peanut butter sandwichWow, people are passionate about peanut butter and jelly. What started as one Arkansas boy's sandwich has now turned into an international debate with people vehemently raging both for and against the right to eat peanut butter in schools.

It started when Jenkins Clifton-Jones took a PB&J to school one day. Apparently his mom didn't know about the six-year ban his school had in place against peanut products to protect students with allergies. According to Area Wide News, when a teacher saw him about to take a bite, she confiscated the sandwich, helped the boy get a new lunch, and sent a note home explaining the school's policy.

Sounds simple enough, right? Not even close.

Instead, his mom, Denise Clifton-Jones, took to Facebook to express her anger over the policy, and eventually started the page "School Nut Ban Discussion." Since then hundreds of people have chimed in with their very adamant opinions on either side; there's even a warning to people to stop with the profanity and name calling because it's gotten so heated. Comments like this from one woman pretty well sum up the side that's irate about the confiscation:

I joined this discussion because I am so sick of hearing about nut allergies. Many children and adults have allergies that they need to learn to deal with. Don't penalize 99.9% of the school for 1 child's allergy.

I'm flat out appalled that people could be so selfish. It seems like such a non-issue. When so many children suffer from peanut allergies (some reports say it may be as high as 1 in 25) and children can DIE if exposed to them, then I don't think asking people not to bring peanut products to school is such a big deal. It's one meal a day, and no one is going to die if they don't get their favorite sandwich.

Is it somewhat inconvenient? Sure. I always have peanut butter in my cupboard, and when I haven't been to the market in awhile, I know I can always rely on it. If I couldn't, it would be a pain, but not nearly as big as the one parents of children with food allergies face every day, worrying that some speck of food might kill their kid.

It's the epitome of laziness and self-centeredness to try and fight for the right to send your child to school with a food that could seriously harm another child. No, we can't ban every food that every child is allergic to, but nuts are a big one, so why not help these families out? I bet if those parents who are so passionate about sending peanut butter had to walk in the shoes of a parent who lives in fear of the product for even one day, they'd change their minds in a Jif (pun totally intended).

Do you think schools should ban peanut products to protect children with allergies?


Image via {N}Duran/Flickr