Should Kids with Allergies Be Forced to Homeschool?

peanutsThe Gill-Montigue Regional School District has adopted a new lunch policy, one that does not ban nut products. Instead, the school has offered a “nut free” table at lunchtime for students with allergies.

But one parent, Michelle Rubin, says the policy has forced her to homeschool her two children. She maintains that the nut-free table didn’t prevent her kids from having their severe allergies triggered. After two incidents, she’d had enough. “If they touch a keyboard or a desk that a child who had peanut butter touches, they go into anaphylactic shock,” Rubin explained to WGGB.

The  district adapted the policy after an extensive study. The school feels that peanut butter is an important source of protein for many school children, and also an inexpensive option for low-income families. “We’ve really reviewed the research. We talked with specialists and going on their recommendations as well as the guidelines from the state school system and their guidelines that don’t recommend a ban on nut products,” said Superintendent Carl Ladd.

The district is one of many participating in the nation-wide debate over peanut bans. Some schools have not only banned peanuts and peanut butter, but have become entirely nut-free zones that prohibit cookies, candy bars and other snacks that might have traces of nuts. Parents with children without nut allergies often feel resentful towards students who seem to be getting “special privileges.” Yet others argue that peanut allergies are more severe than other allergies, and can be life-threatening.

What do you think of banning peanut butter in schools?

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4 Responses to “Should Kids with Allergies Be Forced to Homeschool?”

  1. nancyb says:

    This is a tough one. It does sound like the school system did its best in trying to balance the needs of a very small number of seriously allergic kids versus the needs of the whole–taxpayers and students from low-income families alike. I think I side with the school. Even if they maintain a “no-nut” policy, how do they police it? Kids are still going to bring in questionable ingredients, even without meaning to.


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