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December 9, 2005

Confusion at school causes reaction - "Scrape it off"

A local ABC news report described an unusally scarey situtation - a child's reaction due to a peanut allergy. The scarey part wasn't the reaction itself, it was the communication with the school.

The attack came on after she ate part of a sandwich that had contained peanut butter. She says the school cafeteria worker told her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was her only choice.

Sky Hamilton, Student: "I said 'I'm allergic to it' and she said to scrape it off with a spoon."

Scrape it off with a spoon? Please tell me that didn't really happen!

A spokesperson for the department of education says no one at the school told Sky to simply scrape peanut butter off the sandwich before giving it to her and furthermore, that no one at the school knew that Sky was allergic to peanuts.

The school didn't know? In this day and age, how could that be?

But Sky's mother showed us medical documents with a list of foods her daughter cannot eat. She says the school had a copy of the list.

Jessica Hamilton, Parent: "I've given them print outs of all her allergic reactions. There are statements in the lunch room with all the children's allergic reactions. She number one because she has multiple food allergies."

Ok, now that sounds better. But wait... if the school did have the documents and multiple kids have allergies at the school, how could this happen? Add to that the fact that its December - the kids have been in school for months!

There must be some huge lessons in the details of this story. It sounds like Ms. Hamilton gave the school the information (it was on the wall) but clearly there is a serious miscommunication with the school staff. Maybe a mid-year refresher course for the school is in order? Also, we parents have to accept the fact that we are adding risk by having our children buy lunch from the school lunch room. Packing our own lunches is a safer way to go.

Posted by David at December 9, 2005 7:28 AM