Just a week after parents of elementary students protested safety measures put in place by a school to protect a 1st grader with a severe peanut allergy, news of two unfortunate teen girls reached me – their lives are forever changed by their severe peanut allergies.
First comes 13-year-old Katelyn Carlson, a young student in Chicago whose life ended tragically due to trace amount of peanuts found in Chinese food she consumed at a school event before winter break. The school and the parents contacted the restaurant to ensure that no peanut products would be in the girl’s meal, and while the Chinese Inn at Niles ensured them that no peanuts were in the meal, her death, and subsequent lab tests, have proven otherwise.
This girl’s life is over because of her severe peanut allergy.
On Monday, news agencies covered another unfortunate teenage girl with peanut allergies. 14-year-old Adrianna Aguirre is now comatose after eating cereal containing peanuts. While their were many warnings on the label of this particular food item, the girl ate the cereal without thinking, stopped breathing, and was rushed to the hospital. She is now in a coma, and will need a feeding tube placed next week to keep her body nourished while her body fights to stay alive and rid itself of the allergen that has wreaked havoc on her immune system.
Back to the Florida incident…
A young girl in Florida has a severe peanut allergy, resulting in anaphylaxis simply by inhaling or touching peanut residue. Her doctor, as a result, put down a list of safety precautions the school needed to follow in order to keep this young girl alive and attending her public school – her right, and her parents’ right, as tax paying citizens and residents in their county.
However, the plans put in place, in addition to outlandish rumors such as children being wiped with clorox wipes (they aren’t), put other parents of students attending that school into an uproar resulting in a protest outside of the school last Thursday morning.
As I heard it from an insider, the parents of this unfortunate little girl decided to remove her from school once another parent threatened online to put peanut oil on his/her child’s backpack and sending him to school. This individual might as well have said that she was going to enter the school and shoot this little girl in the head. That is what this amounts to.
But I read better news today, as it is reported by Fox that the school will continue to back up their decision to provide a safe educational environment for this student despite other parents insisting she be removed from the school.
I received a lot of nasty comments in my last article : Peanut Allergy Rules at Florida Public School Create Controversy, Protests . Many claimed that this is nothing more than another entitlement for people who want to force others to live their lives differently in order to accommodate them. They also claim that because those with peanut allergies are fewer than those without, individuals with a severe peanut allergy that is as life threatening as this little girl’s should just live in a bubble or stay home when accommodations are available to give them a better life.
While I have stated that, if my children had a severe peanut allergy that could kill them if they so much as inhaled or touched the residue, I would personally choose to home school them to keep them safe and ease my own anxiety, I don’t expect all parents to make the same decision. I also don’t expect every family to have the opportunity to make such a decision.
The bad economy comes to mind. Many families need two incomes, and without it, they won’t survive (especially if they are buying more expensive foods to substitute for common ingredients that usually contain peanuts – there are many!). To take a child out of school to home school, one parent must stop working or cut back their hours. This can be financially fatal to a family, forcing them to possibly go on welfare or accept WIC. Which “entitlement” is worse, I ask you? Either way, this family will be considered a “burden” to others, according to the nay sayers.
Speaking of WIC, a commenter on my last article stated that peanut butter is a cheap protein source, and therefore good for families who are struggling financially. Additionally, this commenter stated that WIC gives families in need free peanut butter, which these families rely on heavily. Well, I ask you, which “entitlement” is more appropriate? WIC is an entitlement. It is welfare. It is taxpayer money being used to help someone in need who needs compassion and support. Why is this little girl with a severe peanut allergy different from the family who requires WIC to keep from going hungry?
Where is the compassion?
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