A PB&J ban at an Arkansas school is riling up controversy both at the school and on the internet have been divided on the issue of health versus common sense.
The ban went down at a school in Viola, Arkansas, where administrators came up with a no-peanut policy due to a few students with allergies. The controversy started when one young student brought one of the banned sandwiches, his parents unaware of the school’s PB&J ban.
Teachers helped the boy get a new lunch and sent a note home explaining the PB&J ban, but that did not go over well at home.
The note made the rounds, and parents opposed to the PB&J ban created a “School Nut Ban Discussion” group on Facebook. Some parents opposed the idea of changing around the lunchroom routine for all students just because a few kids had health sensitivities, Piper Weiss of Yahoo!’s Team Mom noted. The CDC notes that about 1 in 25 children has a peanut allergy.
Other parents complained that the PB&J ban ignored other kids who had special needs of their own.
“There are some autistic children that will only eat a PB&J sandwich or nothing at all,” one parent opposing the ban argued on Facebook.
Viola District Superintendent John May noted that the PB&J ban has been in place for quite some time, but just started attracting attention now.
“The policy is in place to protect those with a severe, life threatening problem,” May told Area Wide News. “Until we figure out something else, it would be foolish to drop the policy.”
PeanutAllergy.com tackled the issue last year, noting that many administrators believe coddling children with peanut allergies fails to prepare them for the real world.
“It’s really not in the child’s best interest who has the allergy,” one administrator admitted. Because the rest of the world is not peanut-free, “That child needs to learn to be able to control their own allergy.”
The report also found parents and administrators who thought it was unfair to take away a meal that children almost universally love.
“We switched out peanut butter for sun butter (made out of sunflower seeds) in our kindergarten classes one time,” one administrator said. “They can tell. They would ask us why we weren’t giving them real peanut butter.”
Do you think the PB&J ban is fair?