Tennessee School Bans PB &J

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Updated: 8/05/2013 6:48 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF) -- What kid has never taken a PB&J sandwich to school?
Most have---but these days the peanut butter part of that sandwich can be a deadly health threat for some students.
The Athens public schools have now banned peanut butter in any form in the campus.

Violent allergic reactions to peanut products is not new---many kids have suffered with it their entire lives.
But there are more cases these days, and public schools have had to design special programs to deal with the health threat.
Athens, Tennessee schools have banned peanut products from school grounds.

ROBERT YOUNGER, III, M.D. THE ALLERGY ASTHMA GROUP "The frequency and percentage of children with life-threatening peanut allergy has logarithmically over the past two generations."

Cameron Johnson, a 10th grader at Dade County High School has had to avoid peanut products and shellfish his entire life.

TAMMY JOHNSON, CAMERON'S MOM "People just don't understand..you know, a piece of food can kill your child."

And Dade county schools have made the trip all the way with Cameron.
The cafeteria staff even calls the Johnson's if they have a question about what they are cooking that day.

TAMMY JOHNSON "They go above and beyond..he has benadryl in every class, because he may not make it to the office, because it can happen so fast."

LARRY JOHNSON, CAMERON'S DAD "Even at his age, he has to be very vigilant about reading labels and checking things ..he can't take anything for granted."

ROBERT YOUNGER, III, M.D. ALLERGIST "We know that approximately 300 to 400 children are lost each year to food induced anaphylacsis .
And half of those cases are due to peanuts."

Schools now keep medications on hand, just in case.

The national institute of health has studied the record on peanut allergies.
Dr. Younger says it determined that banning peanuts altogether in a school district is not in keeping with those guidelines.

4 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

larkd - 8/9/2013 8:31 PM
0 Votes
I developed an allergy to Peanuts, Almonds and Walnuts...along with food dyes (which are in everything)when I turned 50. I ate peanut butter all my life, but now I have to be careful of what I eat and what those around me are eating. People eat peanuts on planes and have no clue how the dust from those nuts can trigger a reaction and even get upset when told. I can just imagine what a parent goes through to try to protect their child. I commend Athens Schools for their forethought.

justamom - 8/7/2013 4:31 PM
0 Votes
Thank you SuziQ, and yes, I have been through all of those steps in an effort to try and avoid her being left out....I could have implimented a 504 Plan, which would prevent anything she's allergic too from being brought into her classroom, but I didn't want to "punish" the other kids, nor did I want to put her in a position to be disliked by classmates...it's such a tough position for her to be in, and I hate it!

SuziQ - 8/7/2013 1:39 PM
0 Votes
To Justamom - I greatly sympathize with your child & the awkward position she is placed whenever classrooms/schools do not take into account children with other food "allergies". You have probably already done this, but every year, with reminders throughout the year, let the teacher, homeroom mother, Principal, school counselors, nurse, etc., know about her celiacs. Get the word out to the School Nutrition Dept as well, not that it will do any good there, but it will at least be a "seed" planted. From one mother to another, I am so sorry your child has been repeatedly hurt by this. No child should have to endure the embarrassment by being singled out in this way. Please let your daughter know there are others "out there" who do care!

justamom - 8/7/2013 10:37 AM
1 Vote
While I understand why some feel this is necessary, what about kids with other food allergies?? My daughter has celiac disease, and peanut butter is one of the FEW foods she can have. Maybe her condition is not immediately life threatening, but we have had more than our fair share of unintentional reactions from kids brining items to the classroom, resulting in days of vomiting, diarrehea, rashes, headaches etc. So to be fair, should we outlaw bread, and pizza and chicken nuggets? Why should her food concerns be left out? I can't even begin to explain the emotional damage she has suffered from the countless class parties she has been left out of because no one takes her allergies into consideration because she doesn't require an epi-pen. I understand that this is a serious issue, but this also says to her "your food concerns are not important because you won't die from them, at least not today". Most schools do not even recognize her condition as a food allergy, even though it is federally protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I think that we should educate parents, and students on ALL food allergies, especially since there are allergy free option available to everyone. Just my two cents worth.
Featured Partners
Together we can make a confident retirement possible. Simply click to get started with your private wealth advisor. Talk to Jimmy Scotchie, Certified Financial Planner.
Get started at $79.99 a month for 12 months. Plus, get a $75 VISA® Prepaid card.
Stay Connected with WDEF News 12
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.