School Ban on Peanut Butter Brings Out the Crazy in Selfish Parents

Rant 211

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

in the news, kid health, kids nutrition, school lunch

211 Comments

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Amanda R Baker

'the needs of the many out way (spelled weigh, by the way!) the needs of the few'? Seriously?? Since when is eating peanut butter a NEED? There's an abundance of other available options out there. And while I do agree, to some extent, that parents of kids with allergies need to teach their children how to cope appropriately, AS A PARENT I realize that children (especially grade school age children) are forgetful and sometimes just don't always obey - they always test their limits. And BTW, it's not 'babying' a child to respect that they have a serious, life-threatening allergy. Personally, I have two very healthy kids with no allergies, and while I may not understand what an allergy parent has to go through, I can respect it just the same.

meng3 meng3

My son is diabetic. While I realize that one bite of sugar will not kill him, foods at school can be a major issue for diabtic children. My answer has never been to expect everyone else to cater to us and not eat anything containing sugar. When it became a hassle to have his dietary needs met at school, we pulled him out and now we homeschool. (Not only for this reason, but this is what started it all.) His diabetes will be with him forever, as allergies will be with some children. The answer is not to make everyone else conform to your child's dietary restrictions. If it's that serious, handle it yourself. It's not fair, it's not fun, it's not the way you planned? Sorry. It's the way it is.

mrsshep mrsshep

Whereas I do understand some children have nut allergies, I know that when all of my children were home Peanut Butter was one of the most economical ways for me to provide a decent lunch to my children and still have money to pay the bills.


I think the major issue seems to be people are feeling their rights are being taken away a little at a time.  I do feel for those who have such allergies, however, people are allergic to grass and, thankfully, no one expects the grass to be replaced.  I believe this issue is more than just a "peanut butter" issue.  Since the taxpayers are the ones paying for the school, perhaps it would be best if taken to the community in a vote.


 


 

Heli Tuomi Carlile

If your kids love PB sandwiches, an easy nut-free alternative to it is Sunflower Seed Butter (available for example at Trader Joe's) which tastes very similar to PB and very yummy.

I think we need to support families with severe nut-allergies - you would appreciate it if your child was allergic. Are we not a society, a community? Being thoughtful and caring for each other is core to a healthy community.

Jonny Loathing

Like one kid's sandwich is gonna attack another's? C'mon people...common sense here.

nonmember avatar Meep

Nice! Everything to do not send your child to school so you can help other families out, to just switch to a more expensive alternative from a store chain that most of America doesn't have access to! Ok, Idiots how about this teach your child to deal with real life and in real life there is many, many dangers worse than peanut butter! I think they can handle being told to leave someone else's lunch alone and when offered a product they are allergic to, to decline the offer. No its so much easier for everyone to cater to the minority than the majority right? When will it end? No sugar, diabetic children. No wheat, gluten intolerant children. No fat, because your kid is fat enough already! It's insane, and its not every parent out theres responsiblity to make sure your child is protected its yours the parent! Let them do their job, you do yours and teach them what they can and cannot have according to their ailments! This used to be America the Free, where parents could decide on what their child could have for lunch, now its a community decision, its bullshit.

Jennifer Graves Tanguay

ya'll might as well be telling these parents that you could careless about their childs life!

Its a life and death situation

Jennifer Graves Tanguay

While I was thinking that there is alot of heartless people in the world.... I am coming to the concluion that they are un-educated on this matter.

Maybe some research and speaking to a parent who lives this nightmare daily, can help ya'll understand.

Michelle Steinberg-Gray

My son goes to a school with a nut ban and he loves PB&J, but he also has a friend who has wound up needing to be hospitalized after contact with nuts.  As far as I'm concerned that outweighs my picky eater.  He has been bringing other sandwiches and doing okay with it.  How would you feel if you sent your child with nuts and Dominic or another highly allergic child wound up injured or killed, is it really worth it.

nonmember avatar MOMMY1

THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT THE SCHOOL WILL GET SUED, SHOULD A STUDENT DIE FROM THEIR ALLERGY,FOR NOT BEING PRO-ACTIVE AND HAVING A BAN. THERE ARE SO MANY ALTERNATIVES NOW FOR PEANUT BUTTER THAT THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR PARENT TO NOT FOLLOW THE BAN.

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