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How do you handle bullying with food allergies?

8 replies [Last post]
By pfmom2 on Sat, 06-07-08, 22:13

A recent incident at my child's school has led me to these thoughts, although always been a topic of discussion with school staff.
Say a child just threatens your child verbally. "I have peanut butter on my hands and am going to get you...etc" Turns out child said was lying and didn't have anything on their hands.
What should/could the school do? How would you approach this if it were your child? What should the punishment be for something like this?
I feel there should be [b]no tolerance[/b]. In my opinion, a verbal threat is a threat and bullying. Just as mental/emotional abuse is just as harmful as physical abuse, kwim?
Any thoughts?

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By Krusty Krab on Sat, 06-07-08, 23:28

"I have a loaded gun and I'm going to get you."

"I have a knife and I'm going to get you"

"I have a taser and I'm going to get you."

"I have a vial of ricin and I'm going to get you."

"I have peanut butter and I'm going to get you."

All of these are a weapon against a person deathly allergic to peanuts. My child ought not to live in concern, worry or fear of impending harm, of any form while at school. Whatever you do, [i]jump on it hard and fast[/i] if something like this happens. Others may not fully appreciate the nature of a comment about food, but you must educate everyone involved and stand in support of your child's health and mental well-being.

In my opinion.

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By mom2landz on Sat, 06-07-08, 23:32

i completely agree with Krusty. i was trying to figure out how to say what i wanted to say... the above post says it all.

i don't know when people will "get it." but until then, we have to be the protectors of our children.

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By pfmom2 on Sat, 06-07-08, 23:48

I absolutely agree with you both and thought to myself it's not different than someone telling them they have a gun or a knife, etc.
It actually did happen at my childrens' school but not to my children, but another child with life-threatening allergies. I just was trying to talk it out as to what I should expect should this have been my child. I agree with [b]no tolerance[/b]. I've already talked to both my children and what they should do should it happen to them.
And, I guess I am also looking for others to maybe share some incidences if it has happened, and what the school did about it.
I feel like the schools don't take bullying of any kind seriously enough anymore, and so what do you think they should do? Is a talk with the principal enough, a call home, an inhouse suspension, etc.? What would you expect from the school should this be your child?

I guess I am just trying to prepare myself should either of my children be the next victim of this bully.

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By tchrmom on Mon, 07-28-08, 03:20

I'm a teacher and the mother of a PA child. I have gotten lots of advice from the mother of one of my former PA students-- she was a wonderful support right after my child had his reaction. As far as appropriate punishment, I think part of it depends on the age of the child. A kindergartener, while certainly understanding that he has been told not to have peanuts, and should follow that rule, is not at the same level as a 2nd grader or a 5th grader. He knows he is being mean, but probably doesn't really get what "life-threatening" really means. I would start with a talk with the principal, and the principal calling the parents, probably in the child's presence. After that, consequences would get more severe. However, mere "possession" on the child's part needs to be attributed to the parents, and if that means they have to bring the child something different, I'd hope it was very inconvenient. Bullying, on the other hand, should result in punishment to the child.

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By niche on Mon, 07-28-08, 20:27


My son actually had an incident this year. He was in kindergarden. Someone said to him "I am going to shoot you full of peanuts until you blow up". Then this boy and another teased my son all afternoon. My son was very very upset when he finally let it out. I called the school (private) and they called the parents. Teachers and parents talked to the kids. Teachers also kept a closer eye on the kids and the next day at lunch the teacher did hear a comment and put a quick end to it. My son was good friends with the boy that said this so we knew the parents somewhat. We met with the father and the child and did some education on food allergies and that it can be life threatening. It seemed to help we didn't have any further problems with that boy. I agree with the poster that if the kids were older I would have expected more action in addition to the education.

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By Mrsdocrse on Sat, 08-02-08, 12:38

Like the others... I feel it would depend on how old the child was. grades k-2 they are not old enough to contemplate what life threatening is.. older kids have a better grasp.

But I would immediately bring it to the attention of the principal. there should something done no matter what.

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By dorry85 on Sun, 08-03-08, 04:11

This happened to my son in third grade. His best friend did not like him being friends with another boy so he put peanut butter on his hands and threatened to rub it on him. The principal took immediate action and called the parent in and she did not take it well. She became very belligerent and we could not work the situation out. Her son was reprimanded allowed to stay in school but I had to explain to my son why a person who had been his friend since Kindergarten could not remain a friend. I agree that this is bullying but a dangerous form. I am all for some form of suspension.

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By peanuts4yucky on Mon, 08-18-08, 19:33

What a good thread to start! My little boy is about to start kindergarten (GULP) and I have thought about this happening. He is very sensitive and doesn't have a mean bone in his body so I shudder to think of how he would take it if someone was cruel to him about his allergy. I'd like to hear more stories and how the situation was handled.

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