Peanut allergy is a bad thing, and the deadly allergy is horrible. It’s even worse when child suffers (try to explain to 6 year old why she can’t have peanut butter and sneakers). However, as this constitutes disability, one school south of Daytona Beach, Florida, is now forces everyone in the class to alter their lives to accommodate one little girl. Which is insane.
They wanted to force all her class-mates to rinse mouths with water twice a day, snacks were banned, kids forced to wash their hands every time before entering the class (though I suppose that’s a good thing). And special peanut-sniffing dog is checking everything. Except parents got fed up with that so some measures were dropped.
Worst of all, you really can’t control kids to such a degree to institute completely peanut-free area, even if that girl were to be confined to single class room for the whole day. What if someone had peanuts in pockets, washed hands, stuck it in the pocket and then touched something? Anaphylactic shock, death, and giant lawsuit against school system because they “didn’t protect my baby”. Plus a severe consequences for poor classmate who could indadvertedly cause the death (and a therapy bill paid by the school system).
And what is girl’s mother (who can’t be reached for comments, of course) is thinking? Yes, every parent thinks his or her child is the most important thing in the world. But if you know your kid can die of a single whiff or touch of peanut resedue, why on Earth would you want to bring child to school? Aside from the fact that you and your daughter are now hated by a large amount of people that protest this madness?
I agree with other parents — remove the severely allergic child from the class, leave everyone else alone or train child to use epi-pen. Homeschool her, or do something else. And remember, while you can force school to go to extreme measures to try to control the environment, what will happen once she goes to college?
Some people are puzzled by the protests, but I have to ask a simple question — how far should the accommodation go? Sure, splitting food in cafeteria is probably fine, but all the extra measures? Should the school introduce clean rooms if someone is severely allergic to pollen or dust? Vacuuming everyone if there’s a child allergic to dust or pet hair (heck, peanuts too)?
In a situation like that regular kids get treated as second class citizens. You’re normal, you don’t have any food allergies, so it is you who will have to alter your diet, snack habits and a way of life to accommodate someone else. It’s one thing when accommodations for people with disabilities expand availability of things — for example ramps help people with strollers, or those who have problems with stairs. But this is more like if the stairs were removed completely and everyone was forced to use the ramp.