Well, my goodness, people. Peanut butter sure is a touchy subject. My request to have the problem with school peanut-butter bans explained to me has garnered more than 100 comments. Most are thoughtful, some are heated, a few are sarcastic, but then I am too, sometimes.
To the people with kids who, due to their own special needs, will only eat peanut butter, I say: You have a really good point. The place where one child's special needs bump up against another's is where the hard choices start.
To the people who just don't think things should be restricted, or who strongly believe in the right to bear peanuts ... I'm feeling less sympathy, honestly. We restrict things from schools all the time, with far less reason. These are among the things banned from my kids' schools right now:
- Belly-baring shirts
- Backless shoes
- Shirts with offensive slogans
- Jewelry in gym class
- Head lice
- Toys that look like weapons
- Cigarettes, drugs and alcohol
- Forums and chat rooms on school computers
- Skirts shorter than the extended fingertips
What does it say to a child to announce, "We care about you, but not if it means we can't eat whatever we darn well please?" Why would you not, in the spirit of drawing a school together as a community, eliminate something that could honestly kill one of your own? Not because you have to, and not because their mommies are big mouths, and not because nobody takes responsibility for anything anymore, but because you can?
Go back and take a look at the comments in that previous post, if you haven't skimmed through recently. I've closed down comments there, but you can feel free to respond here to that post or this one.
However, I would ask all commenters to remember that this is not just an issue of packing a peanut-free lunch for a peanut-allergic child. Children with peanut allergies can have reactions to trace amounts of peanut butter from somebody else's lunch on a table top or a railing or anyplace else. Peanut bans may not be practical or desirable for a variety of reasons, but "just don't feed them peanuts" is not a solution. Comments that make only that point, or that wander off the point into attacks on other commenters or inappropriate language, may be subject to deletion at my discretion.