We do not live in an allergy-free world. It is simply unrealistic. In schools across the country, food and products that contain common allergens are starting to be banned. Although it is important to create a safe environment for students with severe allergies, banning all food may be going into extremes. When kids grow up and enter the “real world,” food will not be banned in public places. It’s important for students to learn to adjust to a world full of food at a young age. They need to develop skills that they will need when navigating the world.
Students, teachers, and parents need to realize that banning food will not solve all problems. Food in classrooms is not really so different than food in the cafeteria. While in some cases, students have airborne allergies, which means that they can have allergic reactions if their allergen is in the air they breathe, this is highly rare. Special exceptions and rules can be made in the classes of students with these types of allergies. Even for these students, it is important to learn how to deal with this issue. By eliminating food from classrooms, administrators are just avoiding problems instead of facing them head-on. This is not the way to deal with food allergies permanently. Kids with allergies should learn how to be responsible for their allergy at a young age.
However, there are other changes that can be made to create a safer environment for students with allergies. Other students need to learn to be more conscious of allergies in schools. This can mean making efforts to make their eating cleaner in classrooms. Also, students and teachers can wipe down desks after they’ve been eating. This makes classrooms safer for kids with allergies but still allows food in classrooms.
Administrators, teachers, parents, and students need to take a step in the right direction. They need to meet in the middle, creating a compromise that will satisfy all students.
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