Setting A Great Example: Picket The Allergic Kid!

I wish I were fucking kidding.  Apparently a group of parents of students at a Florida elementary school have had their compassion and empathy surgically removed, resulting in their willingness to fucking picket the school to try to have a first-grade girl with severe peanut allergy kicked out.

They're apparently upset because they think the procedures the school has put in place - to quite literally protect the allergic child's life, I might add - are "intrusive" and are "wasting academic time".  So, what protective measures are so onerous that they warrant community outrage and picketing the school?

Having lunches stored outside the classroom, and students having to wash their hands before coming in and after lunch.

That's apparently worth walking a picket line outside the school with signs saying things like "Our children have rights too!", "Who's paying for all of these special measures?", "Where is the happy median?", "How much academic time has your child LOST!", and, inexplicably, "No Dogs".  One parent was on-camera as saying "It's not fair for one kid to set a standard the rest of the kids have to abide by."

I don't even know what the fuck to say to this.  I genuinely don't understand how a group of parents, supposedly responsible adults, thinks it's okay to picket a school to get a kid thrown out for having a fucking allergy that could kill her.  Yes, let's teach our children to accept other people and play nice, unless you think you're being inconvenienced by someone else's disability - because as the report notes, the school is required to accommodate the girl's allergy because it counts as a disability under the ADA - and then it's time to break out the protest signs and make a huge fucking fuss and try to get them kicked out of school.

And those signs!  "Our children have rights too!"  I'm sorry, but if you think your child's right to not have to wash hir hands trumps another child's right to an education free of life-threatening circumstances, you're clearly a Republican sadly misinformed and also a gigantic douchenozzle.  "Who's paying for all of these special measures?"  What...I don't...I wasn't aware that hand soap was that expensive in Florida.  Perhaps you could take up a collection at church?  "Where is the happy median?"  Can I reach through time and space and slap you across your stupid fucking face, please?  There is no "happy median" when you're dealing with a FUCKING LIFE-THREATENING ALLERGY.  Good fucking gods, what is WRONG with you?  Your "happy median" by definition means insufficient precautions taken to protect the girl's health, which means asking for a "happy median" is asking to compromise the safety of another child so your child doesn't have to be inconvenienced.  If you really feel that's a reasonable request, you should absofuckinglutely NOT be a parent, or in fact have any responsibility for any living creature bigger than a packet of yeast for baking. 

Let me tell you about my experience with a life-threatening peanut allergy.  There was a boy at my elementary school who had a severe peanut allergy.  Parents were notified, and it was carefully explained to us that if Tim was exposed to peanuts or peanut butter or anything having peanuts in it, he could die.  Even if he didn't eat it, but one of us touched him with a hand that had peanut butter residue on it from a sandwich at lunch, he could die because that's how allergic he was.  And we all said, "Wow, that sucks.  Okay."  So accommodations were made.  You'd be amazed what kids are okay with, if you just explain that it's what has to be done to protect one of them from dying.  A couple of us grumbled when, instead of having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the camp we went to that year, we had baloney and cheese sandwiches instead, but that was really the extent of it.  And I'd bet the kids of these dangling taint-hairs aren't anywhere near as upset at the "inconvenience" of accommodations made for this girl as their parents are making them out to be.

But no, now they're going to absorb even more thoroughly the selfish, disablist messages of our culture through their parents' public hissy fit:  You do not ever have to accept inconvenience for anyone else's sake.  It's okay to complain and make a fuss if you're ever asked to accept minor changes in order to protect someone else's health or life.  Accessibility, despite being the law of the land (on paper, anyway), is not important.  What's important is that the abled kids aren't inconvenienced in any way by the temerity of the disabled kids to exist and participate in public life.

Go fuck yourselves, you entitled, privileged dipshits.


VijiiS said...

At the point you won't make small concessions to protect a little girl's life, what kind of person are you?

In fact, these parents won't even be making concessions. Neither will their kids, really. I mean, ideally, their kids SHOULD be washing their hands before and after they eat, no?

Jadelyn said...

Indeed. It's a tiny, tiny, tiny thing to ask kids to wash their hands an extra time or two a day. For a class of 30, it's perhaps an extra 10 minutes of "wasted" time per day. And it's not even wasted, cause it's protecting a child's life! I just don't get how a person thinks this is a good thing to protest, I really don't.

ladyneeva said...

I could see being upset if the child had only a mild allergy like mine (if I eat maybe a half cup of peanut butter I will get a screaming headache and a bit of a rash, nothing at all life threatening although since I don't like peanut butter much anyway I just don't eat it lol) and the accommodations being asked for was a complete ban on peanut products not just in the lunches but in the homes of all children who may come in contact with the allergic child. That would obviously be going to far in my opinion.

Just hand washing and keeping the lunches out of the rooms is not in any way an imposition. In fact, my grade and middle school both did the lunches stored out of the classroom thing anyway as a matter of course. Not because of allergies, but because it drastically cut down on incidents where children would steal things out of other children's lunches, or "accidentally" step on them or what have you.

MarissaAO said...

I actually saw this story elsewhere first and thought it was a joke. Wow. Just... wow.

Jadelyn said...

Huh, I'd never heard of schools doing the lunches thing absent an allergy, but I guess it makes sense. But yeah, there are degrees of peanut allergy, and this child's is described as "life-threatening", so it would seem to be fairly reasonable to ask that some accommodations be made, y'know?

Jadelyn said...

Same. I had to go watch the CNN video before I could really believe it. It's a truly astonishing level of WTF.

Sonneillon said...

Lack of empathy is clearly an endemic problem in our society. And a dangerous one, considering. I see this and I just see a continuing narrative. "We don't give a fuck about you, you have no right to inconvenience us, DIAF." Not just here, but in all sorts of places, aimed at marginalized people.

Jadelyn said...

I think you're right. And I also think it's getting worse and worse recently. I don't think this kind of thing would have happened in quite the same way a few years ago. I really think our political culture of reckless dehumanization is having a detrimental effect on *everyone*, and this is just one of the ways in which it manifests.

ladyneeva said...

Oh totally reasonable, I hope I didn't give the impression I thought it wasn't!

There was a lot of trouble with bullying in my schools, probably easier to institute a lunch locking up thing than it was to address the bully issue, since mostly it was the victim's fault for being "weird", fat, "four eyed" and/or having a "thin skin" anyway. Yes, yes I am bitter.

Jadelyn said...

No no, I was agreeing with you. And I'm sorry for the bullying you had to deal with. Kids can be amazingly cruel, and there are far too many adults who take the easy way out when dealing with it; instead of actually doing anything to the bully, just "separating" or what have you. Trust me, I understand; my 5th grade teacher later told my mother that my class and the bullying problems with it, of which I was the main victim, was the final reason he chose to quit teaching. :-/ Sympathetic hugs offered, if you would like them.

Maverynthia said...

Here in Virginia, they've decided to just ban anything that could have nuts/peanuts in it. So children are not allowed to bring in cookies, certain sandwiches and the like.

Jadelyn said...

A blanket ban is an interesting way of dealing with the issue. Even more interesting is that I've never heard of any big controversy over it, in contrast with this one.


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