed and it would be nice to have incandescent lights!

    March 28, 2011 at 1:54 am |
  56. Tom G

    Is there any compassion left in America? These picketers certainly haven't acquired that virtue yet!

    March 28, 2011 at 1:49 am |
  57. NoBiggie

    There are peanut desensitization protocols available now to mitigate this. Google it. They're recent–last two years.
    I had parents intentionally sending in reeses peanut butter snacks on party days and could tell one alpha mom was itching for a fight over the peanut moratorium in our school so i asked her what she thought about it. she didn't realize my son was allergic at the time and talked all about her intolerance for coddling and 'inadvertent' peanut snacks she would send. I said "yeah your right it's not like it's a big deal it's just anaphalaxis that shuts his windpipe and kills him–they can have more kids, that'll teach em to expect civility'
    then i got mean. and i didn't stop till she was crying. i just don't have enough christian charity in my heart to tolerate assclowns like that.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:18 am |
  58. New mom

    Re: t. Paustian's comment about how these children wouldn't have peanut allergies if their parents has "loved them enough" to breastfeed them. I am the mother of a 14-week old and have struggled to breastfeed her since the moment she was born (had her placed on my chest). Guess what? Sometimes women cannot successfully breastfeed, whether it's due to lack of supply, previous mastectomy, adoption, etc. Your post was judgmental and ignorant. I'm sure there are plenty of breastfed children who develop allergies and vice versa. Most egregious was your contention that mothers who for whatever reason don't breastfeed do not love their children enough. I may overwrought (lack of sleep, 10 feedings a day), but your post almost made me cry. Back off on the breastfeeding militancy. We know. We know: breast is best. That doesn't mean everyone can do it.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:17 am |
  59. Jacklyn House

    You get the dx, you take that to the school district, you create an IEP for your child ( you really have to advocate for your child ) and educate yourself concerning the rights of your child's education, and yourself, as their parent/s. Every child has the right to an education. Good luck.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:15 am |
  60. Simon

    Having my child's belongings searched by dogs in his school was completely uncalled for. He's scared of dogs, yet the animals were brought in with all but gestapo tactics. No one seemed to care about the threat or harm caused by bringing the dogs into the school.

    Where does it end? If a child is allergic to animal dander, will we require our kids to be "decontaminated" before entering school? What if a student has a severe auto immune disease? Will the other students have to live in a bubble? If a child has sun allergies will the windows be boarded up or have school at night?

    What is the plan when the child leaves for other activities? Will the government make sure no one on the opposing softball team eats peanut butter? Or maybe the public will have to submit to a peanut test to buy a ticket to the theater.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  61. w biluk

    We had a girl in our school who was allergic to peanuts, infact my UNCLE has the SAME condition, he carries an adrenaline pen with him, incase he goes into shock. This condition is called ANAPHALAXIA, and can occurs also with ALLERGIES TO FISH. So, god forbid any of your kids also have fish allergies.

    PS. This girl had 4 successful years at our school. Goderich district collegiate institute, it never bothered any of the kids, and we all ate peanut butter made from soybeans for 4 years. No problems from us!! These parents dont understand this condition, and are not worth to have kids themselves. Good day sir!

    March 28, 2011 at 1:08 am |
  62. Brandy

    I am bothered that parents feel that this young girl needs to withdraw from school. She deserves an education just like her peers. She will not be the last student that this district will have to deal with in regards to a severe peanut allergy. Going peanut free seems reasonable to me. I'm sure as she gets older her parents will educate her on what to do and avoid for this allergy. At her young age it is easy for a child to eat something they are not suppose to. If your child has to eat peanut butter everyday why not as a snack when they get home. This way no one has the potential of dying.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:05 am |
  63. Linda

    Please stop calling allergies of any kind a disability.
    This will cause a wave of people claiming diability payments from an already broke entitlement.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  64. Noah

    I am on the fence regarding this. If the child's allergies are so sever she could die before a paramedic is present, then something other than social engineering should be in place. Teaching children good habits and have them continually practicing good habits are a fine line with a medical condition I would not personally trust.

    I do not think that all the parents are upset about their children having to do all of this, but also in fear for any of them to be held liable for any accident. Plus their children go to school every day to:

    1. make sure they do not kill their schoolmate.

    2. learn

    March 28, 2011 at 1:01 am |
  65. Donna

    The parents of this child with the peanut allergy are being unfair to her. They are teaching her that she's weak, unhealthy, and inadvertently instructing her on how to be a lifelong hypochondriac. Yes, her allergy is real. However, for her emotional health and self-esteem, she should be homeschooled until she is able to deal with it on her own, without announcing to the world wherever she goes that she has a weakness that makes her different from everyone else. This type of deficiency should never be played out in the public arena.

    March 28, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  66. make sense

    The main problem with parents who feel their "right" to do whatever they want despite potentially fatal consequences for a child–a child–is based on the notion that this child is being given "special" consideration. She's not. The school has an obligation under federal law to accommodate her. "Reasonable" accommodation is a *method* through which the result must be an *effective* accommodation. The term "reasonable" has a clear and distinct meaning in terms of federal law–period. It does not mean something different to each person who can then impose it on this child. The child's disability (in this case, a permanent and life-threatening allergy) has to be accommodated under federal law–and that accommodation must be effective. Note that effective and reasonable are not the same thing. It would help greatly in these matters if most people in the US weren't so stunningly ignorant of federal law and assumed that whatever they believe is the same thing as the obligations of the school under the laws of this country. The American's with Disabilities Act is widely available–these parents should read it and stop taking their aggression out on this child.

    March 28, 2011 at 12:55 am |
  67. Josie

    Has anyone actually asked the other kids how they feel about this matter? It could be that the parents are acting childish (as in selfish & self-centerd) while the students are ascting like adults (as in being empathetic & trying be helpful).

    March 28, 2011 at 12:32 am |
  68. Kal

    This is the kind of parenting that blows me away. Similar but yet way different in severity, the Cleveland girl that was raped gets blamed by ignorant parents and other people in her city as the villain, and this poor child who's life could be at stake from an allergy that she did not ask for is picketed by parents??? This is ridiculous and offensive. These people should show tolerance and not blame victims. Taking away from their childrens education and learning? How about real world skills such as empathy, compassion, and tolerance?' I would questions the parents education? How about kids with ADHD that can be disruptions, or handicapped children, or a child that gets injured to the point of needing special treatment? I bet these same parents have children that may fit those catagories. Some of them may even be off work due to layoffs or cutbacks that they did not ask for, but working people who pay taxes have to make accomodations for them. People. let's take a good look in the mirror and get real,

    March 28, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  69. titaniumtestes

    More nanny-statism!!!!!

    March 28, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  70. Jones

    Yes, let's inconvenience a whole school because of one brat. What if a child had a disorder which causes him to fling his feces, would we expect a school to "accommodate" him? Ridiculous. Fight the good fight, parents. Your children's education is at stake.

    March 28, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  71. WTFAMERICA

    So the whole school should re-arrange everything for one person? One person? Furthermore this master plan of making every kid wash their hands throughly everyday every time? Yeah, there is no way one will slip through the cracks. Teachers and Schools already extra time and money so investing time into this shouldn't be too much of a burden. I am also sure that the Highschool, College and Job she eventually gets every person will be more than willing and will do this every time without fail. This sounds like an excellent plan.

    March 28, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  72. SB

    Parents need to understand that schools are directly responsible for the safety of students on their campus. Faculty are on constant watch for situations that may pose dangers to individuals with special needs or disabilities. The solutions to these problems may have the effect of inconveniencing other students. Should such a situation arise the school board cannot reasonably weigh these inconveniences against a possible life threatening situation in the course of making its decision, not even if the inconveniences affect the entire student body. Student safety comes first, period. I think what the protesters are saying is very ignorant and short sighted, particularly if their own child needs similar accommodations at some point in the future. And of course it's also very dangerous because it sends a message to their children that personal convenience outweighs a great many things including the safety of others.

    March 28, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  73. Cadi9122

    I'm sorry, but this is a bunch of bolony! I've been out if the US for 12 years, and I have to say this is one of the lowest, stupidest issues I've heard since being away. The US has truly declined and become a nation o idiots. I support the protestors. 

    You people defending this girl are out of your minds. You need a new perspective. Why should everyone else accomodate a single individual. She needs special care, and the environment doesn't need to be sanitized to meet only her physical limitations. It's too bad for her, but come on people. This is outrageous. You're all acting like a bunch of sissies! Toughen up for petes sake and let the children learn and play in peace. Why do they need to be so sensitive for this child? Give her a tutor at home on the tax dollar and let everyone else go on with their lives without the pestilence of such whining and disruptive sensitivity. 

    March 28, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  74. joe

    How about gluten alergies. If there's someone with such, our kids cant bring a sandwitch to school? Where does it stop?

    March 27, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  75. Nuts to Haters

    My grandson is deathly allergic to peanuts.

    I fear that he will die if someone breaths on him after eating nuts.

    He carries an eppi pen with him at all times.

    I fear that he will die from this affliction before he is 20 year of age.

    Avoiding school is not responsible or rational.

    Hates will find something to hate. Just go hate something else.

    March 27, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  76. latasha mcneil

    My daughter is in kindergarten and she has a classmate who has a life-threatening peanut allergy (among other allergies). The complicated part is that the kindergarten classes have to bring their own lunch instead of being able to eat in the cafeteria. The school has banned us from packing any peanut based items for lunch. However, the teacher put a microwave in her classroom for the kids which allows them to bring more options for lunch. At the beginning of the year I thought it would be difficult to find things that did not contain peanuts (my daughter loves peanut butter sandwiches), but it has not been that difficult. We all adapted. I would hope that others would do the same thing for my child if we were in that situation. I don't think anyone is going to DIE if they cannot pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. BTW.......the teacher provides wipes for the girls to wipe their hands and face when they first walk in the classroom in the morning. I think it teaches the girls to be considerate of other people and their situations.

    March 27, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  77. Nancy Muise

    It`s sad that in today`s society there is still such an ignorance..children are children and all require protection regardless of who`s child they are..I could really say alot but instead To this young child ..wish you could come too Nova Scotia Canada cause my little girl goes too school in a peanut safe environment..thanks too the many parents and especially children who care ..all of our children deserve too socialize and feel love along with being as safe as possible..and for those who suffer animal sensitivities (I doubt you need too carry an Epi-pen)..theres a differance between Allergy and Sensitivity..just as theres a differance between compassion for others and ones irresposible ignorance too educate themselves on peanut allergies..Educate yourselves first then decide if you think any child deserves too be pushed aside ..because chances are if these picketing parents knew what they are fighting against they would see just how rediculous they really look..

    March 27, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  78. Ken

    The entire school ban and (especially) the peanut sniffing enforcement dog put it over the top for me.

    There's a point where the parents of the girl with the allergies need to suck it up and teach the girl to protect herself, not expect everyone else to make a "perfect environment".

    She could wear a mask and cotton gloves if it's really that much of an issue.

    For the people who think that the upset parents are selfish. Isn't it selfish to expect the entire school to change just for one child? To consume 30 minutes of an already impacted school schedule? To have dogs....DOGS...come in and be utilized to enforce policy?

    March 27, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  79. Thomas

    "Some parents of children at the school say the extra steps their children are taking to ensure the girl's health, such as washing their hands or rinsing out their mouths, are taking away from their own children's learning."

    If I had kids id want them the was their hands and rinse their mouths. Im just crazy i guess. A child with allergies has every right to the same education as any other child.

    March 27, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  80. Gary

    Yes the child that has the allergies has a right to go to public school. To have the other kids in the class wash their hands an extra time is not a big deal. I don't quite understand the need to rinse their mouths too. And really, how many kids are brushing their teeth while at school anyway? Yes, on paper it should be done, but reality says they are lucky to have their teeth brushed twice a day.

    I do NOT agree that this child is disabled. She has a severe allergy to peanuts – that does not make her disabled in any way. Would you consider people that are allergic to bees disabled as well?

    There should NOT be extreme accommodations made for this child. When she graduates from school, there will not be any accommodations made for her when she is out in the real world with a job, she will have to do those on her own. The earlier you can start the education of HER to protect herself, the better she will fare when she is an adult.

    March 27, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  81. Unreal

    Seriously, these people are BAD PARENTS. Yes, there is such a thing as BAD MOMS and BAD DADS. Whatever happened to decency, consideration, and good sense? These parents represent all that is wrong with America, and no doubt every one of their selfish little brats will grow up to be just like them. Pathetic.

    March 27, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  82. Mike in TN

    I'll give you three guesses as to which political party these parents support, and one of them is not Democrat.

    March 27, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  83. Walt

    While I can understand the drive to accomodate everyone in public school, as a parent I can see one issue on the side of the protestors: they, without their input or consent, are being required to observe a list of restrictions that they must have their children follow without error or a child will probably die. They didn't ask to be given that responsibility, but you can be sure that if the allergic child dies there will be a hunt to find out which parent's kid ate an unapproved granola bar or a hazardous bowl of cereal – and that hunt might well include lawyers. It is reasonable to ask, "Is this the best way to handle this situation," and have there be a dialogue about it – and I suspect the protests are because there was a decree, rather than a dialogue.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  84. Miles OBrien

    I didn't realize it was my children's responsibility to make freaks feel normal. A life threatening allergy to anything precludes a normal life. It is NOT the responsibility of a parent to deny his child peanut butter because some deficient child attends his school. Get real America. Toss this allergic kid back into his parents house where he belongs. They spawned him.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  85. Eric

    As a parent of a peanut allergic son who has been hospitalized twice, I can sympathize with the parents but the onus of prevention should be placed upon the allergic student and the parents and not the other students. Rinsing of the mouths and hand washing while helpful are not required. It is the ingestion of peanut products, either orally or through inhalation which is the life threatening aspect of the allergic condition and not just topical conduct. Topical conduct is an irritant. This child may have a more severe allergy which would necessitate her being home schooled.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  86. SomeDude

    Wow, I would be more appalled was this story not attached to Florida; every story out of Florida is insane. If we have to sell a piece of America to the Chinese, can I make an early vote of selling Florida? Thanks

    In regards to the circumstances, everyone from the school officials to the parents have made huge mistakes.

    I grew up with someone who had severe peanut allergies, the only accommodation made was he had to eat lunch separately. I grew up with him without a single incident occurring, at least none that I remember.

    It's obvious the school has not consulted medical professionals in regards to the most productive and least impairing way to accommodate this student. Like most government workers, they did not do their job and instead opted for the easy way out and became over vigilant.

    The parents in this case are pathetic. Once again, unable to act like adults and solve problems reasonably. They too should have checked with medical professionals regarding the best way to accommodate this student. Again, like people of Florida are well documented of doing they did the crazy overreaction and just want to throw the student out.

    Finally, for this young student please do not take what is going on personally; you are dealing with people from Florida–every American knows they are insane. Unlike them, you will one day be able to move out of Florida to a state where rational people live. Trust me, I believe in you.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  87. Ed Pierce

    Okay folks,
    What happens when a Child A accidently introduces a bit of peanut butter that kills Child B? That is certainly a tragedy, and it will be a memory that will haunt Child A for the rest of his/her life.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  88. sb

    I think picketing is unfortunate, but I do understand the frustration on the part of the parents. My daughter really would only eat peanut butter and jelly for lunch, despite every effort to expand her tastes at home (we really, really tried to get her to eat something else). It wasn't until 4th grade that she started eating meat, including an occasional turkey sandwich. Whether she ate anything mattered a lot because she was underweight, hugging the "failure to thrive" curve. If that wasn't bad enough, she suffered from serious migraines when her blood sugar dropped whenever she did not eat lunch. I don't know what we would have done if she had not been able to eat peanut butter.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  89. Jan

    Reading through this article as well as the many supportive comments shows that there are plenty of considerate people in our world - taking care of our children as well as teaching them how to maneuver safely in this world is one of our responsibilities as parents, hard as it must be with a severe allergy to live with. After being in a class as an adult with a fellow classmate who also is an adult with severe peanut allergy, I saw first hand how difficult this type of allergy can be. This student informed our class at the beginning of the semester of her allergy, asking us to not eat foods with peanuts in the hours leading up to our class, as well as to refrain from bringing any food with peanuts into our classroom. One day, this student started struggling with breathing, injected herself with her epipen, and left for the hospital. The next time we had class she asked who it was that ate something with peanuts prior to class and a student reluctantly said they'd eaten some chocolate covered peanuts. The student with the allergy flew into a rage openly in class, which I totally understood, but this one incident showed how extremely difficult life can be for people with extreme allergies. After thinking on this it seems in the end that each person simply must be responsible for their own health and safety.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  90. Wendy

    Get an epi pen and get over yourself. You can't live in a bubble.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  91. JB

    So these parents think that a few seconds of inconvenience is more more important than another person's life. Make no mistake these are absolutely deplorable excuses for human beings. I simply cannot describe such a callous and heartless disregard for others as anything but monstrous.

    It's just a couple seconds to wash your hands.. THAT'S IT!.. And they want to kick an innocent kid out of school over it... I just can't comprehend how they don't see how horribly wrong this is. They not only know no shame, but even the basic idea of right and wrong.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  92. John P, Bradenton

    After reading these comments in FAVOR of the girl, with severe peanut allergy, I say to HER parents, YOU are WRONG.

    After all, what's next...Hmmm, I'm allergic to polyester, seems everybody will be wearing cotton?

    Hey, we should NOT have to CHANGE because YOUR daughter has this allergy. Teach her not to touch, and I wish to quote by Brit
    (March 24th, 2011 9:51 am ET)

    "I have this same severe peanut allergy, and I was this child's age in the early 90s." "
    My parents started teaching me to avoid peanuts very early in life. I never had any kind of special accomodation in school other than to let the teachers ands students know about my problem. I knew to not touch anything that might have peanuts in it and to not eat anything that I was unsure of. I think this girl is old enough to be taught to be safe and to protect herself"

    GOT IT?? You teach YOUR daughter to be careful. Lets see, what's next? Your daughter rides on an airplane, do all the passengers 'brush and rinse'?

    Gee, did you take your daughter out to..Disney? Do they all have to 'brush and rinse'? How about a Dept. store?
    The parents of this girl are WRONG. Their daugher will NEVER learn how to live in the real world.

    Tha parents are just plane wrong.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  93. teacher

    I agree with the parents. My school has gone peanut free, and it stinks. 380 children plus all of the adults at the school have to refrain from peanut products for one student. Give me a break!!!!! Homeschool the kid!!! What next??????

    March 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  94. Hieronymus Murphy

    The picketing parents need heart transplants: to replace the cold, black cinders that occupy the spaces where their hearts should be.

    Shame on them!!

    March 27, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
  95. Justin

    This is the problem with people. While I don't think it is unreasonable to ask kids to wash their hands or rinse their mouths, we as a society have come to pander to the minority. We are (or should be governed by the masses). Quite spending so much effort on Gays, Illegal Immigrants and children with peanut allergies. Plenty of children have had that allergy before her and went to public schools and survived without all of the hype. Give her an Epi-Pen and and a peanut free area to eat lunch and call it a day. Jesus Christ.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  96. dash

    why not just get the peanuts off the menu and out of the vending machine and tell parents not to send any with there kids, tell the kids too. We have to look out for each other, not ostracize the different. If we were good people, it wouldn't be an issue.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  97. renee

    so next they are what going to have it where the other kids cant eat anything with peanut in it....

    March 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  98. ALLCAPS

    I read this story elsewhere, and there is actually a lot more going on than this article states. In fact, the girl's allergies are so bad that if there is any trace whatsoever of peanut in the *air,* she is likely to have problems. The classrooms involved have turned into a sort of prison, where everything they do revolves around this one girl.

    It's UNFAIR to expect an entire school of children to turn their lives around for one person, who obviously cannot handle life in general. She should be home schooled or go to a peanut-free school, and her parents should not expect masses of people to bend their lives around one person's insane needs. Period. It's ridiculous, and it won't happen in real life. Sorry.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  99. Patriot Dad

    Seriously? Why should everyone be expected to bend over backwards to accommodate the genetic defects of a minority?

    Kids are trying to learn, and the constant specter of a classmate's imminent demise because someone ate a Reese Cup over lunch and forgot to "rinse" is absolute insanity!

    Grow up people! The world is not all about you and you "special" kid!

    March 27, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  100. Tom

    How about this, my kid is allergic to dogs...how about all kids from houses with dogs either have to a) get rid of their dogs and have their house cleaned so no hair or dander ever comes to school or b) all kids from dog houses must wear bio-hazard suits so my kid is safe... or c) i take precautions teach my kids to wash his hands, not touch eyes, and carry and epi pin everywhere..... There are kids allergic to cotton... polyester only now in schools???

    March 27, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
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