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Is Peanut Butter Ban Fair To Students?

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Many kids live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The mom of third-trader Jared Michaud says "If he couldn’t have peanut butter, he’d starve,” she said. “That’s what he brings every day for lunch, a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich." In this respect, he's not unlike thousands of kids in school cafeterias across the world.

Yet the preferred lunchbox contents of kids like Jared has become a sticky subject with some parents, whose children have severe peanut allergies. Some want to see school districts ban peanut products – including the beloved PB&J sandwich – from school property in order to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.

Donna Doyle, who supervises school nurses for Killingly Public Schools, says "We absolutely understand where these parents are coming from who want peanuts banned." Legal guidelines mandate allergy-free tables in the lunchroom. In many districts across the country, each school has a food allergy plan and ensures that staff are trained to uphold safeguards against cross-contamination.

The parent of one third-grader with a severe peanut allergy says "I’ve got mixed emotions about" banning peanuts. "My son is certainly educated on his allergy, and I’m not big on an institution or government stepping in on something like that. But if I see that schools become less responsible and aren’t keeping up with the safeguards, I probably would change my tune," she says.

Some schools have already decided to go entirely peanut-free. Goodyear Early Childhood Center, home to around 130 preschool-aged students, has been nut free since 2008. At the beginning of the school year, parents are told not to send nut products in their children's lunches, a rule that is upheld by staff members who check each child's lunch every day. School officials say the policy works because the school is small and the children are young. "Parents accepted it when we did it, and it went rather smoothly. But it would be very hard to keep a school with 600 to 800 students nut-free."

Although the age of the children attending Goodyear makes this policy a reasonable solution, administrators there also admit that "It’s really not in the child’s best interest who has the allergy." Because the rest of the world is not peanut-free, "That child needs to learn to be able to control their own allergy.”

Others argue that the policy isn't fair for children accustomed to bringing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with their lunch. "But is it fair for my child to take something he loves away?" questioned one school official. Another says "We switched out peanut butter for sun butter (made out of sunflower seeds) in our kindergarten classes one time," but "They can tell. They would ask us why we weren’t giving them real peanut butter."

What do you think? How far should schools go to prevent students with severe allergies from coming into contact with peanut butter?

Read more: http://www.norwichbulletin.com/archive/x230251823/Peanut-butter-has-dark...

By peanut fan on Sun, 08-19-12, 19:03

If I'm sitting in the cafeteria of my work place and my best friend sat down and asked me not to bring peanut butter sandwiches to work anymore because it could kill him/her if he/she touched it, I'd tell him to go sit somewhere else, not to eat MY food, and I'd promise not to smear my peanut butter sandwich on anything. Oh and I might wash my hands before I pat him on the back, or I might just not touch him at all. That's called keeping our hands to ourselves.

These kids that have severe allergies are going to have to deal with people like me the rest of their lives, and the allergies aren't going away. Rather than ban the food from schools. We need to teach proper habits. Can a mistake happen? Sure. But banning the food doesn't prevent the mistake. It just places blame on someone for it, so that the surviving family can sue the hell out of someone when their kids dies from a food allergy. That's ridiculous. If my kid had a severe food allergy that would suck for me and that kid, but it doesn't mean that no one else should be able to have peanuts. It is a really delicious and healthy option or BILLIONS of people! What's next? Do we ban all peanut products in the U.S.A. To protect peanut allergic adults too? What about those that are lactose intolerant? What about those with severe allergies of other foods? Pretty soon we will only be able to eat raw vegetables and our muscles will atrophy from lack of protein or calcium. Where does it stop? I teach. I just got told by my doctor I have high cholesterol. I'm not supposed to have ANY meat, accept for fish. So now if I have a student with peanut allergies, I can't have a peanut butter sandwich for lunch? Where's my source of protein? tuna fish sandwiches every day for lunch? No thanks. If we are weigh convenience for one person versus life and death for on other person, I sort of get it, but even in that situation, on an island, I think the allergic person gets coconut oil slipped into his food one night to avoid the problem. We are talking about maybe a couple of hundred thousand people with food allergies who are successfully dictating to the other 7 billion people in the world what they can and cannot eat/serve to their own children. That is not right. And yes I get that it is a severe allergy, that it is a life and death situation for these kids. The freedom of many SHOULD be more important than the safety of a few.

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By PeanutPower on Tue, 01-24-12, 11:49

Our country is going soft. What a F****ING disgrace this is. Let's ban your kids instead.

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By tonichow on Sun, 01-22-12, 04:53

IS IT FAIR TO BAN PEANUT BUTTER? How about, Is it fair to put a child's life endanger for the right to eat peanut butter? I think the life of a child should come before the right to eat peanut butter. You can teach kids all you want but accidents happen and if you can lower the risk of an accident, why wouldn't you? If we can accept that it is illegal to drive without a seat belt, because it will save lives, then why can't we accept that banning peanut butter from school (elementary schools in particular) can save a child's life. Don't forget that being allergic to peanuts can mean death. Let me ask you this, If you exercised your rights to send peanut butter to school with your child and your child didn't wash his hands after lunch and then touched my child's face and caused a lethal reaction, would you feel that you were in your rights to send peanut butter to school or would you feel regret for the death of my child?

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By mrssally on Thu, 09-20-12, 01:59

Let me say this.... Is it fair for my child to be filled with preseveratives and dyes from lunch meat? What about at home before kids come to school? All kids do not wash there hands. What if a child eats peanut butter for breakfast and doesn't wash his or her hands then touches that child who is allergic? Are you going to ban it from everyones home??????

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By kelli714 on Sat, 09-24-11, 22:20

My sons school banned it about 2 years ago. There were alot of concerned parents after that. They said the same thing "that their kids were gonna starve and that they wouldn't like anything else in their lunch". But now it seems to be ok. At our house my daughter, who is older used to eat a peanut butter sandwhich almost everyday, but my son is allergic to it and we dont have it as much as we used to. But it is my belief that I still should have it, but educate him very well on his allergy because after all I am not gonna be with him at all times to keep him from coming in contact with it. He is 9 years old and knows to always check or at least ask if he's not sure if something contains peanuts/peanut butter. I do want to say that I don't think his allergy is a severe one though because he has never had any major breathing problems with it. So my opinion might be different if he did, it's hard to say!

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By HookwormIsHope on Mon, 05-09-11, 21:34

If it was their child, they would want peanuts banned as well. It's simply bias, just as myself not taking into consideration the lunches of thousands of kids who eat PB&Js for lunch. However, these kids would not actually "starve" and to me, it's disgusting that someone could complain that their child would starve (which is absolutely absurd)when some people, such as myself, go to school everyday in fear. Your kid won't actually die, but someone else's could, all because of how self-centered you are. Why non have them eat PB&Js after they get home from school, and send them with something different to eat? Children's lives are at stake. Please remember that when you're packing your kid's lunch tomorrow.

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By deriksson on Wed, 04-27-11, 08:33

The straightforward and honest thought would be to have a complete ban of all peanut products in the public room since this is potentially lethal to people with severe PA. For those with severe PA a peanut is as lethal as a fired bullet.

The more realistic view of it would of course be to try and limit the exposure of allergens as much as possible. One way would be to make sure there are special nut free areas where students with allergies can eat. This could even be beneficial for people with other allergies such as asthma.
This will not eliminate the problem with peanut dust or the possibility that someone have peanut butter on their hands and in this way contaminate but it will at least create a safe zone for those with special needs.

I do agree with "cervonil" that it's drastic to say the kids will starve if they don't get their peanut butter sandwich. It's up to us parents to explain to our kids why they cant have certain types of food and in this way create an acceptance for the different needs we have.

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By cervonil on Tue, 04-05-11, 13:58

my daughter has eaten a peanut butter and fluff sandwich every single day since kindergarten and she is now in 5th grade. 1 year ago we found out our son had a peanut allergy and we stopped having it in our house. She now takes ham, bologna, yogurt, fruit etc. The child has survived fine. Not commenting on whether it should be banned or not, because it's a heated topic and
i don't feel like fighting with people. I just wanted to comment that a child who loves it and is used to peanut butter every single day for lunch will really be ok. It's a bit dramatic to say they will starve.

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