Two Muskegon Schools Ask Parents To Help Them Go ‘Peanut Free’ [VIDEO]
Peanut allergies are on the rise. That makes lunchtime at school increasingly difficult for both students and staff.
Oakridge Lower Elementary and Oakridge Early Childhood Center, both located in Muskegon, have asked parents to stop sending peanuts or food containing peanuts to school with their children.
The schools have about 700 students. Seven of them are allergic to peanuts.
Oakridge Superintendent Tom Livezey says a letter explaining the "peanut free school" request went home with students in those two schools last week. He, and other district leaders, would normally watch over the one or two students with peanut allergies and make sure they were not sitting near other student eating peanuts. But with multiple students requiring the same attention the school is taking a broader approach.
Seven parents have made the district aware they do not approve of the request.
The increase in students with peanut allergies is due to young students just now enrolling in the district.
This is a request from the school district, not a requirement. Complying with the request would be a nice gesture and appreciated by the families of the students with allergies, but compliance should not become a requirement. If some parents insist on sending their children to school with peanut products they should be allowed to.
What about students who are allergic to milk and latex? Should those products be banned too? Should schools ban flowering plants on campus to protect students allergic to bee stings?
School requests to accommodate allergies need to be a balance of safety and common sense. Finding that balance is difficult. We need to remember school leaders have the best interest of the kids in mind when they make a request like this one.
I do not have a problem with an identical policy at the school my children attend. My children do not have allergies and I am happy to make school a safer environment for the students who do.
It's a slight inconvenience, but if a simple adjustment to what we put in our children's lunches can make some students safer, then it is an inconvenience worth dealing with.