Parents Say Student's Peanut Allergy Hazardous to Their Kids
Filed under: In The News
But, in an interesting twist, a group of parents from a Volusia County, Fla. elementary school are now claiming that one first-grade girl's peanut allergy actually poses a hazard to their own children's health, reports WFTV News.
As a result, a group of parents organized a demonstration outside the school on Thursday, protesting because their children have had to miss out on holiday parties at school, because they're not allowed to bring peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and because they're required to wash-up at various times during the day.
Per federal regulations, school districts are required to ensure all students wash and rinse their hands three times a day for about 10 minutes, WFTV reports. Parents claim this process interferes with their children's education -- because it's 30 minutes per day they're not in class learning.
"I'm perfectly fine with no peanuts in class," parent Carrie Starkey tells WFTV news. "But I have a problem with hand washing and rinsing of the mouth to take away from my child's education."
David Bailey is the father of the little girl who sparked the protest, and he tells WFTV that he kept the child home Thursday.
Even though there are other students at the school who are allergic to peanuts, Bailey's daughter has a more severe allergy -- and Bailey feels they're singling his daughter out.
"They are against her," Bailey says. "This is all against her."
Officials tell WFTV that all parents were notified of the dangers of peanut allergy and the school-district hand-washing policy, though many parents claim they were not.
Bailey explains that his daughter can't come in contact with peanuts, and she can't ingest them or she'll die. However, the news outlet reports that medical experts say this is a remote possibility.
"Children with severe peanut allergies have very minor risk for reactions," Dr. Matthew Seibel tells WFTV.
The protesting parents say they resorted to demonstrating at the school because school officials had no answers for them.
"We're all for protecting that little girl, but have to protect our own kids," Rhonda Ivey tells WFTV.
County officials are now having the school cleaned and are sending in peanut-sniffing dogs to check for peanut particle, WFTV reports.
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