American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
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. Rider

    Can you imagine this child knowing there is a group of adults who are against you....inocent and victomized....each and every parent against this child should hang there head in shame....wtf people....

    March 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  2. Shellfish

    So if 1.3 percent of the population has peanut allergies, 48% of the population is children under 19 (say .7 percent of public school population,) 65.4m kids in public schools, then you all are morally outraged when the parents of the 65.2 million kids don't want to drastically change their lives (and it is drastic, peanut butter and items with peanuts in them are a staple of American life) to accomodate YOU?

    Sel-fish...

    March 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  3. Donna

    This is truly a sad situation this child could die if she comes in contact with anything that has peanuts in it and these stupid parents are up in arms about there children having to wash there hands and wash out their months as several people have said before they should be doing this any way. These parents should be ashame of themselves this child has to leave the her friends and start all over because of their selfishness. Her parent are doing what they can to protect their daughter my prayers goes out to this family and hope that their daughter will someday be able to live a normal life.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  4. Maureen

    This is a life threatening condition that is becoming more and more common. These parents are either ignorant or just plain evil. If I were this girls parents, I wouldn't risk exposing her to these people!

    March 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  5. Tj

    I think these protesting parents are being kind if mean.
    I also think the parents of the little girl are being inconsiderate. Two wrongs don't make a right though. People throw "homeschool" around like that is a viable option for everyone..
    Best bet is compassion and understanding.
    Not in today's economy..

    March 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  6. Laura

    My son does not have a life-threatening food allergy, but has high-functioning autism (Asperger's Syndrome). He receives accomodations and now takes advanced and honors classes in middle school. He has been accepted into the first S.T.E.M. program in our county for high school.

    And yet, many parents did not want their child 'exposed' to my child in elementary, as though autism was contageous. The parents who bothered to ask me about the accomodations for him and how it would effect their child were pleasantly surprised that their child ended up learning better in a classroom with a two teachers and extra visual handouts. Who knew.

    How is washing your hands and rinsing your mouth going to truly impact class time? You do not want your child to spare 3 minutes a day to protect another student's life? How selfish are you? Perhaps your child will not get as many colds. Perhaps your child might learn compassion for another human being.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  7. Ruth

    If my kid was so allergic that her peers had to rinse their mouths out, she would be home schooled.

    Would you make all the children put on padded suits to accommodate a hemophiliac?

    I have compassion for this poor kid but lets be realistic. This is a time bomb waiting to happen. Some prankster brings in some peanuts and throws them at her. Kids are mean. this isn't something that is manageable.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  8. Jim, Huntington Beach, CA

    My youngest has a corn and a peanut allergy. Our school district would not allow her to keep her Epi-pen with her, and due to budget cuts did not have a nurse. Teachers, apparently are not allowed to hold medications for children.

    The principal in all earnestness asked me if I would pay for a full time nurse.

    I said no, not alone, but if there were other students in the school that had similar issues, we could pool our resources and get one. He declined to provide any names – saying that privacy laws prevented it.
    So my wife opted to home school our daughter, and frankly she has done much better academically.

    It still angers me that I pay my taxes and do my fair share, but when it was time to get a fair education for my child- the system let me down.

    As far as parents are concerned – we enrolled my daughter in several groups to get her social acclimation. During one of the meet and greets, one of the parents pulled a microwave bag of popcorn out of her purse and stuck it in the microwave. This was at my house, and we gave explicit instructions that no corn products would be served and should not be brought.

    She said she did it, because she felt her child should not be deprived!

    March 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  9. sam spade

    I am sure this child's parents are teaching her to take care and protect herself. I started teaching my children to look before crossing the road when they were old enough to walk. I still did not allow them to cross the road by themselves until they were much older, & I still thanked the elderly man that worked as a crossing guard at the elementary school every day.

    For what ever reason, p-nut allergies have increased in our country over the last several decades. Having a nut free school, washing hands and general cleanliness actions are simple fixes. If a child loves pbj sandwiches, what a wonderful treat when arriving home from school every day.

    From the first through sixth grades my daughter had a child or two with p-nut allergies in her class for four of those years. We learned simple steps to take to reduce the risks of exposure for these children (your can't eliminate all risks, but if some simple actions on my part can help children be safe in their early years please teach me). As my child grew so did her allergy affected friends. By the time they were in Jr. high everyone was able to relax a little because those children were able to watch out for them selves more. Teachers and parents still learned to use an epi pen, cpr and to recognize the signs of exposure. And my daughter, now in high school, will still ask if treats have nuts in them when one of her allergic friends is present. When she was nine years old she announced to my husband and me that Sara was her friend and she wanted her to be able to come to our house and not worry about getting sick. We became a nut free home and it has not been a real sacrifice–just a modification. What a beautiful child my daughter she is – I thank God for her everyday.

    Kudos to those with the education, temperament and financial means to home school if that is best for their families. For many, for a number of reasons, home schooling is not an option (and for some, for the sake of their children, it should not be). Like wise, most communities no longer have "special schools" except for children with discipline problems.

    Accommodating nut allergies is an easy fix. Modifying when children eat snacks with nuts (not at school) reduces most of the risk. Or, in this case, hand washing and mouth rinsing (good hygiene). Leaving lunches outside the classroom, provided they are secure, doesn't harm anyone.

    I do hope that the school allows her friends with appropriate lunches to eat with that little girl in the classroom.

    All this being said, I think the dogs are too much.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  10. Brett

    This is really sad. I feel for that poor little girl, but her parents may want to consider home schooling her if it is an option for them. If mean-spirited parents are going to harass this little girl, she needs to be in a better environment. May God help her.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  11. Dan Green

    People without children with this issue are ignorant. If you've ever had to rush your little girl to the emergency room in full anaphylactic shock, as she gasps for air, her skin turns fire red and she boarders on death....you would understand. In my daughters 14 years, we have been extremely diligent and through circumstances had 3 sever attacks resulting in hospitalization.....there are whole lot of uneducated and irresponsible posts on this page. Yeah, I guess it is a big deal to ask your, "genetically perfect", kid to keep their hands and mouth clean.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  12. Reuben Ryder

    One would have to have a great deal more information before making a definitive statement, but I can assure you that if my child was attending that school, I would insist that my child eat lunch with the other child. If he had to wash his hands inorder to do so, my child would wash his hands, and if he couldn't eat certain types of food in that childs presence than he wouldn't bring that food to school. It sounds like the child has a severe allergy, so I guess even the smell of peanuts might set the child off, so I get the need for mouth washing, if you have eaten something with peanuts. We as a family would make every effort to educate our selves to this child's needs and we would do what ever was necessary. We would do this not because we are such great people but because this child needs us to do it. With a little practice, I am sure we could get the hang of it and we would all be better off for having done so.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  13. Angela

    This sort of stuff just breaks my heart. I just don't understand how asking kids or anyone, to simply not eat peanut butter during a few hours of the day, can cause such an upheaval between otherwise seemingly decent, rationale, and probably loving parents and community members.

    Seriously? They're going to picket a girl for something she medically can't control, put her family through such a horrific ordeal, and over what...that their kids asked to refrain from eating pb&j's at school?

    Folks, my advice is to look around and find some real issues – of which there are plenty – to focus your attention on. Pack another sandwich, and leave this poor girl and her family alone. Support them in the same manner by which you hope your child and family would be treated, if there were something that you had to solicit help at school with.

    Shame on those folks picketing, shame on all of us, for allwoing those to be hostile to those that are in need of some compassion.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  14. Zack

    God forbid those children have to wash their hands!

    March 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  15. Kip Chilson

    The School should provide separate education for poor girl with the peanut allergy.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  16. whitehackle

    Just goes to show what kind of people inhabit Florida these days. This is how people from New Jersey act, not true Southerners. They should all be ashamed of themselves and leave the state.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  17. cpuenvy

    So, now knowing there are children like this in the world I think we should just all out ban peanut butter. Because 10 out of 6 billion may be affected by it. The chances are high that I touched peanut butter today, and I may have touched door handles all over the mall. I definitely touched money a lot today, with peanut tainted hands. There outta be a law!

    March 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  18. tony

    I agree. Limbaugh and Beck have these morons convinced that nice = bad and selfish = good. Most of these idiots still think they qualify as Christians which is the funniest part. Humanity has gone completely out the window in the so-called "heartland". Me me me.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  19. kg

    These parents are quite lazy and probably do not practice good hygiene at home. They need to grow up and start learning about consideration.
    How terrible for the child to even know that there are picketers out there who want her out of the school.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  20. Christine

    These idiot parents are missing a great opportunity to install some good moral character into their kids. Think how great it would be if the parents showed caring and compassion, and asked their kids to do the same, to be the hero who saves this little girl's life. Imagine how neat it would be if they taught their children to look out for this child's well-being.

    No, instead they are teaching their kids selfishness and entitlement. They are showing them that they should look out for themselves rather than the greater good of their fellow human beings. By example, and by thrusting picket signs into their children's hands, they are showing them that they must never allow themselves to be inconvenienced for one single moment just because it will save a life. Good job, parents....as if the world doesn't have enough selfish brats already.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  21. CSFurious

    It is quite silly to make the whole school peanut-free to accommodate one child. Many young children rely on peanut butter as a major source of protein. Also, many parents rely on it to feed their children because it is cheap. The parents of the bubble-child should feel embarrassed for making the entire school accommodate their child. What's next? My child is allergic to deodorant so no one can wear it; milk; hairspray, etc. Stop the insanity, i.e., we are all insignificant and none of us is important in the grand scheme of things. Your child is not special to anyone else.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  22. David

    @PhilipL: Society does say enough: by limiting the behavior of people who would harm others through their actions.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  23. Rain

    Washing hands and mouths are not the heart of the issue... The question is where will Reasonable Accomodation it end.

    In general your rights end where mine begine and vice versa...

    Will schools have to provide nut-free, shell fish-free, gluten-free kosher, hallal meals?

    Yes, it sucks that she has a life threatening allergy... but she needs to learn how to watch out for herself when others won't always do so.

    Yes kids should be "asked" to wash their hands and rinse their mouths... but I do not believe it should be an obligation...

    Reasonable accomodation should be a choice... not mandated.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  24. David

    For me, one easy comparison can be made: not everyone is affected by secondhand smoke, but for public health we do not allow it everywhere. We could easily do the same for peanut products as well, considering their effect on certain people. Compassion and compromise are two important facets of living in civilized society. You don't get to do what you want whenever you want to do it, and these kids and their parents may as well get used to it.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  25. Cynthia

    Based on the "this cut's into my kid's learning time" defense, there are some other kids that need to be kicked out of the school:

    Kids who are late for class
    Kids who talk in class
    Kids who do not learn at the same speed as the other students
    Kids who raise their hands to ask questions (takes time away from the kids that understood)
    Kids who ask to leave class to go to the restroom.

    IF the parent's are outraged because their kids are being asked to wash their hands and rinse out there mouths, I suggest an after school program on compassion. And on on "How to Avoid Spreading Disease", of which a major part is WASHING YOUR HANDS!

    March 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  26. Scott Straley

    @Philip L – "For stange (sic) and bizarre allergies like this one one solution – Home schooling" I'm sorry, peanut allergies are among the most common food allergies - they are neither bizarre or rare. In fact, 90% of all food allergies are among eight ingredients. But, I'm sure it's better to teach our children how to be selfish, intolerant, and insensitive to the needs of others. No whuffies for you.

    March 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  27. Anita

    Perhaps the issue that caues the division in opinions is the demand that others accomodate the needs of an individual without the individual making any obvious accomodations for their own well-being. Maybe if the allergic individual wore a mask to help protect themselves others would more willingly make changes to help protect the individual as well. I have a neice who has a severe peanut allergy and it was a terriffying experience to try to assist her when she had a reaction to a trace amount of peanuts in a snack item provided by a loving teacher who thought it was fine. The teacher was so sorry and felt so bad as most of us would. My sister and her family are very good about protecting their daughter and have helped her to become her own advocate too. I believe most people want to help but to get on board they need to see it as a joint effort not a demand.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  28. Terri

    Well I'm allergic to tree nuts so I wouldn't be able to swtich to almond butter. Anyway, these parents are being ridiculous. Their kids should be washing their hands and brushing after eating anyway.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  29. Brandie Mostr

    I think it would be best to teach a child with a severe allergy how to handle it themselves and be on the look out and cautious for anything that might cause a reaction. Though I don't think it is extremely unreasonable to ask students to rinse their mouths and wash their hands, the one thing I'm curious about is how this child is going to go through life as they get older. While schools may be more accommodating, it's not going to stay that way. College and work aren't going to make special exceptions. What about the bus, or the train, or taxis? I think its time to start teaching this child who is in school how to manage her allergy rather than expecting everyone else to try and watch out for them. I sympathize, I really do. Best of luck to the little girl.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  30. tired of it all

    These parents protesting should be ashamed! This is what our country is coming to with all the Liberal bull. They are for or against anything that does not affect them. They are not teaching their children compassion, empathy or the thinking of others. It is never so apparent as this incident that points to the selfish me generation. If it was one of their children they would stop at nothing to get their rights justified whatever it took.
    These parents need to stop it and right now before they do further damage to this young child. What damage have they already done will not be known for years possibly. They are bullies. If anything the parents protesting should be sued for emotional damage they are causing their child who was born with this allergy. I do hope they look into their legal options. I would have pictures being taken of any and all protesters!

    March 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  31. Renee Johnson

    We as a nation should have more concern for children with allergies or any other problem. If a child has diabetes should we ask his or her parents to withdraw them from school because he or she could go into a diabetic coma if they don't take their insulin on time. How about a child with epilepsy. Should that childs parents be made to withdraw their child from school because he or she might have a seizure. Please, be a little more christian like and have some compassion for others. If we were all more like Jesus this country would be better off and we would not be trying to get child with disabilities kicked out of school. We need to go back to the way things were fifty years ago when people helped each other. They had compassion for one another.
    If these children have to wash their hands and rinse out their mouths if is good for them. Children need to learn some good hygeine habits. The child is six years for heavens sake. Someone at school has to look out for her. Believe me she will learn as she gets older the things she has to do is order to be safe but right now she is just a small child. Parents get a life and let the little girl be a little girl for now.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  32. Ann Jennings

    The picketters should be embarrassed! As a parent of a child who would like to eat ONLY PB&J sandwiches, I know this ruling can create difficulty.

    So people don't get how severe a peanut reaction can be – has anyone noticed the disclaimer on a bag of Jelly Bellies? It actually says, this product MAY have been packed in the same plant where peanut products are packaged? Why for good reason, eating a jelly bean that has been processed on the same machine as peanuts could kill a person!

    Kids with severe allergies usually try really hard to watch for themselves, but I've watched an adult coworker be worked on by EMT's in an ambulance for nearly 20 minutes before they could even attempt to transport him to the hospital for treatment – why, because he ate a salad that had minut pieces of peanuts in that he couldn't see or even taste – this was a thirty five year old man. Imagine if that had been a child?

    Why not worry about this child? There are plenty of other accomodations made within schools on a daily basis that your child probably doesn't benefit from either. Are they going to picket all of them? My child is gifted and bored out of his skull waiting for the others in his class to grasp concepts, but I'm not berating the other children... we're working on being accepting and tolerant of others and gracious when kids look to him for answers he doesn't feel like giving.

    An accomodation is an accomodation. Get over it you selfish people!

    March 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  33. Chana Ruth

    Her parents should have consideration for the community. They are simply being selfish, expecting everyone to alter their lives for this girl. Mainstreaming is not meant to infringe on the liberty of others.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  34. Mitch

    @Michael

    Please show me the literature that states "all peanut allergies can be prevented and cured". You have no way of knowing if she has an incurable allergy or not. There are people who have lived their entire life with an allergy, simply because there isn't currently a cure.

    How are the changes the school implementing damaging the other students rights to learn? Most schools already require washing hands, not solely to prevent food-borne allergies but to also eradicate germs so students don't get sick. Rinsing your mouth out is also required at some schools.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  35. Marie

    The "No Dogs" sign is about the fact that the school has brought in a peanut-sniffing dog to make sure nobody has broken the rules and brought nuts into the school. Seriously.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  36. Brad Drake

    She will be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act which requires individuals/companies to reasonably accomodate a person with disabilities. The other kids/parents need to grow up.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  37. Mike G.

    What happens to the unsuspecting child that accidentally "poisons" her and she either dies or suffers traumatic symptoms? Will that child be charged with attempted murder? Or murder? or Manslaughter? Will the parents be jailed as accomplices? The school is flirting with disaster because she's a ticking time bomb with the coming explosion manifesting itself as a huge lawsuit where the parents win millions of dollars because the school will be found to be negligent. I can already see them counting their dollars. The regret and shame and blame will eventually fall on the shoulders of the parents of little peanut girl. After she's dead, they can reflect back upon their insistence that she "deserves" a normal education. It will be shortly before a cure is found for this allergy, no doubt.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  38. Fed up

    Wake up America it is time fo parents to take rsponsibility for raising their children in a safe environment. stop expecting the schools to adjust to one persons allergies. if your kid is so allergic then you need to educate him at home or place him in a private school where your money not my tax doillars ere at work. As for the parents who are protesting I say HOORAY!!! Nothing in this country of whiners is going to change unless we the people stand up and say we are not going to take it anymore. Nobody owes you a D*** thing.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  39. Theresa K

    If the girl's allergy is so severe that a mere whiff of peanut butter from another person's breath will kill her, she shouldn't be in a regular school. Or else she should be placed on some sort of permanent antihistamine medication, since she will not live long in regular society where most people cannot be compelled to wash their hands and brush their teeth after every meal.

    I'm all for making reasonable accomodations for the disabled, but if someone is so severely disabled they can't survive in a society where people fail to wash their hands meticulously, they've got problems too severe for interaction with normal society.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  40. Shell

    I must be with the minority here. Its just awful that this child has these allergys, but what is going to happen on through his life? Its hard, but he is going to have to learn how to live in this world with this allergy. I'm sorry it may sound harsh, but he will grow up and the world out there is not going to accomodate him like this throughout his life. He has to learn to accomodate himself to the world.....

    March 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  41. Jim

    I can't believe these people. How ridiculous. I bet if it was their daughter they'd sing a different tune. These idiotic parents and anyone stupid enough to agree with them needs a lesson in the law. It's called the Americans with Disabilities Act. It's federal law. Look it up. The school must make every accommodation necessary for this girl to attend the school. If that means a peanut free policy (including other students) so be it. As a parent, if you don't like abiding by the law, you are the one who should withdraw your child from school.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  42. Friend

    People defending the picketing parents, this isn't about some rare allergy: peanut and other food allergies are very common. Almost as ubiquitous now as physical disabilities. We cannot shun the rights of this girl any more than a girl who cant walk. If all buildings are required to have handicapped access, reserved parking spaces, and computers are required to have accessibility features, shouldn't schools accommodate students with food allergies which are more dangerous and life threatening than some physical handicaps? What stupid logic are you following????

    March 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  43. Dave U

    You know what's ironic about this? If anyone's being inconvenienced here, it's not the kids... it's the school administrators and the teachers, who have to take all these extra steps to ensure that these rules are enforced and that everyone is washing their hands, leaving their lunches outside the classroom, etc., yet no one in the school system seems to be complaining. If anything, they seem to be aggressively defending their stance. Good for them.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  44. PW

    A study on desentizing allergies: Maybe a future hope for
    someone with this.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hUKlNC6yaXE3mm4kq5I3xFOtI5JQ
    or
    http://goo.gl/IdoWS

    March 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  45. Philip L

    I can appreciate the parent's disgust. When does it end? Everyday they FORCE the many to accomodate the miniscule few. What happens next if someone shows up to school dangerously allergic to bread? At some point society must say "enough." This is one of them. For stange and bizarre allergies like this one one solution – Home schooling.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  46. Michele King

    I wouldn't take the chance that my child come close to those that show no concern for cleanliness or her safety, all it would take would be ONE person exposing her to something potentially life threatening on purpose to end the whole situation. That's scary, and not worth the risk'

    March 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  47. jane

    HA- imominous- exactly what I was going to say.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  48. The Real Deal

    I find it hilarious reading this. What the majority of these comments boil down to is a bunch of sad people who can't understand why a group of people wouldn't want to be held responsible for raising someone else's child. You're all what is definitely wrong with this country.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  49. Jamis

    Sure, lets make Everyone Else have to change their normal daily habits just to accommodate one genetic reject.

    Isn't worth it.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  50. Liz in CA

    What's next, HAZMAT suits and Silkwood showers for all, over just ONE kid? I am sorry, but if someone has allergies that severe, there is a potential for an ACCIDENT to happen even with the best plans in place. There is a point where "mainstreaming" is not conducive to the 'mainstream' environment.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  51. Scott

    Once again, the tyranny of the minority rears it's ugly head.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  52. whudso

    Disgusted at these parents .
    A group of adults bullying a child.
    Bullying by lynch mob or by commitees, stupid ignorant people, they should be ashamed of themselves but I bet they aren't.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  53. Danielle

    I don't get it ! Do remember at any time you had to do this in the past, at school as a child? My son can not take any kind of nut to school. Teach you own children how to take care of them self do not make others do your job. As it is teacher do not have a enough to do now they have to worry about food to. WE NEED TO STOP BEING SO TOUCHY FEELY !!!

    March 28, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  54. teddyb

    These parents: "Parading Idiots".

    March 28, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  55. skm

    This is despicable. She didn't choose this, and she has a right to be at school and to feel loved in that environment. I can't believe how awful people can be.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  56. Shelly

    The second point I'd like to make is that most people really really overreact about peanut allergies. I know that there are some people who are so severely allergic that just smelling it can cause anaphylactic shock. I feel for them truely. When my son was diagnosed i was devastated. I read everything i could on how to cure it. I found one article that had a theory to just ignore the allergy, in small doses of course and take immediate action to the reaction. And thats what I did. I never gave him peanut butter but I ignored all warning labels that said "may contain" or "manufactured on the same equipment". Then had a bottle of benedryl handy incase there was a reaction. I have never had to use his Epi Pen. At the first sign of reaction i just popped a dose of benedryl in his mouth and it was all over with. There was a few times that some idiot gave him peanut butter and I reacted quickly with the benedryl occasionally having to do a double dose, but i never feared for his life. Now he is three years old and has hardly any reaction at all. He has ate up the three peanuts with no reaction, but one half of a peanut butter sandwich causes him to throw up. I estimate that by time he turns 5 he will have outgrown it. And only about 2% outgrow a peanut allergy. I absolutely believe it is because i refused to act like an overly frantic mother. More people die of beestings than peanut allergies so you better start banning flowers on school propery!

    March 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  57. Jeff

    I think the cost to the state paying for the entirity of this girls homeschooling would be less than the cost to accommodate her. I believe schools should accomodate people with disabilities, but it should also be pragmatic with its limited resources. The university I worked with 5 years ago, would spend on average $100,000 a year per disabled student to accomodate them and who paid the bill?- It was absorbed by everyone elses tuition. I realize these are different situations, but their is some financial tipping point where the school better serves the community by saddly turning away a student, giving her the independent resources she needs. I think something as extreme is the case here.

    You have the added cost of additional cleaning agents, the time used to clean, the class room time used to enact this policy, any time spent educating the teachers or students on her unique needs, and most of all you have the schools liability insurance. How much better could students be taught if she didn't require the additional attention?

    March 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  58. The voice of reason

    So they want to turn the elementary school into a protective bubble for this child.

    Then the junior high school.

    Then the high school.

    Then the college.

    Ok, what now?

    I do feel sad for this child who has this ailment and will no doubt is feeling the negative effects of isolationism and being treated differently for the rest of her life. But I also feel sad for her that her parent(s) are the kind that insist on mainstreaming a child whose health really does logically prevent mainstreaming, and feeling that the world needs to change for them because of their situation.

    Until peanuts are deemed illegal, or unless kids are purposely trying to infect the child with allergies, nobody should be forced to not enjoy peanuts or peanut butter, a staple of the human diet. Nobody should be forced to rinse their mouths twice a day or brush after each meal (do more than a few people actually do this at your job?). And nobody should be forced to modify their lives to such a degree that it becomes a daily nuisance. Rather than expect a lifelong protective shell from the rest of society, steps need to be taken to insure the child is best cared for after the inevitable contact with peanut products occurs.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  59. Michele

    And where will it end? We start making accommodations for everyone and no one will get anything done. This child needs to be taught to protect herself. I know she's only 6 and I can see the extra step needs to be in place now because she's so young, however, when she gets older and is able to know for herself what to avoid then the hand washing and mouth rinsing by fellow classmates should stop. When she grows up what is she going to do? The entire world will not be so accommodating. I don't think an entire office full of working adults will be compliant and wash their hands and rinse their mouths out because a co-worker has an allergy. Her parents need to get wise and realize that the world will NOT revolve around this child.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  60. Shelly

    I have two boys, one of which is in school and the other, still a toddler, has a peanut allergy. We have snacks in our home that have peanuts, made in a facility with peanuts and all the other warnings. My toddler has not once keeled over and died. He has a level four allergy which is as bad as it gets. However, my son's school is peanut free and it drives me crazy. I sent him with rice krispie treats and they sent home a note because of the warning that it MAY be manufactured on the same equipment that processes peanuts. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH! Now I can't send him with granola bars, cheese crackers, nutrigrain bars, cereal, p & J sandwiches and the list goes on and on. His lunch consists of the same thing everyday because his school limits what he can bring. I protested for two weeks and sent him with peanut butter everyday. They wouldn't let him eat it and therefore offered him hot lunch on those days. I figured that a P & J sandwich going to waste is cheaper than the cost of a hot lunch so now if he wants hot lunch i just send him with a P&J. LOL Evil i know.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  61. Adam

    As a parent of a child with anaphylactic (read: life-threatening) allergies to all nuts, I'm appalled by these parents' behavior. How about you try putting yourself in the shoes of the child in question? What academic sacrifice exactly are your kids are making by washing their hands, etc? How about you use this as a teachable moment with you own kids so they can learn about empathy & conscientiousness towards others, or responsibility to one's community and fellow man? Shame, shame, shame on them.

    OrangePekoe: Before you spout off on something you don't understand (like the parents in this article), why don't you take three minutes to get educated on how affected kids DIE in this country by very slight exposure to nuts. Banning peanut butter in schools is not "extreme." "Extreme" is one of your kids, or your neighbor's kids, or your friend's kids dying due to ignorant perspectives like yours.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  62. Becky

    I get the feeling that there is more to this story and that, once again, CNN has failed in their "investigative journalism" promise.

    Personally, I have a severe allergy to fish. If I eat it, I will die. Plain and simple. I have had this allergy since I was a child BUT my school never went "fish free". I simply had to learn to keep an Epi-Pen with me, how to use it, and my classmates actually knew how to help me if I needed it. Here's the deal: this little girl will eventually grow up. She will probably go somewhere that serves peanuts or have peanut products, get a really bad reaction, and if she survives, sue them. That is the sad fact of this world. No personal responsibility. I HATE that so many schools have gone "nut free". Guess what–there are alot worse walergies out there than nuts and if we don't bother to teach children with allergies to be responsible for themselves, we are only doing them a disservice because a)they won't know how to function in the real world, and b)they will think that the rest of the world will bow to their "specialness" by changing at their whim. I think these parents, while showing it tactlessly, have a good point–if this girl is THAT severe, then maybe homeschooling is the option for her. Some industrial chemicals (like cleaning solutions) have nut deritives in them–does that mean that the janitorial staff should never clean her classroom or any hallway that she is ever in? If someone had peanut butter at home for breakfast and breathes near her, does that count as "nut free" since they ate it in their own home?

    You can't regulate the world and your child does not have any more "special" a need than some other kids in the school. So, stop whining, get off your butts, be a PARENT, and teach your child to take care of herself. There are plenty of options for her–carry an Epi-pen, train school officials to take care of an allergic reaction, teach her to clean off her own lunch table setting, or have her eat in a special room away from the deadly peanuts, etc. Forcing a whole school to change for one "special" child (when there are, no doubt, many more children with many other worse problems who are being ignored) is selfish and elitist–is that how you want your child growing up? With an attitude that screams "I'm special!"? Typical herd mentality–the government will always do what you think is best.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  63. David

    CDF: A child cannot be held to the same "take responsibility" standard as an adult. You can't always expect a child to carry her Epipen. This is an issue of a child's life vs. some, face it, very minor inconveniences.

    People like you with such narrow views of self interest are the reason our country is going down the drain. You need to make a little room for the needs of others.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  64. Ed

    I sympathize with the girl with the allergy, but where is the line to be drawn?
    -How many people do you inconvenience for one?
    -What if a child accidently causes a peanut contact and allergic reaction? Are they responsible, are their parents, are the teachers?
    -What janitor/teacher has the responsibility for always making sure everything is perfectly clean?
    -What happens to the student who should eat peanut butter because it is dietetically beneficial? The one who is medically anvised to snack on any "candy bar" because they are diabetic and going into a low sugar episode?
    -Should children be taught not to share, or that it is "dangerous" to share food?

    I think these parents should be working diligently to determine the extent of their child's sensitivity and exploring the best medical advice for its treatment. That is their responsibility. There are some treatment therapies that have explored building tolerance slowly to extreme allergic reaction. I think they have been somewhat successful, too.

    I'd make sure their allergist isn't a flake; it is the easiest medical specialty to make a living off fraudulent misdiagnosis. Unfortunately so, because there are good allergists out there.

    The girl should ALWAYS be able to have an epi-pen available, on her person. There is no stigma in that any more than a child who must wear a brace or take a pill, let alone suffer with some obious deformity. She can wear it on a lanyard if she needs to and have teachers trained to administer it until she is old enough to do it herself.

    Sorry, welcome to the real world.

    I know a girl who is autistic and her parents have worked hard to have her mainstreamed in school. She can be startled into a fit by loud noises. Her parents don't insist that the school be kept quiet, however.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  65. Susan

    It is not my responsibility to look after your child. It's yours. If this little girl is so allergic it could be life threatening, what kind of parent would even consider sending her off to school?

    Why should the entire school have to take precautions for one kid? It's absurd.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  66. Ange

    I feel for this little girl. Regardless of the outcome, she will be hurt either way. As a former substitute teacher the first thing I read when I arrived in a classroom was the information on students allergies and medical issues. Schools are to provide a safe and healthy learning environment. Those parents trying to throw that little girl out should be ashamed. With that being said there has to be a point of compromise that doesn't infringe of the girl's safety or the other children's rights. That girl is just as likely to be exposed in a movie theater, store, or any other public place as she is at school.

    A dear friend of mine growing up had a severe dairy allergy. Her parent's would notify other parents in advance of sleepovers and parties and would send non-dairy ice cream along with her. When she was a teenager a waitress accidently brought her regular milk instead of soy milk. It actually turned out to be a good thing, because she had outgrown her dairy allergy.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  67. MomtoAllergicKid

    I think the time spent picketing is taking away from valuable learning time for those parents.
    They could start by reading a little bit about food allergy safety, and it wouldn't hurt to spend some time working on their compassion for others, either.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  68. patilee

    No child will die from washing their hands and using mouth wash. However, this child can die from peanuts. What kind of "parents" are these protesters? They should be ashamed of themselves. But I'm sure they have no shame and neither will their children. Protecting their right to be dirty.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  69. JP

    OMG! This is a Horrible story. Is this town in the middle-ages? This has to be one of the most disgusting displays of parental misconduct (on the part of the protesters) I have ever heard. The fact that basic hygienic cleanliness is being protested is absolutely egregious! "...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." Seriously?!?! the "extra" step of washing your hands and cleaning your mouth after you eat is taking away from their child's learning.?!?! How? Do these "people" really think washing one's hands and practicing good hygiene is an EXTRA step?!?!? Dis-gusting! Yuk! X-P

    March 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  70. Kyrie S

    If my kid had a life threatening allergy, I'd keep them at home!!! I thought I'd be against the parents asking the girl to leave but I must say i agree on this one. If you get a bunch of kids with life threatening issues at one school then how much do all the normal healthy students have to change their lives for your kid? I'd sue if they tried to make my kid do something like that because it's not the school's place.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  71. W

    Wow, sounds like these picketing parents have been drinking the same Koolaid as the Westboro fanatics.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  72. Joey K

    I went to elementary and secondary school in Toronto, Canada, where I was born and raised. Every elementary school was a peanut-free zone. It was just custom. I thought it was the same in the United States. I guess I was wrong. It should be custom. As I remember, there were three kids in my grade with life-threatening peanut allergies, and I'm sure there were kids in other grades. Shame on these parents for their ignorance. To even think of protesting the idea of a peanut-free zone, or washing hands periodically is just cold-hearted. God bless America...

    March 28, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Pam

      I completely agree. It should be a custom.

      March 28, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  73. imominous

    "I am a mother of a son with severe allergies including peanuts! I am also an elementary teacher!! My school has went peanut free due to my son!"

    You teach elementary school and use "has went" in a sentence?
    Peanut allergies are not your school's main problem.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  74. CDF

    Stay home if you cannot function in the real world. Allergy to this, allergy to that, what a bunch of nonsense. Carry and Epipen if you are that severely allergic to something that is common in the environment. Stop expecting other people to bend their lives around your individual problems.
    Take responsibility for yourself and teach your children to do the same.

    March 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Pam

      Where is your heart?? Apparently you have no clue what its like to live with life threatening food allergies.

      March 28, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  75. mommyofallergies

    this is a load of crap! PEOPLE need to mind their business and put themselves in the shoes of a person or parent with allergies and see how they would feel if this happened to them........ So my child should withdraw for being allergic to spinach? KISS IT! Thank you to the school system for accommodating to the needs of this child.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  76. AmeriKKKa

    If only our country could be as civilized as Japan, America is the most selfish industrialized society.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  77. Silvia

    This story is sad and enraging. I'm a mother of a child with several food allergies and I can't believe how people can picket against something so simple and basic. This feeling of entitlement is what is splitting our country apart! Who says your child is entitled to not have to follow common sense rules? Why should your child be entitled to eat whatever without concern to what might happen to a classmate? They are not even asking the classmates to stop eating peanuts, a much easier solution would be to declare the school a nut free zone! God forbid we take your peanuts away! Get a life and start thinking a bit less about yourself and more about your fellow man!

    March 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  78. Alex

    I feel like this child's parents are setting her up for failure once she gets into the real world. While limiting peanut distribution in school is important, it's unrealistic for this child to get the idea that the world will accommodate her throughout life. She will need to learn to protect herself from the dangers instead of relying on others. Children who only eat PB&J sandwiches should be given a separate table to eat at, they shouldn't be punished because they are finicky eaters. A balanced approach is necessary where 1 child's rights does not outweigh the entire school. Personally I would have my child home-taught till I felt they were able to protect them-self and not rely on others.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  79. Just Saying

    Not agreeing with the picketing by any means, and if the hand washing/rinsing is the only accommodation she requires it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. HOWEVER, my kids were in class with a child with a severe peanut/tree nut allergy a couple of years ago and it was pretty stressful for the rest of the parents. The kids ate lunch in the classroom once a week, and they also had an afternoon snack in the class room each day since they didn't get home until well past 4pm.

    It wasn't enough to limit peanut butter or products containing actual nuts, we were restricted from bringing ANY food items that hadn't been produced in a completely nut free facility. Absolutely no home made items, only certain approved brand of snacks/bread etc. Not only did it get expensive not being able to shop sales, but I know that my kids did not always get enough nutrients on the days they were eating in the classroom (they don't eat meat & tuna was also banned).

    Of course you can't put a price tag on safety, but it got me wondering at what point enough is enough? In our case the school may have gone overboard trying to protect this child (and themselves from a law suit), but I can see why they would.

    I'm very thankful we don't have to deal with allergies, and I certainly have sympathy for people that do.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  80. OrangePekoe

    I think a child with allergies should be taught to avoid such things. Other children should be taught NOT to share food with other kids for these reasons. Extra handwashing and teethbrushing is a good idea anyway but you cannot guarantee a child will brush/wash well enough to prevent an allergy inducing substance from affecting an allergic classmate. Bottom line is that students should be taught to take responsibility for their actions.

    Peanut butter has always been a staple of school lunches and a majority of students should not be kept from having them because one student might be allergic. Everyone should be accomodated but bannign peanut butter seems extreme to me.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  81. Bethany

    I'm sure eventually she will learn to handle herself and her allergies on her own, but you must realize that she is 6 YEARS OLD! No one has said that she must continue to have classmates wash out their mouths and hands when she goes to college, but at this age level when children aren't so careful, it is much needed attention to detail. Shame on all of those parents for being selfish and inconsiderate.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  82. j.c.

    In every school I've gone to (and I've gone to a lot), it was always Peanut Free. Honestly, I'm more surprised schools aren't.

    However, there were no extra measures. Washing your hands was asked but not demanded. And everyone with peanut allergies knew how to take care of themselves.

    In the end, the girl should learn how to take care of herself, but the other children should make sure to keep themselves as clean as possible. And good hand washing techniques should always be taught.

    March 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  83. Sarav Chidambaram

    I am dumb founded. It is traumatic to fight a fight 24×7 with a life threatening allergy to peanuts, this little girl and here family is forced to fight the selfish, self centered parents of her classmates. What the illogical parents forgot is that this could be their kid who is fighting the fight. This country has become so intolerant and people have become so selfish in lot many ways. Shame on all of you to be this selfish. May be you withdraw your kids and home school them and leave this poor girl and her parents alone. I am so infuriated reading about this all in the news.

    March 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  84. Bob

    At least they're only picketing. A few years back some of the thoughtful parents in Florida shot a bullet through the house of Ryan White (adolescent who contracted HIV though a blood transufsion) and burned down the house of Ricky Ray in Arcadia for the same reason. Glad to see all the good Christian parents are toning it down a bit.

    March 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  85. L Marshall

    Just like the recent situation with the protesters outside of military funerals...one of the great things American was founded on is freedom: 1) Their freedom to protest and

    2) The freedom of the rest of us to discriminate against the protesters for their aggression, bigotry, and narcissism.

    March 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  86. Michael

    They should pull this anti peanut kid from school! If the kid can not be around peanuts then the parents are at fault and should have to put up with the kid all the time. (peanut allergies are preventable and curable) if the parent will not pull the kid out of that school then the other students should shower her in peanuts!

    March 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  87. Sarah

    As a parent of a child with food allergies... I am saddened by many of these comments. I was blessed with one very healthy child and one precious angel with a severe allergy to Eggs and Dogs. Since he is only 15 months I have not had to worry about what school will be like for us as eggs are in most foods. We teach our kids that everything should be fair but sometimes it just doesnt happen that way. For those that are talking about when this precious child is older and that people won't make exceptions for her in her job life... I am sure that 20 years down the road when this applies she will have a handle on it. She is young and definitely not the only child with these needs. As far as I am concerned these parents are no better than the bullies that are mean to kids for their sexual preference. She did not choose this and should not be humiliated over another parents lack of compassion. Sad part is thy have created a mountain out of a mole hill and he will never be treated the same as the other kids. Shame on those parents and those of you who so quickly forget how blessed you are.

    March 28, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  88. Patricia A Murphy

    As a person who has had a severe peanut allergy since childhood, I must say I am appalled by the behavior of these parents. My schoolmates tortured me when they found out about my peanut allergy and would slip peanut butter into my food at lunch time. I could just sit in a classroom and when my schoolmates ate peanuts at their desks, I would leave the room with my eyes swollen shut. I could have been murdered by my classmates. This lack of understanding by parents about the dangers is a form of bullying.

    March 28, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  89. Anna_'smom

    My son has severe milk allergies. Before his first day of school we let the administrators, school cafeteria, and teacher know of his allergies. At the time we qualified for free school lunches. But the school refused to buy the “dairy free” milk alternative soy or rice milk they would only offer him kool aid or water. I also did not feel adequately reassured that the cafeteria workers were totally aware of all forms of dairy to ensure them not being feed to my son. So I sent my son to public school with his lunch and worked with the teacher to be informed before a classmate’s birthday came up so that I could send in a milk free treat for my son. The same for when they had a pizza party and ice cream party, I sent in alternatives. I tried to ensure my son led as much as a normal life as possible without making a circus about it and making him feel like a freak.
    If you have put such a big “bubble of peanut free zone” around your child, I would really question whether or not to send him to school. I would insist at school expense to send a tutor or look into the option of “virtual online school”. Some school systems are using these as charter schools. The child would still get the voice interaction with peers, some from across the country and go on field trips with other children in the local area.

    March 28, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  90. Nadine

    Obviously a mob mentality has taken hold in this community. Probably one or two excitable idiots and a whole bunch of SHEEP. What a terrible lesson they are teaching their children. It seems like the inconvenience is pretty small. What a pathetic situation this is.

    March 28, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  91. Gen Anxiety

    Stupidity knows no bounds!

    March 28, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  92. Anura

    To Rudy:

    Yes an adult will learn how to avoid the nuts. I mean nuts. But a child...
    Be merciful Rudy, be merciful unto a child.

    March 28, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  93. Anura

    Another group of people who do not know what they are doing. They will when they are hit by the misfortune themselves.

    March 28, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  94. CGB

    The fact is that this is a first-grade girl we're talking about. Yes, as she gets older she should be taught to protect herself, so that when she goes out into the world where no protections will be offered for her, she can be safe. Right now, however, she is still too young to do that for herself. The measures the school is taking seem fairly reasonable. Either there's more to the story that we're not hearing, or these protesting parents are thoughtless and selfish, worrying about their own children enjoying peanuts, forgetting about the vulnerable little girl at the heart of this debate. That girl has a right to public education. Asking one parent to potentially give up a job to homeschool her, or asking her parents to put her in a private school could be a big financial burden on that family. But, frankly, if they can afford to do so, I would recommend that the parents pull her out of that school, since she has been treated so horribly by the parents of fellow students and probably also by the students themselves (children pick up on and repeat their parents opinions). This can't be an environment where she can learn at all.

    March 28, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  95. alincoln

    You people are nuts (no pun intended). Learn to do some reading before you flip out!

    While the most obvious and dangerous route for an allergic individual is unintentional ingestion, some reactions are possible through external exposure. However some of these are controversial, exaggerated, or have been discredited through empirical testing. Common beliefs are that anaphylaxis can be triggered by touching peanuts or products, smelling the odor of peanuts, and simple proximity to peanut products. Many of these beliefs have resulted in controversial bans on all peanut products from entire facilities such as schools and medical facilities. Harvard pediatrician Dr. Michael C. Young notes in his book The Peanut Allergy Answer Book that while such secondary contact might pose a risk to an allergic individual, the occurrence of a reaction is rare and limited to minor symptoms.[22] Some reactions have been noted to be psychogenic in nature, the result of conditioning and belief rather than a true chemical reaction.Blinded, placebo-controlled studies by Sicherer et al. were unable to produce any reactions using the odor of peanut butter or its mere proximity.[22] That said, some activities such as cooking or large-scale shelling or crushing of peanuts (such as in a farming or factory production environment) can cause particles to become airborne, and can have respiratory effects to allergic individuals who are nearby. Similarly, residue on surfaces has been known to cause minor skin rashes, though not anaphylaxis.[22]

    March 28, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  96. dom625

    I'm going against the current here, but I support the parents who are protesting. One of the problems of our nation today is that every little minority expects deferential treatment. If the allergy is that severe, she needs to have a private tutor in her own home rather than risk any type of exposure to peanuts. What if my son had peanut butter toast for breakfast and forgot to wash his hands? What if the students do a shoddy job washing their hands? There are too many possibilities to take chances.

    Besides, sure, this girl has certain rights, but my kids have rights also. And one of them is the right to have peanut butter for lunch if that is what they want.

    March 28, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  97. areyoufor real

    the kid should be home schooled
    if the parents want the kid to goto public schools

    then they should have the kid treated , and their are treatments that work
    to reduce or eliminate peanut allergies.

    it's not our responsibility

    March 28, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  98. harriet

    It is completely nuts to ask this child to be home schooled. Disabled children are entitled to a free and appropriate public education with non-disabled children to the fullest extent possible under IDEA sec 504, this is not a ADA reasonable accommodation issue, the school does need to ensure that they do everything possible to school this child and any disabled child with typically developing kids. As for those clowns who think peanut allergies are getting special treatment 1) peanut allergies vary in degrees and 2) if a child had a severe allergy to another food or thing, steps would be taken. As a matter of fact, my son's school is peanut and fish free, yes fish. BTW, we use peanut butter substitutes and they wouldn't even know it was soy but i had to tell them so the teachers/lunch aids won't freak out. No biggie for us. hopefully once this kid gets older her allergies will be better, in the least, she should be able to control her environment and learn to stay away from peanuts without having people picket her school and ask that she be turned away, what a bunch of sick self centered adults, i'm glad i don't live there.

    March 28, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  99. Defier123

    Volusia for "Mean" Capital of Florida.
    A very few posters comment on how she can't be accommodated all her life. I say, School is different than the real world. Every American is entitled to a grade school education. These are minor inconveniences, teaching children "Good Hygiene", most likely reducing the spread of infectious flu and cold germs. After graduation, turn into a slob if you want.

    After she graduates her choices will have some limits, IE: no peanut farming. She will be able to limit the method and number of people she interacts with daily. School is a most difficult time without this kind of ostrasization of a child. Who already has to deal with living closer to death than almost all of us reading this article.

    March 28, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  100. Peggy

    My son, now 28 years old, had severe food and environmental allergies. His reaction was asthma attacks so severe that he almost died when he was 2 years old. He couldn't sleep over at his friend's houses because the parents were afraid he would get sick while there and they did not want to be responsible. I applaud this school for helping to protect this child, and I challenge these protesting parents to become active particitpants in a way which will help this child have a normal childhood, instead of subjecting her to this type of isolation and bullying. Others have commented here that the child just needs to be careful Peanuts are so potentially dangerous to some children that they can't even be in the same room-it is that potent. Some major league baseball parks have actually gone peanut free, so parents can take their kids to the ball game without worrying. Do these protestors really want to have the death or permanent disability of a child on their conciensce? How about the trauma of watching a child die? That would be much worse for their children than having to eat peanut free food! My son is healthy now, but it could have been very different. Have a little compassion, people!

    March 28, 2011 at 10:10 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8