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Laura Knudsen: Says Amherst nut ban in school not unreasonable

To the editor:

As a parent whose children have food allergies, I fail to see how asking parents to leave nut products at home is the reason for such outcry. If you have ever had to take your child to the ER in an ambulance as they swell up beyond all recognition because the EpiPen Jr. did not work, you would not think the ban unreasonable. If you have ever been 5 years old and had to sit at a lunch table far away from everyone else because you had a food allergy, you would welcome the ban. In a town that prides itself on awareness of others’ difference and the power of education you should applaud the effort to provide a safe learning environment.

In a town that tries to assist those with issues that do not affect the majority but are serious enough to warrant attention from the medical community, this ban is not unreasonable. As to the opinion that, since there are no nut bans in society, they should not be banned in school, that flies in the face of what parenting is all about: to protect children until they are old enough to protect themselves.

While peanut butter is a staple of the American diet, it is not so for everyone’s diet, either by necessity or by choice, and it is not the only protein-rich food available. How could a ban that exists only during the school day cause such hardship? Amherst is in a region with a tremendous amount of diverse food selections available. To put it in perspective: when your child is 30, will his or her life have been diminished because he or she could not eat a peanut butter sandwich every day at school?

Laura Knudsen


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