PB&J banned from the public school system?
Crazy as it seems, the Athens public schools in Tennessee are saying no to peanut butter and jelly because of the possibility for violent allergic reactions from students.
“The frequency and percentage of children with life-threatening peanut allergies has [grown] logarithmically over the past two generations,” said Robert Younger III, M.D. of the Allergy Asthma Group in comments to WDEF.com. “We know that approximately 300 to 400 children are lost each year to food induced anaphylaxis … And half of those cases are due to peanuts.”
With PB&J banned from Athens, parents like Tammy Johnson, whose son Cameron suffers from a severe peanut allergy, can breathe a little easier.
“People just don’t understand … you know, a piece of food can kill your child,” Johnson said.
Johnson was particularly supportive of the way the school has responded to her son’s allergy. “They go above and beyond … he has Benadryl in every class, because he may not make it to the office, because it can happen so fast.”
Tammy’s husband Larry Johnson added that even at his 10th grade son’s age, “he has to be very vigilant about reading labels and checking things … he can’t take anything for granted.”
But while the Johnsons are happy with the decision, there was a little pushback on the WDEF.com website. User justamom commented, “While I understand why some feel this is necessary, what about kids with other food allergies?? My daughter has celiac disease, and peanut butter is one of the FEW foods she can have.”
The commenter continued: “Maybe her condition is not immediately life threatening, but we have had more than our fair share of unintentional reactions from kids bringing items to the classroom, resulting in days of vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, headaches, etc. So to be fair, should we outlaw bread and pizza and chicken nuggets? Why should her food concerns be left out?”
While the commenter’s point is well-founded, there does seem to be an unfortunate amount of evidence surrounding the volatility of peanut allergies.
Just last month, The Inquisitr reported on a teen, who died in her father’s arms, after consuming food with peanuts in it.
In addition to allergies, peanut butter its own delicious self was recently at the center of a salmonella outbreak this past February.
So with PB&J banned in Athens, do you think other schools should follow suit, or is our society overreacting?
[Image via ShutterStock]