Allergies Parenting

Parents Protest Student with Severe Peanut Allergy

Peanut allergies and their risks are not anything new for most parents.  In fact, kids are no longer allowed to bring anything with peanuts to school in our district for fear that a child who is allergic to the nut will accidentally consume or come in contact with them unknowingly.

Parents pretest at Edgewater Elementary School in Volusia County, Fla

Photo VIA FOXNews

Some children, like a little girl from Volusia County, Florida, have such a severe allergy that it is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To protect this 1st grader, her classmates are required to wash their hands before entering the classroom in the morning and after lunch, and rinse out their mouths.

These small accommodations have added up to frustration for many parents, who are in turn protesting that the little girl should be removed from the school and educated at home.

Nancy Wait, spokeswoman for the Volusia County School District spoke about the situation yesterday saying,

“That was one of the suggestions that kept coming forward from parents, to have her home schooled. But we’re required by federal law to provide accommodations. That’s just not even an option for us.”

Chris Burr, a father of two older students at the school whose wife has protested at the campus, made the argument that he wouldn’t ask everyone else to change their lives to fit his life, if he had a child with medical issues.

I personally believe that you can’t make that statement until you are really in that position and your child could die if just one person made a mistake.

David Bailey, the father of girl with life threatening food allergy, told MyFoxOrlando that if his daughter even smells peanuts, her reaction could be fatal.

“We’ve fought very hard to put certain things in place… to keep her alive… in school.  She’s already a cast-out. She can’t do things that most kids can do.”

Mom Carrie Starkey told,

“On average, it’s probably taking a good 30 minutes out of the day. That’s my child’s education. Thirty minutes could be a while subject.”

Last week she and other parents protested outside the school, picketing with signs that said, “Our Kids Have Rights Too.”

Thankfully the school is standing by the child, stating that it must protect the health of the student and I applaud them. As the mom of a special needs child, I think it’s inconsiderate of these parents to say that this little girl’s safety isn’t worth the couple minutes at the sink washing their hands and rinsing their mouths.

After all, each child should have to wash their hands before entering the classroom in the morning and after lunch so the only extra step is the mouth rinse, which would probably only take up a couple of seconds.
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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!


  • I can’t believe they’re protesting an extra minute step in their kids days that works to protect a child’s life! What the hell is wrong with people??? That little girl could die, do these other parents not get that? It must be hard enough for her being so severely allergic, and being an outcast, then to say she should have to home school and be more excluded from the world, that’s horrible. What would they do if it was their kid in that situation? They’d want to keep their life as normal as possible and they’d want others to do what they could to protect them. I am disgusted by those parents and I wonder really, what kind of parents are they if they can’t see the value of another child’s life.

    • The whole thing just infuriates me. Chances are that this family can’t go to all of the places that the rest of us can go and now she’s being singled out a school. This is bullying and these parents should be ashamed of themselves!

  • Shame on you parents! The rest of the country is watching Volusia County Florida and saying “SHAME SHAME SHAME !” Why not teach your children to be considerate little people. THAT is a life lesson. This little girls life means something. Teach your children THAT !

  • What a sad world we live in that parents teach their children to not be tolerant of those with disabilities. I have a peanut/treenut allergy son who is open and loving to all children, despite their abilities and disabilities. Seeing the gifts in him, cements the fact the world would be missing somethng if he was not in it. Exposure to these allergens could take his life away in seconds. I truly believe if these protesters’ children were effected with a life threatening illness, they’d want our support. Allergy parents pray and wish we could take away the allergy that threatens our children, but it is our reality and our job to be the protector and mouthpiece of our children. Sending our children to school is emotionally taxing for all parents, let alone those whose chilren’s health is compromised over a food.

  • I am a parent of an amazing 2 year old with a severe peanut allergy. She is so smart, loving, compassionate, and simply wonderful. When I read about these parent’s awhile back I got sick. It made me already begin pondering never sending my child to a public school for fear of this! For fear that parent’s feel peanut butter and not having their children wash their hands will be more important than my daughter’s life. I am so afraid as it is to let her out of my sight. And my heart bleeds for her that she could lose her life if she consumed/came in contact with a peanut. These parent’s have NO IDEA, nor would they want to. It is a sad thing & I often sit and wish it wasn’t so for my daughter to have this allergy.
    I reside near a school where “peanut bullying” was taking place (students were attempting to force peanut butter into a peanut allergy child’s mouth). Unbelievable really!!!!!
    My daughter had a reaction at the grocery store as an adult opened & snacked on a bag of peanuts while checking out. She had a reaction from receiving a kiss on the cheek from a family member. She had a reaction from touching an enclosed package, etc. I am so disgusted & angry with these ignorant fools in Florida! I wish I could write what I really think of them.

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