Monday, January 30, 2012

Going Nuts

As indicated above, our school has a no nuts policy (specifically no peanuts) and this is a BIG deal. Last year there was a Little Darlin' with a severe allergy that could cause serious complications if exposed to peanuts. This year there are THREE such students, including one that has an extremely "high profile" parent. This is a Mom who, at Open House last year (her allergic daughter was not yet attending our school) freaked out because my rat's food had a peanut in it. (Who knew? Uh yeah. I do. Now.)

So this year there has been some scandal concerning this policy. Little Allergic Girl was sitting next to another student who was eating a NUTTER BUTTER COOKIE. A serious infraction of the rules. Luckily a parent noticed and whisked the offender away (not without tears I might add - he really WANTED that cookie) and notified the staff. Somehow L.A.G.'s Mom (rat food lady) found out and became hysterical. Etc., etc.

Big Boss Lady fired out an email to us teachers pronto instructing us to remind our whole parent population of the policy, stat, cc her, take no prisoners. I complied immediately because I know that Big Boss Lady likes prompt compliance. (Yeah.) In my letter I reminded parents to remind anyone that might be assembling their student's lunch of the policy (since I noticed the offender had been picked up by a different caregiver lately - you know - it happens.) Then I sat back until the smoke cleared.

Well it wasn't long before a parent (not in my class) took offense of this situation and made a big deal out of the fact that we should NOT be telling him what his child can or cannot eat. That people with allergies should learn to take personal responsibility without setting limits on others. That denying peanut butter to low income families was a tax on them personally since peanut butter is a cheap and easy source of protein for them. (!) And that he was protesting the policy through his pocketbook: he would not be making his yearly donation towards the big Fund Raiser, at considerable cost to our district. And he encouraged other parents to do this as well, if they felt the same way.


Does your school have a no nut policy? I'd love to hear your opinions.


  1. We post signs on the doors of the classrooms that have nut allergies. There is also a special table in the lunch room for those with allergies. I also "tagged" you....rules are on my blog post so you can play along!!!!

    Growing Up Teaching

  2. Our school has a nut free table and we post a sign on the doors. We encourage parents to send in nut free snacks, but we do not deny children (or rats) who can eat nuts. The allergic child's family works with the specific teacher and class.

    I kind of agree with the man who is upset. I feel for the parent of the allergic child, but I also think comepletely restricting foods from an entire school is unrealistic. A child with that severe of an allergy may need to be homeschooled. Just thinking (typing) out loud.
    Sorry you are going through this. I hope it doesn't get nasty!

  3. Kat, You saved me from losing my mind!! I tried yesterday several times to add all of the blogs I follow -would not work. Tried again after reading your comment to me -doing about 6 at a time is working! WOW - so much faster that finding, copy, pasting... 1 at a time! Thanks for your help!!
    Last year, I had a little girl with a feeding tube who could have very little - so hard, but the rest still had the fun stuff to eat. Our school does not make anything with peanut butter in the cafeteria, but each teacher works with the situation and parent to come up with the best solution! We also use a special table and each child at that table brings a little tablecloth to protect their area.
    Thanks again for your help! :)
    My Kindergarten Kids

  4. I just found your blog - how funny that we have such similar blog themes! I am your newest follower!

    As for allergies, I can understand both viewpoints. It does seem rather restrictive to force everyone to change their ways just for one or two people, but on the other hand, this is a life or death situation potentially. Maybe these parents can't afford to homes school, so they have to use public school so they can work. Is it okay for me to endanger that child's life just because I want my kids to have pbj or nutter butters? Our cafeteria is nut-free, but since no one in my class has allergies we don't sweat it (we eat in our own classroom so we don't have to worry about kids in other classes).

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten