You Mad Bro? Peanut Free Schools Okay to Most Compassionate People

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A new blog post came to my attention yesterday. It’s titled “12 Reasons Why Peanut Free Schools Are Not Okay.” I hesitated to read it because even the title told me I would disagree with the contents of the post. I now hesitate to link to it for the fear that it gives the writer more page views.

However, as the mom of a child with multiple food allergies (including peanuts), I just cannot let this post live without a response. It is unfair to those in the food allergy community to let something so negative stand without someone standing up for them. That said, I won’t respond to each of the points individually, mainly because that would require a post the length of a novel like, say, Moby Dick.

Instead, I would like to point out a few things to the writer of this heinous post.

You refer to adaptation and survival throughout your post. Let me ask you a question: do you think I don’t understand the need to adapt to survive? Do you think your veiled references to the Survival of the Fittest are lost on me—as if I’d never heard that argument about my CHILD before? I have to wonder if, as you continue to refer to the need to adapt to survive, you might be one of those who would agree with Richard Dawkins’ statement that mothers who carry babies with Down Syndrome are morally obligated to abort their babies for the good of society? No? Reprehensible, you say? Perhaps you should take a step back and look at your own post through my eyes. Thank GOD Dawkins had enough moral fiber in his being to apologize for his awful statement.

Your right to nuts ends where my son’s life begins. You talk a lot about your right to feed your child sugar- and calorie-filled peanut butter. And yet you do not for one second in the midst of your tirade consider that sometimes fighting for your rights may make you a hero, but do you want to be a hero to a group of people that cannot understand living in community?

Reading your post reminds me to be so very thankful for my friends. See, where I come from, we do live in a community. We do take responsibility for the other children within our reach. It might be a little old school to you, but if my son needs help or correction from our community, he gets it. We fully believe in accountability. We believe in living in a full, vibrant, welcoming community, not as solitary islands. Life gets lonely when you try to live as an island.

You might want to branch out and see what it’s like to live in a community. It’s lovely. Yes, my son will eventually go out into the world and navigate it on his own. And any one of my friends would be able to tell you he is capable of such a feat. But, just as you likely put little plugs in your outlets when your children were toddlers until they learned not to touch for fear of electric shock, it’s a learning process that slowly earns my son more freedom and responsibility every day.

“Special Needs Kids” need not apply? Your Point #7 is maybe the worst of all:

Not a single other student should be accommodating for another child’s inability to meet basic expectations and requirements of being in a public, social environment.

Let’s go over that again.

No normal, healthy child should ever have to lower their bar of standards to accommodate another child’s inability to meet a ‘basic set bar of expectation.’

No normal, healthy child should ever have to remove from their diet foods that are healthy and beneficial to their growth and well-being simply because another child’s body cannot handle a specific food.

No child (or adult for that matter) should ever have adults in position of leadership and high influence telling them that they may not have or do something that is healthy and beneficial to their growth, learning and well-being because they MUST accommodate for another child’s lack of health and well-being.

This sends a terrible message to normal and healthy children that kids with ‘special’ needs (whatever those needs may be) are more important than they are and that accommodating ‘special’ health needs at the healthy child’s expense is ok.

Let me get this straight. My son isn’t “normal” because he’s covered by Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act? Uh oh. If that’s the case, then you *must* be recommending that we remove all wheelchair ramps, tutoring for kids with learning disabilities, longer test times for those with test-taking anxiety, and Special Education programs.

I’ll clarify with you, my son *isn’t* “normal” and do you know why? Because he’s an incredible human being with a bright brain, a compassionate heart, he’s a tumbling junkie, a national karate champion, and the top popcorn salesman in his Cub Scout Pack two years running. Even if he weren’t all of those things. Even if he wasn’t in accelerated math. Even if he wasn’t reading multiple grade levels above his own. He still wouldn’t be your definition of “normal.” Why do I say that? Because my sense is that your definition of “normal” fits somewhere in the Mean Girls genre.

You and I are not completely at odds. My son has multiple food allergies that are dangers to him every day, so a peanut-free school would not completely solve our problems. But as I mentioned earlier, it’s less about the subject matter and far more about the condescending tone you used in your argument.

Individuals living a life with food allergies are strong survivors. They have learned to adapt. They have learned to work within the environment given. They have learned to be friends to others, extending kindness and compassion to others both “normal” and with challenges. And they have learned that not all people are willing to do the same for them.

I’m sorry that you fall into that last category.

Tiffany Self

Tiffany Self is a wife, mom to "Z", and a lover of words. In an ironic twist, she is an English class dropout who now writes for a living. Tiffany is a freelancer in the Chicago suburbs by way of Seattle and Southern Oregon. She writes about her journey of parenting a child with multiple severe food allergies, asthma, and environmental allergies. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

63 Comments to You Mad Bro? Peanut Free Schools Okay to Most Compassionate People

  1. Great reply! I haven’t gotten the words straight to respond to that article. I found it to be insensitive link bait and hope she loses any credibility she ever had because of it. And I was even nice in my comment to her and it didn’t get approved. I am grateful for the lovely supported friends and family we have who do not feel “inconvenienced” by my child with allergies!

    • Tiffany

      Thank you, Carrie!

  2. Keith

    I would like to make a point that may be not so apparent to some. That point in the article discussed above is the “me ism” that is so prevalent in our culture today. “Normal,” seems to be defined as I am a person without any physical, mental, or emotional problems and if I have a son or daughter who meets that definition he or she must have the freedom to do as they please whether that freedom puts others at risk. It seems to be a statement that says, “You must respect my child’s freedom, but I don’t have to respect your child’s limitations.” That type of philosophy is well played out in our culture. I think that Abraham Lincoln in his debate with William Jennings Bryant indicated that personal freedom ends when it invades the freedom of another. In this case freedom to act in a way which might endanger another person’s health ends at that point while in contact with the endangered person. That is common decency and respect for oneself and for others. The person who wrote that article has much to learn about being human. I appreciate you taking the time to educate special needs adults like this who are so lacking in understanding what community is and have such a handicap with tunnel vision. Keep up the great work!

    • Bravo Keith! And a hearty bravo to the author as well!

    • Tiffany

      Yes! One of the best points yet!

  3. Anna

    Good piece of writing and thanks for sharing! The people that so passionately defend their right to having peanut sandwich at school tend to lack the very basic logic. It is not about my right over your right it is simply about my life over your peanut sandwich. Nevertheless, based on the article ” 12 reasons why schools should not be peanut free” my child’s right. My disable or ” abnormal child” like she put it should have no more right than her normal and fantastic picky eater child ( let me suggest here that a child who does not eat except peanut butter sandwich should be assessed and take food therapy BTW) Yea, lady I agree with the point you made with that condesending and unemphatic tone. Guess what? your child has every right to enjoy safe educational environment and SO DOES MY CHILD. As simple as that. That is what is called EQUAL RIGHT. When you talk about the equal right then you must compare rights within the same subject and application. DUH!

    • Amy Guenther

      Yes, most adults, and all the kids I’ve spoke to seem to understand that my child’s right to breath (or any child’s right to breath for that matter) trumps another child’s right to eat a peanut butter sandwich during school hours. Our experience has been that the kids understand better than the parents, the kids want to keep their friends safe.

      This was an excellent response to a callous article, thank you.

  4. I’m so glad you wrote this. Especially because the author of this lame excuse for blogidy journalism has deleted all comments other than a sparse few “Atta girls” I was truly hoping mommy bloggers would go ape shit on her ass elsewhere. What a coward! Then to hide behind a “hot topic”, so so lame it’s not bearable, but now she fancies herself victimized because of the hate mail for her possible fictional perspective. What a nutter! PUN INTENDED!! You are on point, Mean Girls for the lose.

    • Deborah Harbin

      I wondered why the comments on that blog post were so very sparse. I suspect my very angry reply to it will not get posted :-) but for me the content was so without compassionate and myopic (survival of the fittest with no coddling for others’ kids, picky eating accommodated with nothing but peanut butter sandwiches all day for mine!) that it was hard to believe anyone would really concoct such notions. I fear the day when no child ever makes accommodations for any other child, and I feel very sorry for people who cannot see the benefit of their child not accidentally harming or (god forbid) threatening the life of another child as anything but an inconvenience. It’s sad and pathetic.

      • Deborah Harbin

        Without compassion, I meant :-)

    • Kathleen McAvoy Aman

      I did the same thing Heather! Bravo to you Tiffany, this article is amazing!

  5. Danny

    Well put. I left a slightly less delicately put response to the hideous blog yesterday. I have a feeling it didnt make it past the moderation stage.

  6. Well said. I do however get some of what the author is saying, if we remove peanuts from the school then what’s next, dairy, nickel… The list goes on and on. However, as an allergy parent myself I believe the author is under educated when it comes to food allergies. Before anyone says or writes anything as judgmental as she has one must walk a mile in the shoes of the people being judged. Her story would have been COMPLETELY different if she had! The blog is currently down, hopefully because she realized how tasteless that was.

    • Marci, exactly. I don’t necessarily think peanut-free schools are the silver bullet. But that’s beside the point. The tone with which the argument was brought undermined any valid points offered.

    • Deborah Harbin

      I just learned recently that peanuts are actually one of the most deadly allergens. We don’t have to ban everything to agree that if a child in a given school has a deadly allergy, we can get rid of that thing without getting rid of everything else. We can prioritize without tumbling down the slippery slope. Cashew butter is an easy replacement for peanut butter, and there are a whole host of less deadly nuts that kids can eat.

      • Jennifer

        My daughter is not allergic to peanuts, but she is severely allergic to cashews, and even had an anaphylactic reaction to a skin allergy test. According to her allergist, peanut allergy therapy is more advanced than tree nuts; children can become de-sensitized over time, while tree nut allergic reactions can be more severe and children often tend to have them for life, no outgrowing them. I have considered us “lucky” to only have to avoid tree nuts; as of now, peanuts are more prevalent in school than tree nuts, though if peanut butter is replaced by other nut butters, that won’t be the case. Personally, I don’t think that peanut/tree nut free schools are the best option, but education, awareness, compassion, and understanding are key. As a mom and elementary school teacher, I’ve seen all sides. I’ve had parents of students in my class refuse to comply with classroom requests to have peanut/tree nut free snacks within the classroom, for exactly the reasons in that other article (cafeteria is different; students have access to nut free tables there and everything is cleaned regularly).

        • melissa

          I had to respond to Jennifer ‘s post about peanut desensitization. It is at ground zero. They tried to start a desensitization process similar to allergy shots. My allergist is on the board and a very published dr. He said 2 kids died in the trials for peanut desensitization a 12 yr old in Germany and a 9 yr old in the UK. They were by all other definitions healthy kids and despite having epinephrine immediately they died. He said don’t even think about it. Just avoid peanuts. Sadly my experience with people is they are so miss informed because they believe that if you have epinephrine available then you are safe. I always tell them people die all the time even with that immediately administered. We moved to a new city specifically for my son to be at an elementary school that has one nut free room per grade. The junior high and high school are completely nut free zones. Allergies are on the rise and it sadly won’t be long and kids without allergies will be the minority!

  7. Tara

    That post was crazy! We are fortunate enough to not deal with any food allergies, but I wouldn’t mind at all if our school decided to go peanut-free. Sure, it would be a bit of an inconvenience to me, but I can’t imagine how scary it would be to know that my child was in danger everyday at lunch. Of course children with allergies will have to learn that they are the ones in charge of themselves and that the world will not always be accommodating to their needs as they grow, but making school a safe place from something that could harm them will not keep them from learning those things!

    • Tara, you just endeared yourself to millions of parents! Thank you so much. xo

  8. Belinda

    Thank you on behalf of my son Sergio Alexander Lopez who lived 21 years with Peanut and Asthma allergies until his death 6/26/14 of Peanut anaphylaxis due to Ignorance just as the writer of “12 Reasons Why….”.

    • Zandra

      I’m sorry for your loss Belinda. It breaks my heart. I have a wonderful, bright, brave, intelligent 9 year old daughter that is allergic to all nuts. She’s so perfect in so many ways except for this horrible food allergy. I live in constant fear.

    • Belinda, my heart aches for you. We stand with you. xo

  9. I have encountered in person the same attitude as that blog post many, many times. I understand it to a degree, but we’re not talking about preferences or anything so silly. We’re talking about life and death. No one in my household is allergic, but during the school year, we eat peanut butter only on Saturdays (not on school or church days), and we wash our hands and face and brush our teeth very well afterward. There is no way I will knowingly be a part of the death of a child because of something so easy to avoid!

    • Megan, you are amazing! Thank you so much! You’ve just made a million best friends. xo

  10. Jana

    Thank you for your post in response to that stupid article. I had not heard about it, and I (also a mom of child with allergies to peanuts, ALL nuts, sesame, and also Celiac) did click the link to it. We’ll see if my comment: “That was such a load of selfish, self-entitled barf” gets posted in their comment section.

    I wanted to kick her in the teeth after reading her lines: “I realize that for parents of kids with peanut allergies you live in fear and worry every day that your child will be ok. Sadly, in our day, we have bigger things to worry about like kids bringing guns to school and the facts that our typical college education puts our children tens of thousands of dollars in debt with no guarantee of getting a decent job. The majority of adults in our country are obese and unhealthy and it’s trickling down to younger generations.” I would love to this lady to sit face-to-face with any parent who has suffered through the loss of a child from exposure to a fatal allergen. How non-compassionate can this person really be?!?

    That lady doesn’t seem to understand that when kids are all together, they may not remember to keep allergens away from other kids or that kids with allergies sometimes forget – because, hey, they’re kids, right? And they’re eating in a loud, noisy hectic lunchroom, thinking about how they can’t wait to get out for recess and run around like maniacs. Being kids, like they’re supposed to be. You are right – it is the adults and the community around them who have to look out for them until they are a bit older and better with such a serious responsibility. I hope that woman seriously reconsiders what she has written.

    Rock on, Tiffany! Keep up the great work!

  11. At the start of school last year,I overheard a parent say, “I hope we don’t have one of those peanut kids in our class this year.” I didn’t stop myself from giving her a tutorial on kindness and care for fellow man–and that includes “peanut kids.” I also told her that soy nut butter tastes identical to peanut butter and side benefit: the natural estrogen in it will make her less of a witch.

  12. Ginny

    Thank you for this post. The thing that aggravated me most about the “12 Reasons…” post was that the author, like many others who share her opinion, seemed to lack all understanding that we are talking about life and death, not simply an annoying health issue. Her child’s peanut butter sandwich could quite literally cause another child’s death before a teacher even had time to notice there was a problem and respond. Not all allergens are airborne, but peanuts often are. She tries to draw a parallel between kids with food allergies and kids with diabetes. What she doesn’t seem to understand is that her child’s piece of candy will have zero physical affect on the diabetic child on the other side of the room. However, her child’s peanut butter sandwich can kill an allergic child from across the room. The thing I like to point out to parents who pull the “I’m not responsible for your kid” routine is that if my child swells up and dies right in front of your child because of what you put in her lunch, what will that do to your child? It’ll likely scar her permanently. Even if a parent can’t muster up compassion for my child, surely she will care about her own.

  13. Leslie

    I’m not sure I want to thank you for sharing “12 Reasons Why…” because it shakes my faith in humanity and makes me angry amd sad at the same time. I see access to the article is no longer available. That’s too bad because I would like to point out to the author that he/she (unsure if the sriter is male or female but will refer as if female) is setting her children and herself up for some tough times in the future. What a great opportunity to teach empathy, understanding, compassion, and protection of others. She really misses the boat and it will haunt her family somewhere down the line. It’s scary to me that there are parents out there teaching their kids to be so intolerant of others who don’t fit into their subjective definition of normal. Oh how the story will be different if her children ever have an issue…and based on her absurd views not so eloquently written, they surely will. I don’t even want to get started on a peanut butter sandwich being more important than another person’s life.

  14. Colleen

    I’ve seen a few comments stated the article was no lo ger up, but I just read it… Well most of it. I got bored of her constant ranting about healthy peanuts (which aren’t all that healthy).
    Thank you for this, like you I don’t agree that peanut free schools are a silver bullet but have been glad of them as my usually cautious son has a slight oral fixation and chews things he shouldn’t like paper, pencils, his clothes. So far there has been no issue but if his school wasn’t nut free who knows what could have happened.

  15. Jessica

    Thank you for responding to this.

    I have been sitting here all morning trying to think about how to respond to someone who proclaims at one point in the article that our children are equal, and then a few paragraphs later has the audacity to say that their child should not have to lower their standard to attend school with my child, and that my child does not meet a “basic standard of expectations.” Then I realized that the only person who doesn’t met the “standard” is the delusional person who wrote that article. “Standard” in this case being empathy, decency, and respect. How dare this individual proclaim that my child is not “normal” or “healthy,” and is some how subpar? I only hope that this person does not instill these values of intolerence, entitlement, and superiority in their children. I usually try to avoid articles like that one because of the anger it instills, but realized that the only people getting recognition and acknowledgement in the food allergy world seem to be the people speaking out against it. Those of us who live in the allergy world generally have better things to do every day, like protect our children. Unfortunately that protection must extend beyond just allergens, to intolerance and ignorance as well.

    Nice job.

  16. Amy

    your reply left me in tears. Overwhelmed with the knowledge that there are in fact other moms out there just like me, kids just like mine and boy our community is STRONG. Thank you beyond words. I needed this

  17. Catherine

    I was left speechless after reading that blog post. My sister’s children have life-threatening food allergies and she navigates through that challenge with such graciousness and compassion despite the fear she must grapple with daily.

  18. The blog post that you referenced ( “12 Reasons Why Peanut Free Schools Are Not Okay”) infuriated me. I wanted to share and respond to it but I refuse to give the post any more visibility than it’s already gotten.

    My oldest daughter has an anaphylaxis dairy allergy and her safety is of the utmost importance to me. When people say I’m being overprotective of her by choosing to homeschool her, I say – hell yes! We are very fortunate that we have the ability to homeschool, whereas for some people this is not an option. Although I wouldn’t expect a school to go dairy-free on our behalf, there are enough anaphylaxis peanut and nut allergies to keep these products at home.

    The writer obviously has NO understanding of what it must be like to have your child’s life hinge on the accidental consumption of an allergen. It’s terrifying and my husband and I have been hyper-vigilant in this area, but accidents can happen.

    Thank you so much for this post, for your rebuttal, and for sharing this. I can’t thank you enough for saying what I so wanted to say.

  19. Daphney

    I have a toddler too same condition with multiple food allergies, I am always di tesearch what to feed him and makes him healthy. This is new to our family.

  20. Theresa

    I couldn’t bring myself to read the article in the link. As a mother to a son with multiple, severe food allergies and a daughter with an autoimmune disease that is life-threatening on a daily basis, I am sadly too familiar with this kind of attitude. We hear it all too often…even from family members. My daughter has type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease with no known cause nor cure and not caused by any unhealthy lifestyle choices. Yet, time and time again we are told we caused it (nope, but thank you for adding that guilt onto the heart of a mamma that fights every day to simply keep her child alive), that natural products will cure it (nope, aloe vera juice cannot bring a dead organ back to life), and people often say, “but she can’t have diabetes, she’s not fat” (nope, our kids have eaten extremely healthy since they were born and are both naturally skinny). Family members have told me that they don’t like the allergy-free food I make for my children’s birthday parties, even though they would have no clue it didn’t contain dairy, eggs, and peanuts if no one told them. “Why couldn’t you just make regular buttercream?” I will not apologize for making a cake my own son can eat on his birthday. We have been told by my children’s grandparents that they don’t invite us out to eat because it is “too uncomfortable” for them that we have to insure that the food is safe for our children and to watch our daughter get her insulin injection. People like the author of the other article do not know what it is like with a child with health needs. They don’t know what life is like when vacations are planned around the proximity to a children’s hospital. They don’t know what it’s like to fight insurance companies to cover life-sustaining and life-saving medications. They don’t know what it is like to have more doctor’s appointments on your calendar than play dates. They don’t understand how dangerous a trip to a playground can be–leading to anaphylaxis from cheese smeared on a slide handle or a hospitalization due to a cold caught from another child sneezing onto the swing set chains. They don’t know what it is like having to explain to your child why they need to eat the cupcake from home instead of the cake at their friend’s birthday party or why they have to be poked by a needle 8 to 10 times a day. They don’t understand the battle for a decent education for their children while insuring that they come home from class alive. (It is illegal as heck but we have been told by several schools that they will not accept my children due to their medical needs.) They don’t know what it is like to work hard every day to insure your child has a “normal” life. Before my children were diagnosed, I didn’t know these things either. But, I was raised to be courteous. I was raised to take other people’s feelings and needs into consideration. I was raised to never make a person feel awkward because they may have special needs or accommodations, but to help and do whatever needs to be done to make them just as welcome and comfortable as everyone else without fuss. It’s called being nice. It’s being a decent human being. I don’t understand how people have lost the ability to just be kind.

    • Katie

      I’m so sorry you and your children have received so little support from your family and community. How saddening and frustrating. Every child deserves access to an education and should be able to be safe at school. PS, diabetes and food allergies are both covered by section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, so those schools were violating federal law and should be reported.

    • Tiffany

      Theresa, I’m so sorry. You sound like an amazing, strong mom. You keep going, girl!

  21. Stephanie

    You rocked this one. Thanks for writing what I was too strangled with rage (I knew better…don’t read it..you know where this article is going…don’t read it) to put into words.

    • Tiffany

      Thank you, Stephanie!

  22. Thank you for writing this post! You were able to say many of the things that I was too angry to even put into words. My son had a severe egg allergy (which lucky for us he has mostly outgrown), and I have spent the last several years researching food allergies and sharing the information verbally and through blog posts because people that aren’t effected by food allergies just don’t get it. We had a parent in our state take a school district to court two years ago because she felt her daughter’s school going peanut free took away her child’s right to eat what she wanted (school district totally won). I will NEVER understand how a child’s right to eat a PB&J trumps another child’s right to live! People simply don’t get how serious this is.

  23. Janet

    I love how some of these parents would rather fight for their precious peanuts, than fight for a child’s life.

    I wish all schools would take 20-30 minutes at the beginning of every school year to educate our children’s peers about the severity of allergies to peanuts, eggs, etc. I guarantee many of those kids wild give up their peanut snacks to ensure their peers’ safety. Some kids are so much more compassionate and thoughtful than their parents.

    Thank you for writing this.

    • Ray Ray

      It strikes me as so ironic that they act like people with peanut allergies want some sort of preferential treatment, and yet their arguments against peanut free schools are very “spoiled-childish.” “I want to give my kid peanut butter because he’s picky! I don’t care if anyone dies, I just want what I waaaaaant! Waaaaah!”

  24. Halie

    That woman is an idiot. It’s as simple as that.

  25. Jessica

    Thank you for writing this. I am a teacher with severe allergies. Latex is my big trigger and I spend a few minutes at meet the teacher and back to school night explaining to my parents about my allergies. As an adult I have learned how to avoid most of my allergies but it was a long learning curve that took me many years to totally understand.
    My first question to all of my parents is about allergies. I enforce nut free when necessary and have made signs for my door. I always hope that those without children with allergies are understanding.

  26. ann

    I haven’t read the blog post and did not want to, but it did pop into my head that bringing a gun into school is less dangerous than peanuts. Guns are only dangerous if someone is actually planning on killing someone (school cops wear them all the time and no one is shot on a regular basis.) but peanuts can kill just by people not being careful. My mother always taught me to think how my actions might affect others, and carelessly hurting others is not okay.

  27. I wrote an open Letter on Facebook responding to the woman who wrote the original blog. It is disturbing that people still think and act like that. Good response here!

  28. jody

    What a great response. Having suffered from allergies all of my life I understand. I also have a grandson that has a few allergies, however his main problem is Celiacs. From the time he was 1st diagnosed at a young age he was very cautious. However he ate something that he had no idea had gluten in it (because someone lied ) and became very sick. After which he no longer accepted ANYTHING from anyone who was not a relative or close family friend. There are people out there who do not “believe” allergies and Celiacs are real. I swear as God is my witness, they are.

    Thank You

  29. Ray Ray

    I’m sorry, I can’t be as nice as you. One has to be a selfish, vapid, self centered egoist to think her right to pack her kid a lunch she just so happens to preference a little bit outweighs the rights of CHILDREN to be SAFE AT SCHOOL. And I’m a staunch believer in individual rights, but, public education is just that- PUBLIC education. And ALL children have a right to it, NOT just HER children. I mean. There’s no debate, here. She devalues the life of people who are different. There’s NO other explanation for her saying that normal children deserve an education and everyone else should be homeschooled. She’s a really scary, really evil eugenicist and she grosses me out.

  30. Katie

    Great response! You were significantly more calm and composed that I could ever be. Point #7 is what really got me, too.
    “No normal, healthy child should ever have to lower their bar of standards to accommodate another child’s inability to meet a ‘basic set bar of expectation.’”
    All I can think is this: no normal, compassionate human being should ever have to lower their bar of standards to accommodate another human’s inability to meet a basic set of expectations of kindness.
    We all live in a community whether we like it or not. There is an expectation of minimal kindness. You know, not walking around murdering each other to start….

  31. Ellen G

    Thanks for writing this! Her post, which I read, is conscious link-bait, a deliberate step into an area she knew would garner attention. She is simply trying to raise her profile through taking a controversial and really mean-spirited stand. She has very little knowledge of the realities. What’s interesting is that most elementary school age kids have natural empathy for their classmates, and never mind making accommodations and looking out for their friends. It’s part of what kids do, and the natural kindness that happens in friendship. I have thankfully never encountered anyone like her in real life yet. My multiple food allergy child is only 4 so we have a lot of interactions ahead of us. Thanks for your thoughtful post in response.
    Not to be mean to her (even though she really does deserve it) but I checked out her Facebook back and there is an egregious misspelling (motivation is spelled “motivatoin”) in the banner of her “public persona” page. It really made me feel a bit sorry for her, actually.

  32. Alicia

    I was not able to read his article (the link wouldnt work), however it sounds like he was being very self centered and unemphatic. As a parent of a child with multiple allergies I completely sympathize with you, HOWEVER, lets always remember to consider all sides of an issue….my child is allergic to soy (including anything with soy lecithin which is in just about everything), dairy (including all cheeses, yogurt, milk), corn (including all products made with corn starch and corn syrup, both of which are are practically everything, also cannot eat off of paper plates since they are dusted with corn starch to prevent them from sticking together). The list unfortunately does not end there…..my child is also allergic to eggs and any baked goods with eggs in them, and gluten. One of the few things that my child CAN eat that is a healthy source of protein is nuts and peanut butter. So while I cannot feed my child soy, corn, eggs, dairy, gluten, I can serve a peanut butter sandwich on gluten free bread….unless nuts are banned from school, then what would I do? Demand that they also ban dairy and gluten which are also major allergies that a lot of kids have? There comes a point where I feel we must be respectful of other’s health issues, but at the same time not expect everyone else to change because of them, simply because we unfortunately cannot accomodate everyone’s special needs.

  33. N

    I did not read the cited blog. This response is enough to make my chest hurt and my breathing speed up with fear. My son has seven of the top eight allergies plus mustard. He has to ingest to have a reaction, thank goodness. My family is very supportive, we pass around the baby wipes after seafood or sandwiches with no complaints, and all of my friends respect the lunch bag my son brings with him. Several of my friends even keep my list somewhere in their house, because they understand that food can equal a medical emergency! My son’s preschool has a very careful policy about food allergies, and my little guy knows, at 3.5 years old, that he can’t take food from other kids, and is very careful about what he takes from adults. The idea that some parents are out there, telling their kids that my son doesn’t matter, that his sensitivity to certain foods that could possibly cause his death is not important, that is terrifying and horrible. It is irresponsible. And no, the possibility of guns at school and failing education systems is NOT a more important thing to worry about. Not to me. Not when we’re talking about my child’s life. How dare she?

  34. deacc

    I did not read your entire post. Just the first paragraph and the caption of your picture.

    IMO, your title is even worse.
    “You Mad Bro? Peanut Free Schools Okay to Most Compassionate People”

    What you are trying to imply is that Most Uncompassionate People are not ok with Peanut Free Schools. And who is to define what compassionate or uncompassionate people are? Just because someone doesn’t agree with Peanut Free school does not imply they are uncompassionate. I didn’t read the cited blog either.

    I believe in educating the general public about food allergies but I also expect both the parents and the allergic child to take responsibility of their food allergies. Banning is not the answer.

    • Tiffany

      Hi deacc, I agree with you! I don’t think bans are the answer either. The issue I took with the post to which I was responding, was her condescending tone and regular assertion that “normal” kids should not have to suffer because of other kids’ disabilities. In addition, she also referred to natural selection and I disagreed strongly with that.

      Education is fantastic; I’m all for it. For some, that means others will choose to have nut-free schools. That isn’t the silver bullet for all of us, but it’s the kindness that underlies such a choice because of the outflow of education that I appreciate. We do not push nut-free zones because my son will have to navigate a world that is not generally safe for him. I’d prefer to prepare him for the world he is about to step into. But I still wish others would be more compassionate about whatever difficulty those around them face, whether food allergies or other disabilities.

  35. Anon

    Sorry, but most of you have it wrong. Allergists do not support nut bans – they think the measure is too extreme. Nut free tables for example meet the needs of both sides. We should be listening to the professionals, not being selfish in promoting only our own children’s interests – as most people here are doing. There is a way for the needs of everybody to be met.

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