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Peanut Allergy Controversary. What do you think?

 Broward County, Florida -- A first-grade student at Edgewater Elementary School on the East Coast of Florida is struggling with a rare life-threatening peanut allergy, and it's causing a controversy among her classmates' parents. Tracey Bailey the girl's mother says her 6-year-old will stop breathing and die if she's around peanuts. Her daughter's condition affects only 2% of the population. Because of the condition, first-graders at the school are required to wash their hands and rinse out their mouths to avoid bringing peanut particles into the classroom. "I don't think my child should have to rinse her mouth out three times a day. Nine times out of 10, peanut butter is not coming out of her mouth," said Carrie Starkey, whose daughter is a classmate of the girl. Another parent says the teachers are walking on eggshells around the girl. In a letter sent in August, Edgewater's Principal informed parents that the girl "has very severe reactions to even the slightest exposure." The letter stated that the girl can be affected simply by sitting at a table with someone who has a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or being touched by someone who has eaten a product containing nuts. Parents said they feel their children are being stripped of their classroom rights and the girl's condition also prevents students from having holiday parties in the classroom with outside food. "They shouldn't have to lose out on what they should be able to experience at school," Starkey said. Parents said all the rules are taking time out of the learning process, and they protested Thursday morning outside the school with signs. "On average, it's probably a good 30 minutes taken out of the day. That's my child's education. Thirty minutes could be a whole subject," Starkey said. The girl's father, David Bailey, admitted the condition is an inconvenience. The Baileys apologize for the disruptions, but said it's their job to protect their child. "I would love everything to be normal and everyone else to have a normal life," Bailey said.


Asked by SweetLuci at 2:14 PM on Mar. 14, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 33 (61,712 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (74)
  • I don't know...

    I would think if her allergy is that severe then why not make it a nut free school?

    But honestly, if my child had that severe of a reaction I would homeschool until she was old enough to handle it on her own.

    Answer by Soniam301 at 2:33 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • The child in the OP will die!

    Apparently, the child in the OP is going to die anyway, the first time they walk into a public place. If the allergy is truly so severe that other people who will occupy the same room need to rinse their mouth 3 times a day and constantly wash their hands on the off chance they ate a cupcake made in the same building that contains peanuts, these measures shouldn't be enough. If that were actually helping, the entire school would have to do it, or exposure to random dust in the hallway, or shared classrooms like art, music and PE, would also be enough to kill her. How does she use the bathroom without touching surfaces touched by kids not in her class? Playground equipment - considering recess is right after lunch?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 4:15 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • And before anyone accuses me of being insensitive, or uneducated...i have a anaphalictic allergy too. The world doesn't adjust for me, i adjust for it.

    The CHILD cannot adjust

    I had to adjust as a child. Yes, a child can adjust. They have to. Unless you plan to keep your kid from going ANYWHERE public, you have to educate them, and they have to adjust. I can't even begin to list the times i've been to parks, play centers, zoo, mall, etc. where i haven't seen a child who was snacking on things that could give others an allergic reaction.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:55 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • FIRST OF ALL: They should ALL wash their hands before and AFTER having lunch.

    ----Do you realize that they don't wash their hands in public schools? they use hand sanitizer. I had a fit about this when my son started school, but there was nothing i could do about it. the schools stand is that to wash a classroom of 24 kids, times 3 or 4 classrooms, would take essive learning time away that the school would have to lengthen the school day.

    SECOND OF ALL: Rinsing OUT their mouth after eating teaches good ORAL hygiene. I guess the 'protestor' parents dont mind having rotten TEETH

    ----Again, too much classroom time taken away. And the rotten teeth comment...just stupid. In what public school do kids brush their teeth after lunch? I don't see any more benifits to having my kid rinse his mouth out, as opposed to brushing his teeth when he gets home from school, which he does.

    And i'm not the 'protestor' either!

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:52 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • Really, someone's inconvenience is worth more than the life of another child? Talk about entitled. That's just stupid. Public schools serve the needs of all children, not just the ones who are convenient. At least they are supposed to,

    It's not about convenience - if the allergy is really that severe - how is the child still alive even though they manage to leave the house every day?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 4:48 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • sorry but i'd rather my kid washed up than have a dead child on my conscious. yes it's an inconvenience but it's still a childs life, how would they react if it was their child with the allergies?

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 2:19 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • Just ban nuts from the school & be done w/ it. So what is going to happen when the kid is older & going from classroom to classroom in a school day? Is everyone is the ENTIRE school going to have to follow these same procedures? What happens when she gets a job? Is everyone in the whole work place going to have to rinse their mouth out before speaking to her?

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:30 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • Peanut butter is a cheap staple item used often by lower income homes. My daughter has a classmate with the same problem. We were unable to celebrate HER birthday, ever, because the school required two weeks of notice to vet a pre-made treat, no one was allowed to bake, and it made packing lunches much more expensive.

    It was a chore I was willing to bear, until I found out that the MOM of the boy with said allergies was allowed to bring homemade treats all the time, while my child was unable to celebrate her own birthday due to the restrictions the parents had set for the school.

    I'm sorry, but she needs to follow the rules that she invented. Guess who won that battle?

    I find it worth noting that my daughter now goes to middle school with the same boy. They change classrooms three times a day-They wash their hands after lunch, and that is the end of it. He's just fine, although he still eats lunch at a peanut free table.

    Answer by lovinangels at 2:38 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • While i don't think it's a bad idea to have kids wash their hands, rinsing their mouths is a bit excessive.

    I wouldn't like the fact that it DOES take away from classroom time.

    I don't mind having a nut free table (they should), but you cannot ban all nut products in a school. Do you realize just how much stuff if made either with nut products, or in a factory that may produce nut products?

    Our school does not permit outside food for class parties, and the pta supplies the health approved snacks, and i'm fine with that.

    But if we start to ban everything kids are allergic too, where does it stop? we have kids in our school that are allergic to nuts, food dyes, wheat, gluten, corn, berries, and so forth. And yes, many of these allergies are very severe too.

    And before anyone accuses me of being insensitive, or uneducated...i have a anaphalictic allergy too. The world doesn't adjust for me, i adjust for it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:44 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • There are some schools that don't allow peanuts at all because of allergies, My daughters school has a peanut free table in the lunch room. 

    Do I think they are going a bit overboard...... yes a little but washing their hands has other benefits like keeping germs at bay, the rinsing the mouth out seems a little excessive.

    There are so many battles that you can chose to fight with a school about issues...... This wouldn't be one that I would chose to fight. Better to be safe then have a dead child.


    Answer by Charis76 at 2:26 PM on Mar. 14, 2011