Classmates’ Parents Demand Home Schooling for Girl with Peanut Allergy

A six-year-old Florida girl whose peanut allergy qualifies her for protection under the American with Disabilities Act is causing quite a stir in her first grade classroom due to precautions the school must take for her safety, and the parents of her classmates aren’t happy. They’ve asked that the girl be removed and home schooled because of the inconvenience to them and their children.

Life Threatening Allergy

The unidentified student has a life-threatening allergy to peanuts and the school is required by law to accommodate her needs, which includes having her classmates wash their hands before entering the room in the morning and again after lunch. The children are also instructed to rinse their mouths after lunch and a peanut-sniffing dog was employed to check the classroom during the recent spring break.

District Obligations Vs. Disgruntled Parents

Nancy Walt, a spokesperson for the Volusia County School District, plans to meet with the concerned parents this week to discuss the precautions, the district’s obligations under the law and to dispel rumors.

But parent Charlie Burr is not happy. His wife has protested at the school’s campus and he feels that the girl’s parents should not expect other parents to go through the frustrations of accommodating another child’s disability.

What Do You Think?

As a former teacher, I am aware that accommodating children with special needs sometimes impacts other kids in the classroom, but in the real world, we are often called upon to make adjustments in our lives for co-workers, neighbors, friends and family, so why should school be any different? In fact, shouldn’t one of the functions of school be to teach children to get along with others even when it’s inconvenient?

And is ensuring the physical safety of someone else’s child really an inconvenience? The child in question is at risk of a life-threatening reaction and is it really that difficult to make a few adjustments for the well-being of another person’s child? Or have we reached a point in our society where the welfare of others must take a back seat when we are asked to step up and sacrifice even the smallest amount?


Related Stories:

Peanut Free Zone: Allergies and the Classroom

Canada To Make Identifying Allergens In Foods Easier

Food Obtained Outside the Home May Contribute to Childhood Obesity


Photo credit: Nut Free Zone by AndWat


Fi T.
Past Member 4 years ago

Watch out what we eat

Jordan Moroni
Jordan Moroni6 years ago

I'm not trying to rile anyone up with this response, but I think it is crazy to send your child to school with an allergy as severe as the one mentioned. I think teaching kids to be considerate of others differences is important. However, if your child could die if someone (a young child) messes up, then you shouldn't be sending them to an environment like that. I'm the oldest sibling of five and am not a parent, but to expect that your child stays free from danger in a place you don't have direct control over is ludicrous.

Meta Reid
Meta Reid6 years ago

There is a great book entitled the "The Peanut Free Cafe" that every parent should read to their child, or have the school librarian read it to the kids. Surely a tad of preparation would helped. Also, if it means less spread of germs, i.e., everyone has to wash their hands, the parents shouldn't be quite so upset.

joe M.
joe MARTINEZ6 years ago

Sacrificing other children education for one unfortunate pupil is totally unacceptable. Students do not have a life tme to cram their education and any distraction must be elimitated. I sympathize with the parents but demanding that the rest of society share their plight is being selfish. It's like saying," if I'm going to suffer so is the rest of society. The extreme sensitive could it be the child is doing this for individual attention? Has social service checked her enviroment to ensure that a wacko mother is not programmng this behavior. Allow me to tell you a true story. " When I met my young sister-in-law she was 10 years and hated milk, her mother my new mother-in-law made sure that we did not give her milk because it would upset her stomach". The child wanted to spend a weekend with us and came with us. By the way this was in England in 1975 they had no milk shakes. On our way home we stopped at the military base that I was stationed, went into the snack bar and ordered strawberry milk shakes, She loved it and lord an be hold no reaction. The following day I questioned her and she told us, she hated drink milk because her mother used to force to drink. Could this child developed this sensitive, because she hates peanut butter? One wonders if this child is being attended by the right doctors?

Laure H.
Laure H6 years ago

Wow. Is this little girl so sensitive to peanuts that a post-lunch whisper in her ear from someone who had a PB&J will send her into anaphylactic shock?

Somebody, please get this kid to an allergy elimination practitioner. NAET or one of the others. They do wonders, even with sensitivities as severe as this. It is non-invasive and may save her life, as well as reducing the extreme measure that this school has to take to protect this child.

In the meantime, I don't think it would hurt the parents to pack something healthier than peanut butter and jelly for their kids' lunches, and to skip candies that either have peanuts or were made in a factory that processed peanuts. In fact, skipping the candy might give the whole classroom a boost, academically and behaviorally.

It would a be a good lesson in going without something in order to do good to someone else.

I think the world could stand a little more of that sort of lesson.

Tracy L.
Tracy L.6 years ago

Are you kidding? This is so selfish and absurd. You need to homeschool so I can send PB & J sandwiches in my kid's lunch. As a former teacher, we had tons of kids with nut and other food allergies at my school. Not really that big a deal to keep nuts out of the classroom. I would hate to hear these parents' opinions on inclusion of children with developmental and physical disabilities in their child's classroom.

ana p.
ana p6 years ago


Betsy M.
Betsy M6 years ago


jane richmond
jane richmond6 years ago

Adult stupidity. The children will gain from knowing a child with an allergy. Is it any wonder the world has gone mad! Look what and how we teach our children,

Jess D.
Jess D6 years ago

This is fairly ridiculous. It sounds as if the only "inconvenience" to the other parents is having their children be a little more hygienic and aware of the people around them. In my opinion, the school should be encouraging frequent hand washing anyway. So you can't give your kid a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day, or send them in with peanut butter cupcakes on their birthday- not a huge deal. I think the well- being of this little girl with a *deadly* allergy should have a higher priority than the extra couple of minutes it would take to plan out a different lunch for your child.