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Parents Protesting a Kid with a Peanut Allergy: Are They Right?

By brooklynsupper |

Peanut plant

Image: Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen

A group of parents in Volusia County, Florida are picketing their children’s elementary school to force the withdrawal of student with a peanut allergy. Their reason for this noble crusade is that the rules the school put in place are too onerous and taking away from time better spent on academics. Do the parents have a point and what were the burdensome rules anyway?

No, the parents do not have a point. In fact, they are horrible people and one can only hope their children don’t look up to them too much. The rules in question were that students had to leave their lunches outside the classroom and had to wash their hands when they arrive in the morning and after lunch. They’re not even being asked not to bring peanuts to school.

As a parent, I hope my child leaves her lunch where her teachers tell her to leave it and I don’t think her time at school will be any more enriching because she’s able to see her lunch throughout the morning. And I try to teach good hygiene. I know not everyone is good about their hands, but I think there was a time when people would at least try to convince their children that it was a good idea. If you’re so in love with filthiness that you find yourself becoming angry when your child is asked to practice basic hygiene, I think it’s time to take a good, hard look at yourself in the mirror.

Finally, peanut allergies are no joke. Kids can die from them. It should go without saying, but when kids die, it’s a big deal. When you’re doing the mental math weighing slight inconvenience for your own kid versus the life of someone else’s and your answer is “Let’s roll the dice on the allergic kid!,” it’s safe to say that somewhere along the line you’ve really lost your way.

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About brooklynsupper

brooklynsupper

brooklynsupper

Elizabeth Stark and Brian Campbell write the blog Brooklyn Supper, dedicated to seasonal ingredients and wholesome home cooking. Read bio and latest posts → Read Elizabeth's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Parents Protesting a Kid with a Peanut Allergy: Are They Right?

  1. Diera says:

    Wow. Adults picketing against a child who has a deadly allergy. They should go hang out with that woman in Michigan who was spending her time taunting the little girl dying of Huntington’s disease. I bet they’d have a lot to talk about.

  2. Manram says:

    They are right and should stand up for what they believe. Why should the world change their ways because of a few people with allergies. I have enough to worry about in the world than to worry about other people’s medical conditions. If the Allergy is that severe they should consider home school. I feel bad for the kid but this whole allergy thing is getting carried away.

  3. Jb says:

    Actually its a little more than that…kids are being required to rinse their mouths before returning to the classroom after breakfast and lunch, and being wiped down (face and hands) with clorox wipes as well several times per day. I’m all for keeping a child safe, but if they have an allergy that is so severe that it impedes upon the general wellbeing of every other child at that school, perhaps public school isn’t the place for her. Her parents have stated that they cannot go out to eat in restaurants, and places like that because her allergy is so severe, so why must the rights of every other child be infringed upon for the sake of one? Also, clorox wipes are not intended to be used on faces. Ever think how much more dangerous it is for a child to be wiped down with a bleach chemical multiple times a day? No way for me. This is just one more reason why homeschooling is a better option for kids these days. More time spent actually learning, less time spent trying to cater to the politically correct.

  4. Megan says:

    That’s insane! So because a child has an allergy she shouldn’t be allowed to go to school and socialize with her peers? What is wrong with these parents? I would be thrilled that the school is teaching my daughter to wash her hands. Honestly who cares where they put their lunch! I think the parents need to find something better to do with their time then harass a little girl!

  5. Angie says:

    It was more than just washing hands. Teachers had to monitor the mouth rinsing and frequent hand washing, and ensure surfaces were continually swabbed with Clorox. The school banned all peanut products, eliminated snacks in the classroom and forbade outside food at holiday parties. A peanut-sniffing dog patrolled the school halls.

  6. Carrie says:

    Honestly!?! I hope their children are never stricken with any bothersome allergy or disease. What a hassle that would be for them.

  7. brooklynsupper says:

    @Angie, it’s true that the restrictions initially were more stringent (the dog only came to school once, though), but none of them were very tough. But if you have a problem with something that’s going with a classmate, the right thing to do is never to publicly protest an individual child. That’s an awful and immature way to act and must make that poor little girl feel terrible. Those parents should be ashamed of themselves.

  8. Libby says:

    The protesters have spread quite a bit of “misinformation” about the actual accommodations that the Bailey’s daughter is receiving, including blaming some unrelated decisions the teachers made in regard to snacks and parties on her. Unfortunately the local media initially repeated some of these claims without doing any fact checking, so the lies grew legs.

    The sad truth of the matter is that the adult protesters are trying to bully a six year old child out of school based on her disability. What’s next, picketing wheelchair ramps, because their children must walk around them, or protesting the “special” bathroom stalls for handicapped children?

  9. Sarah says:

    They aren’t protesting against the child. Please don’t twist things around. They are protesting the outlandish measures that the other children must endure to prevent peanuts entering the classroom and the huge waste of time that these measures are.

  10. brooklynsupper says:

    @ Sarah, you’re mistaken. They are asking for the child to withdraw from school.

  11. iris1973 says:

    It really doesn’t matter if they are protesting against the child or against the measures the school must take – semantics. The bottom line is that this poor girl is going to wind up the butt of many jokes and a virtual outcast, regardless of the outcome. At the end of the day, who suffers most? Crazy.

  12. H.Barber says:

    Wow, I think the author needs to chill. First of all, I am totally 100% empathetic to the child with the peanut allergy and her parents. However, as I read on, I became turned-off looking any further about the issue because of the “tone” Brooklyn set. I’m also empathetic to the children that are having to be wiped down with toxic Clorox wipes, mouths wiped clean inside and out, and not being allowed to bring anything peanut related (many foods have derivatives of peanuts in them). I don’t like the fact that time is spent wiping every single thing down several times a day while the students time should be being taught. Children today are overly hygienic and not exposed to germs, and so they grow up hyper-sensitive, immune deficient and allergic. I’m all for washing hands and cleanliness, but not becoming sterile. I don’t think it appropriate for the opposing parents to picket for the cause, but rather settle/discuss in a more acceptable fashion. That poor allergic child is dealing with enough, and there isn’t anything she can do to overcome a lifelong allergic reaction to peanuts. With all of that said, I still don’t know whether the child should be able to stay or be in a more welcomed situation, like homeschooling.

  13. Morgan says:

    It seems like there’s a lot of conflicting information regarding the “rules” implemented at this school. I’m not sure that protesting is the best method, but the concerned parents certainly have a right to do so. I’m not even sure why parents would bother protesting if the situation were as simple as their children being asked to wash their hands. That just doesn’t add up.

    I also think that dismissing the parents as “horrible people” for doing what they believe is best for their own children is unjustified and, quite frankly, sloppy writing.

  14. brooklynsupper says:

    Morgan, if they were just concerned for their children’s education and went to a school board meeting or scheduled an appointment to meet with the principal I could see your point. But picketing because you want a child removed from school is a terrible, awful thing to do. That kid has to be aware that a bunch of adults don’t want her in the school and must feel horrible. You’re right that they have a right to protest, but it doesn’t make them any less horrible for doing so.

    Also, there is a lot of misinformation around and it’s mostly coming from the parents in question. According to the school, students have to leave their lunches outside, wash their hands in the morning and after lunch, rinse their mouths out after lunch, and a peanut sniffing dog came once while school was not in session. None of that seems especially burdensome.

  15. Jackie Hale says:

    I’m late to this discussion, having just discovered this website but I have a couple of things to add. My 8yr old daughter has a peanut and tree nut allergy and she has since she was 2 yrs old. It was discovered because I gave her a smidgen of PB cheesecake and she almost died after ingesting the PB cheesecake. We’re lucky that her allergy isn’t so severe to the degree other kids have this allergy but I think that the parents who are picketing to have the child with the peanut/tree nut allergy removed from school are very selfish and self-absorbed. And I bet not one parent, has put themselves in the position of the child or the child’s parents. When did our world become so selfish? So inhumane and dismissive of other’s feelings and concerns? No, using clorox to wipe faces and hands acceptable, why aren’t the parents coming up with a better solution? Maybe each parent that is so against this child going to school, maybe they should think about what it would be like or feel like if it were your child that had a illnes or a handicapped and was being ostrasized and taunted and picketed in this manner. Like every child in the world, all this boy/or girl wants to do is go to school and learn and have fun with her peers.
    Jackie Hale

  16. Carla says:

    All I can say is wtf, my son has a peanut allergy along with many others and I say to those selfish parents kiss my a**. No one childs life is worth more than the other, maybe if they seen the affects of an allergic reaction maybe they will understand.

  17. Katrina Marie Gatdula says:

    Wow! I have a peanut allergy myself. It’s bad enough when you have to watch people eat what you would like to have ( I love peanut butter) , but people die from peanut allergies. The parents that did this should be ashamed of themselves. They are being selfish. Not to mention the fact that the psychiatric affect on the poor child should also be considered here. It is not like there is anything that can be done to change the allergy. It is something you basically are forced to live with. Maybe they should have had a parent assembly (lol) on the facts about peanut allergies. These parents obviously could not be bothered to get the facts thenselves. If they did…then they would realize that it is a serious matter. Some schools ban peanut butter all together. They should be thankful they were only being asked to wash hands and leaves lunches outside of the classroom air sace. Sheesh…some people :/

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