Banned from school
Today, many kids have allergies, and schools must deal with them. A few years ago, a young student’s airway started closing up and the school nurse gave her an Epi-pen shot. This student is extremely allergic to peanuts. Althought she didn’t ingest any nuts, the nurse believes this student accidently exposed herself to it while in the cafeteria. As a result of this severe anaphylaxis reaction, my school banned all nuts on campus.
Allergies are scary for students and schools. Parents don’t want food in their school cafeterias that could impart harm, or even death, to their kids. Schools don’t want this either. When it’s just a few ingredients like nuts, schools can find substitutes. The peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we make for lunch are actually sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwiches. My kitchen carefully screens all new products and even foods we order for catered special events. Too often we find nuts as garnishes or just hidden in the middle of a long ingredient list.
But what’s the right balance between accommodating one student at the expense of everyone else? Nuts are a great source of protein and certain vitamins and nutrients, particularly for vegetarians. It’s quite unfortunate for them.
Next post: How my school is planning around allergies next year