Friday, September 4, 2015

12 Reasons Why Your Rant About Peanut Free Schools is a Whiny Load of Crap: an Open Letter

So, in my Internetting, I came across this:

Fair warning, I didn't actually go to the bother of writing out 12 counter points, because it just wasn't worth the time.

I actually had to stop reading the thing part way through, because, well, I actually like English, and reading it was like being stabbed in the soul with a rusty fork.  But I digress.

Dear Annoying Purveyor of Clickbait,

I'm assuming you have never experienced anaphylaxis.  I'm assuming this because anyone who has, and has offspring, would realize that having their child forgo peanuts for one meal a day is a tiny, infinitesimal bother, barely worth mentioning (let alone composing a badly written, rambling "article" about) when compared with the prospect of a child losing consciousness for the last time, unable even to gasp for breath. Imagine your tongue swollen to the size of a balloon in your mouth, and the edges of your vision turning grey. That ought to shut you up - not least because you can't actually talk with your tongue swollen like that. Can't talk, can't yell for help - believe me, I've tried.

Let me tell you something.  No, my child is not important than yours.  No, it is not your responsibility to look out for my child.  But you can be damn sure, even if your kid was the only one, I would happily have my kid miss out on something for one effing meal a day, rather than expose your child to something which could kill her horribly. Because your normal, healthy child actually is more important to me than my supposedly disabled child's need to eat something at every fucking meal.  Unless your kid is the Wicked Witch of the West, yes, I will make concessions to stop my child from accidentally killing yours.

You go on a lot about living in the real world and responsibility and learning to live with the hand you're dealt - and I agree, to an extent.  My own peanut allergy was discovered at a time before epipens and as a very young child, I carried a glass vile of epinephrine and a syringe.  I was taught to ask about the ingredients in *everything*.  But we're not talking about a situation where "live and learn" applies.  We're talking about one slip up could KILL A CHILD.  As in, that normal, healthy child you're so proud of, who shouldn't have to cater to a "peanut allergy kid"?  You would have to explain to her where people go when they die, and why little Billy won't be back to class.  "Well, you see, peanut protein is very important. And Billy didn't ask what was in the cookie you offered him (or you didn't know, or maybe you lied because you didn't comprehend the severity of the situation and thought it would be funny), so now he's dead.  Don't worry, though; not your responsibility."

A lot of your points centre around other allergies that schools don't make allowances for, like soap, etc.  First of all, unscented soaps are a healthier option for everyone - second and more important - we're not talking about a rash or a reaction that can be easily avoided by a kid using their own supplies.  Some peanut allergies are severe enough that touching something that's been touched by another person with peanut butter on their hand could be deadly.  I hope your normal, healthy child is good at washing her hands after lunch - oh wait, my bad, it doesn't matter, because the "peanut allergy kids" should be at home wrapped in cellophane anyway, where they won't bother your normal, healthy, athletic child with their inconvenient habit of having a potentially deadly allergy.

Not a single other student should be accommodating for another child’s inability to meet basic expectations and requirements of being in a public, social environment.
Ok, what the Hell? Really? So, your magical, normal, healthy, athletic, second-coming-of-Christ with a cherry on top sees a blind child walking toward them and you teach them, what, exactly? To say Fuck you, blind kid! I'm not moving out of your way; if you can't get around me, you should be home schooled?  Or, a deaf child asks to swap seats with your perfect specimen of health and normalcy, so that they can see the teacher (or, the horror!, the ASL interpreter)? I assume your kid has been well trained to sneer and thumb her nose?

Your whole argument is basically that you shouldn't be mildly inconvenienced in order to help avoid a potentially life-threatening situation for someone else's child.  Well, maybe you shouldn't. But what can I say? Life is. Schools shouldn't have to change the rules to accommodate your inability to adapt. And if your kids' health is so frail that they can't make it through the day without that healthy peanut protein, maybe you should consider home schooling.

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