Thursday, March 24, 2011

Free the Peanuts! Protests

Hold on to your hats, what you read next is shocking.  I turned on the news this morning.  I know it's hard to believe that I was able to watch something without talking animals or animation.   Grown-up television is unheard of in this house before 9 pm.  I turned to Today on NBC and what do I find?  A clip about a 6 year old's peanut allergies causing an uproar in a Florida school.

After my stress over almond extract yesterday, I can understand the little girl's parents nightmare of sending their daughter into a potentially life threatening situation.  I relate to how the classmates might feel when they have to bend their lives and routines around one child.  I even feel for the superintendent who has to deal with the media circus this issue is causing.  I will not argue pros and cons of adapting a classroom to meet a student's needs.  What a mess?

I will say that the girl has every right to be in that classroom and the extra hand washing required is a blessing, not a burden.  Yeah, the kids have to watch what snacks they bring into the classroom, but they are learning about ingredients and what really is in their foods.  I might be siding with the school, because I used to teach and believe that we learn more from everyday lessons than what a text book might have to say.  The food allergy is really not what people are upset about. 

I find it disturbing that so many parents getting mad over their children being made to accommodate one child.  Granted, it does take a little more time out of their day to wash their hands and make sure no stray peanut bits get brought in.  I don't know if it is appropriate to picket the school and make a public scene over trying to keep a classroom safe.  This is life and death. 

Where has our compassion gone?  Our children see these parents protesting and saying we deserve to be able to bring in any snack we desire and it shouldn't be mandatory to wash our hands.  They are proclaiming that we deserve to have things our way.  It's a message of entitlement that I am taking from this story.  It's really not about peanuts. 

I am not a parent at this school and I don't have to deal with a severe allergy in a classroom setting.  I see both sides of this issue.  As a parent, I know it's hard to give a little for the good of the group.  Our school is consolidated with two other towns.  My oldest son is bussed over an hour each day, having to switch school buses to catch one that is going to the middle school in a town 10 more miles north.  I am not ecstatic about this at all.  I despise it, but you won't see me picketing and calling in the media.

I see children who feel entitled daily.  I see it with my sons' friends.  I see it in the daycare children.  I see it in my own boys.  I hope that this school can use this as a teaching moment and move forward.  There are a lot of little eyes watching their parents and teachers handle this obstacle. 

On a lighter note... When did allergies become a disability?


Sarah said...

Imagine the life of the poor teacher who has to jump around making sure this kid does not get near nuts! The child is only 6. I have read other articles about this story and the parents are protesting because their children are being required to wash their hands and rinse out their mouths every day after lunch. I was a teacher and yes, it's nice that the children wash off, but they could not be forced to do it. It's a public school and a free world. While it is a considerate thing to do, these rules do not make much sense. Six year olds wipe their food all over their shirts/pants/clothes, etc. during meal times. It is a moot point for them to wash their hands and mouths when the food is very likely right there on their clothes for the rest of the day. I guarantee at least 25% have some sort of trace food on their clothes. This is wasting valuable learning time. If it is really necessary to go to these lengths for this one child, I would be terrified to let my child out alone in the world. JMHO. Thanks!

Plain Graces said...

Kids definetly wear their meals- That's a good point.

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