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Florida Parents Say One Student's Peanut Allergy Is Ruining Their School!

Thu, March 24, 2011 1:01pm EDT by 15 Comments

The parents at this elementary school say one girl’s extreme allergy is taking away from their children’s learning time.

There’s a bitter battle going on at Edgewater Elementary School, in DeLand, Florida over a little girl with a severe peanut allergy. Parents are concerned that the necessary precautions in the school are taking away from their kid’s class time. They are frustrated that one child’s needs are placed over all of the others. How would you feel about this?

The first-grade classmates are asked to wash their hands before entering their classrooms in the morning and again at lunch. They are also required to rinse their mouths out and wipe their faces with a wet cloth to appease the school district’s efforts to keep the unnamed female student safe. (There is even a peanut-sniffing dog).

“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 whole subject,” Carrie Starkey tells “We understand that they need to protect this girl, but these measures are just extreme. Procedures need to be set in place, but not procedures that will take away from our children’s education.”

But district spokeswoman Nancy Waits tells ParentDish that all of these safety measures were in place last year and have been in place since the beginning of the present school year. “It does take a little bit of time and there is a legitimate concern about cutting down instructional time,” she explains.

Parents are also annoyed with the fact that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are no longer being served at lunch time, but Nancy says that is not true. Protestors were upset about snack time regulations, too. “There is no snack this year at the first-grade level, and some parents thought that was because of the peanut allergy,” she tells admits. “But it’s because of where their lunch time falls. There’s just no time to eat a snack beforehand.”

The little girl who sparked the controversy is the only student at the elementary school whose allergy is life-threatening and, under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the district is legally obliged to accommodate her medical needs.

“We have moved so far beyond isolating children with disabilities,” Nancy says. “We are required to provide her with an education and to make accommodations for her disability.”

So HollyMoms and Dads, whose side do you take?

–Leigh Blickley
This 9-year-old girl is allergic to the cold! Kourtney Kardashian rushes Mason to the hospital after he has an allergic reaction to peanut butter!

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