My Kid Wants Peanut Butter — to Hell With Your Allergies!

Whoa, Nelly!

Pete the Popcorn co-author Joe Kelley really knows how to open a can of worms. He has a ton of friends on Facebook and I think Joe has “groomed” them to be very opinionated. Joe knows how to rile people on Facebook, throwing out an opinion or two, here or there. This, in turn, makes them a little more comfortable spouting their opinion. Now, this is just my opinion. Get it? This is all about opinions.

Yesterday, Joe asked permission from one of his friends to re-post her status update, to cause a discussion. She said yes, he did, and it went downhill from there. Have a look:

This is the original post…

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And then the show begins:

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My friend Debbie doesn’t usually comment… she doesn’t like to get involved in Facebook Fights and for good reason… they’re usually a waste of time. However, when something gets to her:

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And then we have people, like myself, who want to get to the base reason for all of it: why are these nut allergies simply exploding in our Nation’s youth in recent years?

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Things got more and more heated as the evening wore on, the debate turning at times into a mud-slinging adventure:

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I had to get involved at a few points in time, namely to get to the reasoning of why and how this became a seemingly national epidemic:

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People started throwing out other analogies about different allergies, which irked others to no end:

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And then, a twist of the knife, as Debbie throws in a joke/insult and departs the conversation…

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Carolyn’s comment above struck home… I took it as this: we get this worked up over peanut butter, but allow our kids to play shoot-em-up video games and nobody debates that.

And then, in this epic battle, we have a bomb-thrower… someone that enters the conversation to blow things apart and get people more riled than ever, prompting them to throw out the rulebook and express their true feelings!

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Andrea re-enters the battle… picking apart Shane’s argument piece-by-piece:

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Now enters Brenda, addressing the original letter and calling out the parent that wrote it:

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And the bomb-thrower returns, after a two-hour respite, in an attempt to re-ignite the conversation:

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Finally, the argument winds down, with Jason being a voice of reason for one side of the debate:

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I think I just created a new reality television program. Someone starts a discussion on Facebook about a controversial subject, the people go crazy and there will be a highly-accomplished play-by-play announcer making comments. Could be Fun Friday Facebook Fights… although this one was on a Tuesday. Hmmm.

All-in-all, this thread ended up with 80 comments in the span of about 16 hours… people are passionate.

So, what are your thoughts? Can I re-ignite this Peanut Butter conundrum here? Do you have kids with allergies? How do you and your school handle it? Would you have an issue withholding peanut butter from your child, in order to comply with the needs of another child?

Talk to you soon…




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7 comments on “My Kid Wants Peanut Butter — to Hell With Your Allergies!

  1. “Hi, is that [person who wrote the original letter]?

    I’m just giving you a personal call as we received a complaint because Mrs. McDoodle’s child died at lunch today because of their peanut allergy. Please refrain from packing peanut butter sandwiches in the future now that you have received this call. Thanks!”

    In seriousness, I think this demonstrates a problem with rampant individualism and the sanctity of screw-everyone-else freedom in the U.S. People have this incessant sense of entitlement which makes them think that, if an action is within the law, they should damn well be able to do it whenever, wherever, and however they like, and screw everyone else who has an opinion. Sure, they have the *right* to do it, and so they should, but where did the compassion go? The consideration for others? The willingness to make concessions in order to improve the community’s collective quality of life? In every facet of life, it’s just every family for itself, and it’s especially ridiculous over something so incredibly trivial.

    • Callum, very interesting and valid points! Thanks for the input!

      I’ve always said that we’ve lost the feeling of “we’re all in this together…” and you’re making a similar argument. Makes sense.

  2. People do not have the right to drive over little kiddos playing in the street…
    People do not have the right to leave a baby alone in the bath…
    People do not have the right to force peanut butter on a child who would experience anaphylactic shock.

  3. Since I was the person to start PeanutButterGate as Joe calls it, let me defend my position.
    When the newsletter was sent home two days ago it stated that a few kids with allergies had minor reactions and therefore peanut butter was being banned. There was never anything stating that anyone had a major reaction, nor was there anything in the letter stating that any child was deathly allergic. If that had been the case and the letter had stated this, I certainly would feel that banning peanuts was a necessity. When I questioned my daughter about peanut allergies she stated that no one in her classes had an allergy (in 6th grade they share core classes with the same kids and only switch for their 2 electives). Now I am not saying that means no one has an allergy, I am just saying that she is unaware of anyone that is near her that has one.
    Another thing that frustrates me is why is the letter coming out now at the end of December? If these allergies are so horrible why were these parents not notifying the school at the beginning of the year and advocating for this to happen then? If the allergy is one that is that bad it would seem to me that the parent would be making it an issue right away, not 4 months later. So I am sure it is the school forcing the issue because it is easier for them to ban the peanuts than to just separate the kids. At some point in these kids’ lives they are going to have to learn how to live in a world that has peanuts in it. If this was a preschool class then of course I wouldn’t send a PBJ with my kid because it’s harder to control in that environment. But this is middle school. Clean up your mess and wash your hands.
    Now is this a little bit selfish of me? Absolutely. For the last 2 years I have had to deal with a little diva vegetarian in a house of meat loving people. I applaud the fact that she has all the right reasons for not wanting to eat meat, however, the constant strain of making sure she has an adequate diet and at times cooking a second dinner is overwhelming at times. If I can just make one kind of lunch for both kids it’s just easier. One less thing to think about. That being said I packed her a salad today and will pack her another one tomorrow. I’m not completely heartless and I don’t want to send a kid into the hospital. But if that is the case then the school needs to tell me that. Not tell me that it’s because of a few kids having minor reactions. Because that leads me to believe it’s not a big deal when it very well could be.

  4. Stacy, thanks for letting us use your comments on Facebook to get a discussion started. I have to say that this was really a 50/50 argument on Facebook— pretty even, as far as folks on each side. I even got my Mom all riled up last night at dinner when I told her about it!

    I had serious Asthma as a kid. I still have it. I knew to always have my inhaler. But kids would come to school with dog hair and cat dander or reeking like smoke… all three of these things would send my allergies into a tailspin, triggering an Asthma attack.

    So where does our society draw the line? Should I, as an Asthmatic, live in a bubble?

    Thanks again!

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