This was a letter to the editor in our local paper about peanut allergy & schools

Posted on: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 3:22pm
NicoleinNH's picture
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This is from [url="http://www.nashuatelegraph.com"]www.nashuatelegraph.com[/url] as a letter to the editor. I am not familiar with the "militant" policy mentioned by Ms. Notter.

"New peanut ban at Merrimack High School will be unfair to all students"

Jeanine Notter, Merrimack

Published: Thursday, Jun. 29, 2006

I thought I had retired from fighting for worthy causes, but after talking with several mothers and high school students alike, I

Posted on: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 4:05pm
joeybeth's picture
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Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

very sad.
we have dealt with a couple people who've had difficulty with accommodating our two pa girls' needs, but no one with this much disregard for someone else's safety and this much anger over a few small changes and sacrifice for the wellbeing of someone else's child(ren).
thankfully, almost everyone we've met within our school system has been kind and gone out of their way to be there (in every way that they have the capacity to understand regarding PA) for my daughters. i am so thankful for the wonderful parents and staff in our area. so thankful.
but you know what i'm most thankful for? the awesome, incredible, sweet, sensitive students at our school who've demonstrated compassion and kindness on a daily basis just make me feel so good about the world in general. kids - many of them - really go out of their way to do the right thing.
one thing i've learned from dealing with PA is that i will never turn my back on someone else's needs if i have the ability to help in some way. i'm inspired every day by the efforts of others on our behalf. disheartened occasionally by the few who don't "get it" or just "don't care", but mostly overwhelmed with the good in people.
[This message has been edited by joeybeth (edited June 30, 2006).]

Posted on: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 9:33pm
TNAmom's picture
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Joined: 11/29/2005 - 09:00

The main thrust of the woman's letter is ludicrous. She states that the other children are being forced to "limit their diet", and goes on to state how beneficial peanuts are to people of certain blood types.
Somehow, I do not think these kids will be nutritionally deprived if they cannot have peanuts during school hours. Surely they can make up for their "need" for peanut butter when they get home.
This is just another example of how appallingly unsympathetic people can be. Heaven forbid those with food allergies should inconvenience anyone else.
Hiring a private tutor is not within the financial means of many working parents. Every child is entitled to an education and has the right to go to school, and not be forced to become a social outcast.
But yes, there are plenty of kind, empathetic people out there to counter those who are not. And that includes the non-FA kids who befriend our children!

Posted on: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 10:19pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Here is the letter I just wrote to the editor of that paper:
I would like to respond to letter from Jeanine Notter, regarding a peanut ban in the school. I can say I am very happy that my son does not attend school with Ms. Notter's child. At my son's school, we have experienced nothing but cooperation and concern from other parents.
What Ms. Notter fails to understand is that only a microscopic amount of peanut is enough to kill an allergic child. Even if one or two children sneak in a PBJ, at least with the ban the child will not be surrounded by peanut butter. It will help to decrease the risk, not eliminate it. And children who are not allergic are free to eat peanuts or peanut butter outside of school. Surely the 138 hours a week that a child is out of school would be sufficient to enjoy that beneficial food?
Also, since the allergic child is entitled to a free public education, just like Ms. Notter's, there is no requirement for the private tutor Ms. Notter mentions as an option. In fact, most families could not afford that option, even it they would want it for their child.
Now, if Ms. Notter still feels that the life of another child is not as important as the opportunity to eat peanut butter during the 30 hours a week her child is at school I feel very sorry, not just for the allergic child, but for Ms. Notter's own children, who have such an incompassionate role model.
I hope they print it. I was very tempted to address that blood-type diet nonsense, but knew if I went there I might not be able to remain polite ( I think it is hooey and would have said so). But I wish I had mentioned that people of all blood types are allergic to peanuts.

Posted on: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 10:42pm
2BusyBoys's picture
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Joined: 09/03/2004 - 09:00

Linking existing topic in Media...
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/001713.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/001713.html[/url]

Posted on: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 10:47pm
jtolpin's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

GREAT letter back. HOPE they print it!
Jason
------------------
[b]* Obsessed * [/b]

Posted on: Fri, 06/30/2006 - 1:29am
shoshana18's picture
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Joined: 02/02/2005 - 09:00

as i stated in "Media"...
a peanut ban in HIGH SCHOOL?
at this stage, don't you think a PA individual should begin to negotiate their world?

Posted on: Fri, 06/30/2006 - 1:52am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Shoshana-- I agree...
however, there is no guarantee that the angry rantings of such an ill-informed person necessarily reflect accurately the actual policy of the school. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
It may simply be the knee-jerk reaction of an idiot (blood type diet... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) to a simple letter home stating that the cafeteria won't be serving it. KWIM? And I think [i]that[/i] is just fine in a high school. My daughter would never choose to eat in a restaurant that routinely handled peanut products alongside her food. Why would school be different?

Posted on: Fri, 06/30/2006 - 2:01am
joeybeth's picture
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Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

okay. i'll bite.
first. our school system does a good job being "peanut safe" but does not "ban" peanuts BUT i would welcome it if they decided to go that route. elementary, jr. high, high school...whatever. every student's life has value - at every age.
yes...by then kids probably should be able to "negotiate" their world, as you put it. but, why should worrying about their safety/life be a concern on a daily basis when they are trying to get an education?
particularly when this is such a simple problem to solve?? (or at least reduce greatly). there will be plenty of time left after school years to "negotiate" life with "real" food allergies.
my own two PA girls (ages 10 and 7)are great at "negotiating" their world every single day. but...they would be thrilled to pieces if the negotiating process were made a little easier and they could just worry about learning, socializing and being a kid at school. at any age.
i think the issue most of us have taken - at least me for certain - is that the writer of this venom has no compassion or concern for the student whose safety is at issue. all for a *%#$ peanut. there are 24 hrs in a day and only 7 or so of those are spent at school. going without peanuts for 7 hrs a day is NOT a big deal; especially if you consider the impact it might have on the PA student's life.
having said all of that, i have to admit i probably won't ever push our school system to "ban" peanuts. they do a good job (imo) handling our situation on a day-to-day basis and the kids/parents are very good too (for the most part). however, i can see where a "ban" might be a necessity in a different type of environment. judging by the writer's tone, the student in her area might possibly NEED the "ban" in order to deal with people like her.

Posted on: Fri, 06/30/2006 - 2:05am
joeybeth's picture
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Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

btw, i agree with corvallis mom too. who knows if this was even a total "ban" at the high school??? a lot of people would call removing peanut products from the school kitchen a "ban" of peanut, when it's not that at all. our school system has NO peanuts/peanut products in the kitchens of our cafeterias or even handled in the kitchens of our cafeterias. however, the students themselves are encouraged not to bring peanut products but are not banned from bringing them. i am comfortable with this. (my girls know where they sit and with whom they sit every day). however, i do know a few parents who would call this situation a "ban" simply because the school offered to cooperate with us as much as possible in terms of the school systems' cafeterias/kitchens.
[This message has been edited by joeybeth (edited June 30, 2006).]

Posted on: Fri, 06/30/2006 - 2:32am
smudgesgarden's picture
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Joined: 02/26/2006 - 09:00

jimmys mom
you were much more polite than i would have been able to be. that was a great letter.
this is a very sad situation. i feel very bad for the teen who is that allergic to peanuts and to have such incoderate parents in that school district. as far as the getting a private toutor, i wouldnt get one for my son. i think its important for children to be in school with other kids to learn not only math, spelling, science, ect... but the socal skills that are nessissary to negotaite through life.
and to think that lady who wrote that letter is spewing her nonsence to her family and raising children who will also grow up to be an ingorant j@ck @ss just like serself.

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