The Nutty Side of Schools

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Thomas Mulvihill, assistant superintendent in New Milford, Connecticut, recently brought attention to the fact that “there’s a philosophical issue [here], an interesting debate on whether to purify an atmosphere for one child” (Flanigan). Some students do not feel safe in this non-purified environment where they currently reside. But what causes this unsafe feeling results from what many do not regard as dangerous: the homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This single sandwich is devoured by millions of children throughout the United States each and every year. It has even been given its own day, April 2, because of its undeniable popularity. However, this popularity of peanut butter is one of the proposed theories for the rise of peanut allergies. Parents are continuing to feed their infant peanut products, which in turn could cause a peanut allergy to surface in the child. It has been found in modern day that “a full 1% of children under age five suffer from a dangerous peanut allergy” and the rate of prevalence is not declining (Ballaro and Sprague). This rise in allergies has clashed with the popularity of peanut products in recent years and has caused issues in schools. Parents of students are outraged that there is an even a discussion on peanut products in school. Comments include “the only food my child eats is a PB&J!” and “we grew up on these sandwiches!” These parents are not heartless human beings because they just want what is best for their child. Are they really to blame? But are these parents putting the taste buds of their children ahead of the safety and well-being of other students at the school? The data suggests the answer is yes. Due to the growing number of young students with life-threatening peanut... ... middle of paper ... ... elimination of peanuts in school environments will likely bring about significant change (Hoff and Mitchell). Students with peanut allergies can feel reassured and not be put at a great risk from accidental exposure to the allergen. It only seems logical to keep the students protected. The main focus of this argument lies solely in protecting each student in schools. Administration has set up all types of responses to dangerous situations to keep people safe - lockdowns, fire evacuations and lockouts to name a few. Safety is the main priority and although legislation, such as the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act, has attempted to cover all Americans by creating uniform responses, more needs to be done (Ballaro and Sprague). So which will it be: the enjoyment or a lunchtime snack or the life a student?

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